Counting down The End of Will Clark
Good evening, peeps - I don't know about you, but Gay Pride is always like running a marathon - lots of events get thrown into the blender and there's never enough money or time to go to all of them. If you're on the verge of becoming a curmudgeon like I am (yay, I made it to old age!), you do a lot of things like just wanting to sit on the couch and watch TV and wait for the week to pass so that you can get back to work. I mean, if you're trying to do anything for basically the month of June that involves any gay people at all, you're more or less screwed until about July 1 and then you run the risk of getting lost in the vacuum of the holiday weekend. Grumble. You see? I am curmudgeony!
But this year is different. It has to be. Circumstances are different. Our lives are different.
You see, just when we thought our lives were normalizing (getting Marriage Equality, lots of trans visibility), Orlando happened. It was really our 9/11. Not to take anything away from 9/11 of course.. but that was a wake up call to Americans that no, not everyone in the world loved us. And so, with us, it was a wake up call, that no, not everyone thinks that 'the gays' are AOK.
We had inklings. Being out has never been easy and certainly hate crimes (esp against transgendered people) have been on the rise in the last year, so it's not a super duper surprise or anything, but I think that we all had it in our heads that some idiot Presidential candidates notwithstanding, we had made it through the worst.
Nope. Nope. Nope. June 12th proved us wrong.
So here we are, here in New York it's Gay Pride this Sunday and we need to be visible - and I mean REALLY visible.
So, you can stay at home and watch TV and probably be safe. Or you can put on your rainbow clothes and funny gay t shirts and get out of your literal comfort zone and get involved. That can look like joining the Guns for Gays group or marching with your favorite club, bar, or group, or simply standing on the sidelines watching and being a part of history - in that this is the year that we got FUCKING ANGRY again. I, personally, would be thrilled if the Gay Pride Parade had continued to devolve into endless corporate floats. That would have been really nice. That would mean that we were finally FINALLY to a point where we were AOK.
But we are not at a point where we are AOK. We are pretty far from AOK, I'd say.
So now it's time to shake off the shit that you've let grow over the course of the last twenty years - you know - the shit where you decided that because of protease inhibitors or PReP you didn't need to give a shit about the AIDS anymore and spent Pride day smoking crystal meth with your Manhunt/Grindr/Scruff buddies. That was ok, I'm not judging, but now it's time to put that away because we are at fucking war. Again. (Maybe "still")
We need you at the March. We need you to give a damn. We need YOU and all of your friends.
In 2000 there was a March on Washington. A friend of mine from LA who worked at a university and was a pretty smart cookie called me up and we talked about going to DC. He was all excited about the DJs and the circuit parties. I was too and said, 'oh and what group are you marching with?" He was dumbfounded. He didn't know that there was an actual protest connected to the circuit party. And you know what? He didn't CARE.
So, we need you to care now. We need for you to get involved. As I said in a previous blog post - we can't and won't carry you anymore. We have to get all of us united to get the guns off of our streets and we need to shut down the NRA. They messed with the wrong queens and that will be their fatal mistake.
Yeah, I know. You're a pussy and you don't think that you have to do shit. You're wrong. Well, you're right in that if you think that way, then well, sorry to say, but yeah, then you are a pussy... but you're wrong that you don't have to do anything. Get up, get out, and do something. Anything. NOW. The Pride Parade in New York is on Sunday. I recommend you start there.
And if you can't think of a way to get involved, jesus christ on a cracker, write to me and I'll give you suggestions. Because it's literally a matter of life and death.
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After everything that's gone on over the past ten days, I don't know about you, but I need a little diversion - and thankfully, the FB group I belong to that discusses where comic books meet The Gays, posted the other day that there's now a Captain America XXX parody. It's a straight thing but if you have a fetish for the blue Captain America mask thing, then this might be for you (please disregard the pussy... although I know a few gay men - like myself - that don't mind watching straight porn).
In these days when copyright is king and porn makes money, a porno using any kind of registered trademark has to be considered a 'parody' in order to prevent themselves from being sued up the ass - which might make its own nice little porn for those who consider legal briefs sexy. Me, I prefer men with no underwear at all but boxers are preferable to briefs. But I digress.
Naturally, if someone made a gay version, it should be COLT so that they can take advantage of the recent controversy surrounding Captain America being revealed as a Hydra agent - that way they can call the video "Hail Hydro" after their "shower shot" product (seen here). There would be a requisite Cap/Bucky flip flop scene (for a "Bucky Fuck" - patent pending) which would then add Falcon for an over the top three way flip flop scene. There's a lot of directions it could go but an appearance from Chi Chi as Black Widow would be fun and any number of bodybuilders as The Hulk, except, of course the burrito guy. You might want to leave him out of it. Just sayin.
I don't really have any where else to go with this except now I'm thinking of myself using the shield to prop up my ass when Cap gives it to me. I'm also thinking about burritos. Damn. Now I'm hungry.
Good evening, peeps - trust that you had a good weekend. I needed a little blog and Facebook break -and, because I've been bombarded by Sadness lately (Orlando, the death of DJ Chris Padilla, etc) Sunday, Father's Day, I said "fuck it" and went to Folsom East for a little fun in the sun with hundreds of my closest friends. It was a good day and frankly odd not to be on stage, but totes whatevs - I had three great years on stage and frankly, most street fairs don't even give their emcees that many years in a row. So I count my blessings. Nice to talk to some pals and get some sun. My mood is slightly better going into Pride Week but am still burdened by all the shit we've been through collectively with the election and, of course, Orlando. I am sure that you are still sad/angry/etc.
Anyway, on Friday night I attended the first meeting of the "Gays Against Guns" group created in the wake of the Orlando Shooting. The room at the Gay/Lesbian Center on W. 13th was jammed with a variety of men and women from a wide spectrum of the LGBT community to the point where it was literally standing room only. The main topic of conversation was focused on action - how to pull together a contingent for Sunday's Pride parade here in New York. No small feat as it's just a week away. As the group is still forming and may, in some way, intersect with other groups also committed to gun control, the mission statement may change abit over the next few days/weeks, but here it is as it stands now:
Gays against guns' (AKA GAG) mission is to not allow the murder of our 49 siblings to be in vain. Although founded by gays, this group is open to anyone who's concerned about gun violence. Our goal is to call for an IMMEDIATE ban on all high capacity magazines. There is no reason for these weapons to be in the hands of civilians. Our second goal is to call for stricter background checks; close the loophole that allows gun shows to sell guns without background checks, ban sales of all guns off of the Internet, and block anyone on the FBI watchlist from purchasing and possessing guns. NRA : we see the blood on your hands. We are coming for you. We will make these changes. And we will make you GAG on it!
I, for one, appreciate the sense of humor - and one might say a bit of a return of the gay sensibility that has been lost in recent years. I mean, "Bye Felicia" is cute but it's not exactly a Paul Lynde bon mot,is it?
In any event, kudos to the organizers of Gays Against Guns for keeping the meeting moving and focusing on the task at hand - organizing quickly enough to be in the Parade. Also thanks to NYC City Councilman Cory Johnson for giving the group his spot in the Parade. And if plans pan out, it will be a pretty great display.
People are PISSED and these men and women are getting shit done in record time. Basically, if the NRA is smart (which they, of course, are not) they'd find some sort of middle ground - sacrifice the assault rifles to keep their business going. But since they are not, they will be bombarded by the gays and we will win. How do I know this? Because let's take a minute to look at our track record - Stonewall, AIDS, Marriage Equality, Transgender rights. Sure, we are not 100% there but geezus on a cracker, look how far we've come in less than 50 years. Watch out NRA, we are gunning for YOU. And we will make you GAG on it.
If you want to join, GAG can certainly use the help. If you can offer funds in order to cover costs, if you have skills that might be appreciated there, then make sure you go to their Facebook page and join and get yourself in as soon as possible.
However, I know that marching on the streets isn't everyone's thing - and that's OK. After some attempts at joining these types of groups in the past, I realized that I was better suited to planning cute little fundraising events that support these types of groups. That's my style of activism, and frankly, in this past week, I've missed having a forum to process this with friends while raising funds for worthy organizations. I guess that I always will feel this way in the wake of events that directly affect me and honestly, I wish that there was something that I could do at this time. But maybe, it'll 'just' have to be content getting news out to you via this blog and via Facebook. I can almost hear you say "yeah, right, how long with THAT last?" and the truth is - I honestly don't think that it will. LOL :)
Anyway, click here to join the Facebook group and if for some reason the link doesn't work, simply go to the Search box on FB and type in "Gays Against Guns". Do it now!
That's all from me tonight, best to you all and more tomorrow.
This post is part of a series of blogs celebrating The End of Will Clark
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This was a lost set that is so powerful and quite amazing
but ho they say Timing is Everything
Remember Love is the message and MUSIC is the Answer
enjoy love, peace and music
Chris Rising Son Padilla
A week or so ago I wrote an open letter on this blog to former P*rno Bingo DJ, Chris Padilla who was at the time, at a hospice in Fort Lauderdale in the wake of having dealt with cancer on and off for many years. I don't know that he ever read it, I don't know that I needed him to, but I believe that the sentiment reached him. Just as I believe that the thoughts, and prayers that his friends, fans, and colleagues sent to him reached him (somehow) and gave him at least a bit of an understanding how much we loved him.
I posted the news on my Facebook page, and AB, our awesome photographer from Bingo, posted "Rest in Rhythm", which I found to be the best and most loving thing that we could say to him as he lived to make music and the thrill of the dance floor.
I won't go over the words and thoughts I had, you can click the link above and re-read it for yourself.... but it occurs to me that we so very rarely say all the nice things to our loved ones that we say about them when they've died. And that's a shame.
And yet, it doesn't of course, have to be this way. While you may not feel the need to write a blog post to your loved ones, dropping nice notes every so often to them might be something to start doing. Facebook makes this incredibly easy. And this is why, when friends complain about the site, I point out that it's really only as good as what you put into it. I don't know that I'd go so far as to say it's comparable to "the love you take is equal to the love you make", but it's close enough and that's good enough for me.
We have lost a few people from our Bingo family over the years - our first graphic designer, Tom (2007), our special volunteer - Princess aka Andrew (around 2010 or so?), and, of course, Chris (2016). There was also a 'friend of Bingo', Joe (or, Big Joe as he was referred to) who passed away earlier this year after complications from surgery.
For me, the last year has been filled with innumerable losses - porn stars Cole Tucker and Blue Blake, agent David Forest, director Gino Colbert, Black Party promoter Mike Peyton, and non industry friends, Chris who worked for years at Roscoe's in Boys Town in Chicago, Mark from Texas who was a FB friend and brother to my best friend in the 80s, Paul, a high school friend, and of course my friend Joe who passed away this spring after a very long illness.
When I go (well, when the guy I time share a life with goes, I guess is more accurate), i don't want sadness, I want everyone to find JOY in the life that I lived. No tears, no sadness, only dancing and stories of the funny and dumb things that I did. The dumb things alone should take up a lot of time. :)
So, with Chris, I've been asked to help plan a memorial service here in New York. Because of Pride, we won't even get to the starting place of it until next week, but I hope that we can focus on the JOY in Chris' life. Certainly, there will be dancing for what would a DJ's memorial service be without dancing?
And until then, dance for your loved ones who have left this place and dance for yourself - life is too short to stay in sadness for too long.
May Chris Padilla always, Rest in Rhythm.
Tomorrow night, June 17 is a sort of national call for all gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered to get off of social media and go out and, well, be social. So I hope you're planning on doing that. It's called the "Refuse to Hide Campaign" and you can click here to see the Facebook invite for it. Sometimes these links to FB invites don't work, but you can always type "Refuse to Hide" in the events search box and find it.
So this weekend and/or for Pride, when you're out and about - please be careful and make sure that you do these three things at every venue that you go to:
1. Make sure you know where the exits are. Don't let it ruin your night, but just simply notice. If it seems as though there's only one way out (i.e. the way back in), make sure you know what other rooms are there (i.e. the office or maybe even, God forbid the basement where the frig is sometimes located).
2. If the bar has a doorman or bouncer, rather than hassle them because there's a cover or they're patting you down for drugs (and, now, guns), thank them. There's is a thankless job and they are always seen as the party poopers. But thank them for keeping you safe. They will be glad that you did. Trust me on this one. You want that doorman or bouncer as your friend, not your adversary. And if post Orlando they are a little too ... handsy, just giggle and tell them that you're not that kind of girl. They'll maybe appreciate a little levity all the way around.
3. And have fun. What the terrorists (and these people are terrorists plain and simple) want is to scare the shit out of us so that we cower before them like we did when we were kids and they were calling us 'faggots'. Don't give them the satisfaction. Laugh. Kiss your friends on the cheeks. Hold hands with your boyfriend. Dance. I'd rather not die right now thankyouverymuch, but I'm also not going to spend the rest of my life sitting in front of the TV or in front of my computer.
I know it's corny to say, but I believe that it's true - #LoveWins - Sure, maybe not this week, but it does win. I don't see the use in thinking otherwise. I really don't. Because, really, what does that get you? Then you're just a miserable fucking wretch spinning around in your own angry filth. And when you complain that you're alone, we will just go 'well, there's a reason for that....". I'm not saying that you have to live your life all butterflies and buttercups, but maybe rather than seeing everything in the darkness, it's possible to find a half way point.
Anyway, I hope to see you out and about this weekend, having fun, living life, and refusing to hide!
In recent months, it's become a thing online to make fun of the Republican Nominee for President and here, at Will Clark World, oh I suppose that I could write endless blogs about him and get butt loads of traffic. That's what every news outlet is doing whether on line or on TV, right? .. so, really why not join the crowd and drive more traffic here?
But it's pretty cheap n easy low hanging fruit and frankly, like someone who breathlessly wants you to notice them in a bar just a little too much, I just can't bring myself to give him more attention. I think of him like a type of Doctor Who villain - the more attention he gets, the stronger he becomes. So, if we don't pay attention, he'll lose his mojo. I mean, there are plenty of folks who are going to continue, for some odd reason, to give him their attention but mostly, I think, through misguided hatred for Hillary. By the way, don't bother writing endless anti Hillary screeds here or on my FB page - it's tired, I don't care what you think, and surely you must have something better to do with your day, mmmm?
In any event, I have figured that I'm going to make a clear decision to, going forward, simply stop saying the Republican Nominee for President's name. If I really must make a reference to him, maybe "Mr. T" would work.... because, truly, I pity the fool that thinks this guy is Presidential material.
Sadly, the slavish support of his Hitleresque actions only go to underline how far off track we've gone here in America. I don't know if it's Obama's fault, or George W.'s fault, or Clinton or Reagan, or Nixon or the fall of Camelot, but something is most definitely wrong and sad to say, it's just going to get worse before it gets better (it always works like that, right?).
But I feel that I can sum up our national irritation in one sentence: "things aren't going my way so I'll pout and stamp my foot". I kind of feel like the USA is in its 'teen years' phase - the "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME" in it's maturation. As all parents suffer through this, we will all have to get through this without, hopefully a nuclear war and the end of the world.
Speaking of which, Mike Diva, an LA based visual artist put together this video (below) with what is the most likely ending to a reign of He Who Shall Not Be Named. Or should we call him the Orange Doodle? I'm up for suggestions. And hey, I realize that this is not fun and games, it's literally life or death but if I don't laugh at least a little bit, it'll just all be too much to handle.
Oh well, anyway, take a look at the video and enjoy!
If you've been sad this week, know that we all have, you're not the only one.
And if you're mad, know that you're not the only one who is rip roaring mad either.
If you feel that you want to channel these feelings, there's a new group forming, having its first meeting tomorrow night, Friday, June 17 - It's called Gays Against Guns aka GAG. It's for ALL people regardless if you're gay or not but the group's organizers like the GAG acronym. It's at the Center at 208 West 13th Street. You might be able to click here for the FB page but if that doesn't work (because sometimes I've found that linking these things doesn't work for some reason), simply search "Gays Against Guns Meetup"
But the real action that you must take now is to get involved with the community.
Look, I've been an activist in one way or another since 1986 and there are a lot of us that have been pulling our weight. Some more than others, that's OK, we all do what we can in the way that we can, when we can. And if you haven't been able to do anything, that's OK, maybe you were in Corporate America but now you're retired. Or maybe you're in your 20s and all you've known is the awesome stuff that's been done for you. Again, that's just a matter of chronology.... but now it's your turn.
In either event, if you haven't been doing your share, the community can't carry you anymore.
You have to pull your weight. It's time for you wake up and ACT up. There is work to be done and it's your turn so get on it. Or, as they say back on the west coast, get your shit together, girl (or "gurl" if you live in midtown).
I'm happy to give you some ideas for direction if you want to private message me on Facebook. But you'd better hurry. See there's a countdown clock at the top of this blog and after that, Will Clark goes poof in a cloud of smoke. My "good" twin will still be lurking around the world but I think he has some other things to do post August 4th and I won't be available any more. So it's now or never. Seriously.
Peace and have a great weekend.
As an out gay man, I know that the world has never been a truly safe place.
I grew up knowing that you could kill an out elected official and claim that it was spongey snack treats that made you do it rather than your own irrational homophobia.
I grew up working for a religious camp as a counselor and director for four summers in the mid 80s. After I'd figured myself out and told a couple friends in confidence, in the off season the ED wrote me a letter saying that it wasn't in their best interests to have me return for a fifth summer. I never did find out who had betrayed me. It's probably for that person's own good that I never do.
I grew up with a family that told me that they'd never speak to me again because I am so selfish that I chose to be gay. You'll notice that no one ever considers that being an asshole is a choice. I was born gay, what's their excuse?
But I also grew up knowing that Stonewall had happened. That a group of people who had been arrested by the police for years simply for being alive had finally had enough and had pushed back -- hard.
I grew up experiencing the first time someone on TV was coming out on their show and in real life. And I grew up seeing her career blossom.
And, most recently, I grew up seeing the legalization of Marriage between same sex couples. I never ever thought I'd see that in my lifetime.
But even though I have lived in (mostly) gay enclaves in major cities, I'm not going to say that I have felt safe all of my life. Because I haven't.
I have lived in fear of being harassed, attacked, brutalized, shot, stabbed, raped ... because all of those things actually happen in the world, sometimes to people I know.
I have worried and looked over my shoulder when I have kissed a man or even held hands with a man in public.
I have been told to "get over it" when I have complained that I don't see gay people in movies, TV, in ads, on billboards, etc. and I have been told that we are "in everyone's face" once we got a teeny tiny percent of the total visibility in the world.
And, there was that time in 2000 I was in a car for Aid for AIDS in the LA Pride Parade with drag empress Momma and a couple of other porn stars (including Michael Brandon in the front seat playing with his dick. I saw numerous anti gay protestors encroaching in on us and I really did fear for my life. Thankfully Momma just put her hand on mine, intuiting what I was feeling, as if to say "they have no power, it will be OK".
But what would have been worse would have to have taken my grandmother's advice - to squirrel myself away in a small town and become a teacher in order to "get away" from being gay. She said, if I did that, that "your family will love you again".
Yes, it would have been 'safe' but would it have been right? No.
And so during this Pride season here in New York, I may be tempted to be worried, to look over my shoulder, to fear for my life.... but I cannot and will not live in fear. Been there, done that. Over it.
Like always, I will be out and about and, while some of the veneer of last years Marriage Equality victory is now worn off as we wake up to the cold shower of reality that no, not everyone is OK with the gay, I will stand out and proud with my brothers and sisters.
If you are still inconsolably sad, that's OK. I am too. The loss of these beautiful young people is staggering and will never be forgotten.
And, if you are so angry that you want to hit something, well, those gals in Steel Magnolias will tell you to find Weezer and hit her (she'll put up a fight so watch out) :)
However, I invite each of us to transcend the sadness and the anger - and take action. That may mean donating money to gay causes, that may mean volunteering your time to gay causes, but what you can do right now, and very easily, is to write to your elected officials and demand better gun regulations. BTW just in case you need to know this - people aren't on their way to your house to take your guns away. They (well, WE) only want it to be harder to get a gun than it is to get a gallon of milk. You can get them both at WalMart and only one can kill you (lactose intolerance notwithstanding).
If you want to get in contact with your elected officials to let them know that you support tougher gun controls, please click here to go to a site that will help you find their contact information.
There are also groups forming to help combat gun violence, led, naturally, by the gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgendered - because, you know, us queers get shit done. We figured out AIDS when Reagan was too much of a pussy to talk about it and we battled non-stop to get Marriage Equality. The gun problem is a bigger piece, but we will do it. Just wait til we get all Joan Crawford at a Pepsi board meeting on them... DON'T FUCK WITH US, FELLAS!!!!
Posted at 01:10 PM in Marriage Equality, New York City, Pop Goes the Culture, Queer Politics, The Big Gay Rant About Stupid Gay Drama, The End of Will Clark, Will Clark's JOURNAL | Permalink | Comments (0)
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For those of you who are weekend warriors, take note - Brian Gately and two other awesome DJs will be spinning tonight at Analog for the final party of Saint at Large's season - it's also the official after party for Brooklyn Pride so if you're not already all Prided up, get thee to the dance floor to get a refill. I'm not sure that the 'refill' is really called "Pride" but I think you kind of get the drift of where I'm going with that. :)
Anyway, tickets will be available at the door but if I were you, I might lean towards the early part of the night rather than the latter part of the night... unless you want to go really really late - because this fucker starts at 10pm and ends at 7am. Then there is, I'm sure some sort of After Party or such so you could go and get home, oh, at about the time the Tonys start Sunday evening - after you've spent an all night and morning at an all man party, the Tonys might be just the thing to balance the weekend out. :) Spoiler alert: Hamilton wins everything. (I don't need to be Miss Cleo to figure THAT one out).
That's all from me tonight - all my best to you all for a great rest of your weekend and thanks for all the great support you've shown this week as I countdown to the end of Will Clark. It looks like it's going to be a fun ride, glad you're here to share it!
This post is part of a series of blogs celebrating The End of Will Clark