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07.03 How deep is your pride?

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Congratulations! You are reading “Just Keith…”, the first alternative column to appear in Pulse Magazine. This column will now be appearing each month on “Outtakes”, the Pulse’s first alternative page.

Allow me to introduce myself. I ‘m Keith Fitzpatrick. A little bit about myself, I was born and raised right here in Worcester County, and I have yet to escape. Soon, but not yet. I’ve been called many things, however I can be best described as a cross between Jack McFarland of Will&Grace, and Simon Cowell, the critic that America loves to hate. I, however, do not relish the thought of someone loving to hate me, as Mr. Cowell seems to.

So here we are, the summer of 2003. The surf, the sand, the rain, clouds and 50-degree temps! We are heading into July already, and I have never seen such lousy weather. Even for New England. It was June 7 when I saw someone wearing white jeans, and I thought to myself, “Who the hell wears white jeans in March, and how the hell did I get back to 1987?”

Seriously though, the weather has been ridiculously lousy and it’s affecting everyone, no matter what his or her sexual orientation, gender, political party or annual income. I went to Boston Pride on June 14, and besides being the victim of multiple cheap feels, I have never been more disappointed. The parade was “eh”, and the block party had been de-energized. Most years you could barely get near the stage because of the thousands of unbelievably hot, bare-chested men. Yet this year, you could prance right up to the stage through all of the semi-hot bare-chested men, who were just standing there looking as though they were waiting for something to happen.

At first I panicked and thought that it had to be me. I figured that because I no longer qualify to be in the “twink” category, I can no longer relate to the whole scene. It may also have had something to do with a single gray hair, which my dear friend was so prompt to point out. (I thought I got them all!). Whatever the reason, I figured I just had to be off beat.

Low and behold, however, I learned that it was not I whom had lost touch with all that was Gay Pride! Many people shared the same opinion, to my desperate relief. Yet, I was still disappointed. The biggest gay event of the year in Massachusetts, and overall it was just “eh”. The only other significantly controversial event in the gay community that is as publicized as Gay Pride is the ridiculous St. Patrick’s Day Parade ordeal. I know we have to stand up for our rights and all, but come on people, let’s pick our battles here. Besides, we already throw our own parade, and we’re not all forced to wear that horrendous green! Why not put all that wasted energy to good use and join me at a fund-raiser being held on Friday, July 18 for a phenomenal man, Congressman Jim McGovern-D? (Contact me at the email address below if you are interested in attending/donating).

So yes, I think the weather had a great deal to do with the low level of testosterone that was floating around Boston Pride. Granted, it didn’t rain on the event, however we’ve been looking at gray skies since October, and quite frankly it’s more than just a bit depressing. It’s time to toss the white jeans in the trash, grab your rainbow memorabilia, and have some fun! Preferably in the sun! I cannot think of a better way to shake off these never-ending winter blues than by going Gay Pride hopping.

I went to the big disappointment in Boston, and next I’m headed to the events in NYC and Montreal. Hopefully the gay community will redeem itself in the latter two events. Ah yes, there is also WORCESTER’S Pride! I nearly forgot! Well, most people usually do, and that’s why there’s such an exciting gala here. Worcester needs help with a lot of things, and Gay Pride is right up there with “What the hell are we going to do with Union Station?”, “What the hell are we going to do with the Common Outlet Mall?”, and “What the hell are we going to do with the airport?”

Hey, maybe Worcester’s City Council can loan Juan Gomez to assist Worcester’s Pride Committee! Oh wait, I forgot. Mr. Gomez would never dream of associating himself with a gay establishment, unless of course it was election season.

“So there it all is”, as my dear friend always says. I hope you enjoyed yourself and laughed along the way as I have. If you did it means that this is the start of a great column and for that, I thank you. If you didn’t laugh and I’ve pissed you off in some way, I thank you as well. I thank you because it means that you read my words and that I’ve made you think, even if just a little bit. Just be warned, you may not always like what I have to say.

“Keith” may be reached for comments at akconsulting@charter.net

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