Gay St. and Gay bashing – Baltimore, MD
Who knew that there’s a Gay street in Baltimore? I was so excited about this bizarre urban planning decision that I risked life and limb to capture an image of the sign from a speeding vehicle – twice. I wish SF had a Gay St. But I’ll just have to relish in the delight that our whole city is like really really gay. Baltimore...I'm not so convinced.
Baltimore, Maryland (known affectionately as B’more or Bodymore, Murdaland depending in who you ask) was only known to me through my parents for its harbor side crab shacks. DJs have made it famous for its club gutter music and recent Showtime execs have shed light on some of the city’s darker goings-on (the Wire).
We were there for Aaron LaCrate, a New York based music producer, DJ, record label owner and clothier who gave us the rock-star guide to his beloved hometown. Aaron’s tour was deeply personal and at moments equally heartbreaking and heart warming. The Baltimore he showed us was full of life and hope but also abandonment and desperation. Once in a while in San Francisco I get a bad feeling about a particular block where I know the bored kids hang out, or a deserted street late at night and I just walk home a different route. I forget that there are places where people like me have a lot more to fear.
I was gay bashed in the parking lot of Wendy’s. In the middle of the day, next to the Home Depot in a suburb 10 minutes out of the city. We were walking to our car and this dude pulls into the parking lot in a beat up sedan and stares at me with this evil, maniacal grin. I already felt him gay bashing inside his head. So one minute later I wasn’t surprised when I heard him call me like a dog from his car, "hey, homoooo. My girlfriend needs ....." I ran into my car and said, "Lock the doors, I just got gay bashed, lets get out of here!"
I was scared and felt gross. Living in mostly liberal areas of California for the last 10 years, I forget how difficult the rest of the world can be. I want to take a moment for all the queers that have suffered and survived gay bashing and hate violence. I would like to give Baltimore another try; I’m sure there’s a rich queer culture there with in it’s already interesting history. I mean, there’s a Gay St! (and for the record, I was only there for 2 days and saw 2 people who passed as queerdos) It is the home of quirky queer filmmaker John Waters, after all. Any Baltimore queers out there reading blogs and have some positive or not so positive shout outs for Baltimore? Leave a message.
Check out this Lily Allen remix by Aaron Lacrate.
For more Hot Situations visit www.shaevoyeur.com.