I learned many things in business school, and today I’d like to talk about what I learned while living in Chapel Hill. Being from San Francisco, even from San Mateo, the dull suburb where I’m actually from, I grew up knowing that San Francisco was some amazing place that everyone loves and wants to live in. I took it for granted, but was also completely prejudiced against all small towns and all the blank space between California and New York City. I have since learned that there are some notable and interesting places between those two points, but I also learned that I still don’t want to live in a small town.
What I came to realize was really missing from Chapel Thrill and environs, was a gay district. I decided that having a gay district automatically rockets a city solidly into coolness. Even if I never set foot in that district, I need to have friends who do. I need to work with people who do. I need gay people in my life because they are so freakin’ awesome. I need to be in a city where it is beyond OK to be gay. Where it’s so ok, even straight guys pretend they’re gay. Which is weird, kinda like being whiggers, but whatever.
See, you won’t find such behavior in Chapel Thrill. Not even in Carrboro, really. Sure, there are LGBT folk there, but they don’t have a Place. A place that can serve as an anchor. Which makes for a rather dull and dismal town, if you ask me. And no, Open Eye café does not count as a gay district, I don’t care how small the town is. Yes, I am neglecting to discuss my lesbian friends, who are often neglected in these discussions. But what’s interesting, is that I really don’t see nearly as much discrimination against lesbians as I do against the rest of the acronym. Homosexual men get beaten to death, while women get immortalized in a million porn videos.
Growing up here, I never knew what those rainbow flags meant, I just thought they were a popular decorative object. I stopped at Castro & Market to take these pictures, as I’ve never noticed this ginormous flag before, and it means so much more to me now, between living in a small town in the south for 1.5 years, and watching Milk. There was nothing better than Castro and Market on Halloween, except maybe the West Village or West Hollywood… I wish we didn’t have so many small minded people living in this state, then my gay friends could have the same rights my straight friends enjoy.
Gay pride week is June 20-28. Regardless of your orientation or identity, be proud that you live in a country where people are (finally, after centuries of struggle and hardship) able to be true to themselves, at least in cities like San Francisco. http://www.sfpride.org/