Friday, June 21, 2013

Poland: Where Will this Rainbow Lead?

The Zbawicelia Plaza Rainbow (gay or not) sits in one of the
 most popular -mixed hang out spots, but has suffered some
"chance burnings"
I might be taking this too far, but when 17 year old students (smartly dressed & clearly well-off) tell me Polish people are depressed and envious of others’ success – that's not good. That's only one view from the people of this cool, but cold country - yet it seems to be the case that kids are dreaming about NYC, instead of working to create success at home. Of course, it doesn’t help when you lose 1/5th of your population and then enjoy the relative ease (if not comfort) of communism for 40 years. The same students, in transit from Krakow to Warsaw, told me older family members would rather go back to live under communism.

Poland is resurgent; there is incredible potential here. Yet, first the Poles must escape the past.

Pride Parade passes by
"Stalin's Middle Finger"
The pride of Poland of course is John Paul II – and that’s also problematic. Catholicism became all this war-worn society could hold on to during the Communist era and the public and private ways that John Paul II fought back against Soviet ideologues made him their champion. Poland needs a new figure to lead them! Thus, in a deeply religious society, violent homophobia maintains an existence - and straight people lack motivation to support LGBT rights. Getting kicked in the street as well as facing violent verbal threats should not happen anywhere - but especially not in the western world!

But lets not dwell on the negative! Poland has lots to offer, from very pretty boys and girls, beautiful cityscapes, a happening night life – and even a Gay Pride not to be laughed at (mainly due to the tension in the air).

Warsaw Pride

I have never felt as protected in my life than along the Warsaw Pride parade route - not only did yellow-vested police walk just feet apart along both sides of me as we marched, but dozens of groups of swat teams, armed and suited up with full riot gear swarmed moved all over - and immediately responded to any conflict. Yet, I never thought I would get as many middle fingers - and glares from the general public. I won't go into what I was told their signs said (in Polish) about LGBT people...
Your own Ashy working it (seriously) with drag queens on the main parade party bus.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Secret's Out: Pinkwashing rules! - Israel Hosts World's Best Pride in Tel Aviv

Thousands Attend Pride in Tel Aviv
It's unfortunate gay men have yet to find a way to procreate - especially in Israel! Already a plethora of beautiful features exist in the mix of people here - think of the result of further combinations! Yet, more seriously, in Israel more than half of kids come from orthodox Jewish homes and the conservative, Muslim Palestinians have a higher birthrate.  The secular population is not growing. We need more gaybies - otherwise someday, we may say goodbye to the world's best location for PRIDE!

While Tel Aviv might be (in theory) dangerous - with an ongoing civil war less than 100 miles away and general threats of catastrophic destruction of this secular city - it's an fun-loving laid-back beach city and brings together a great mix of gays world-wide.  Anyway, we can count on Israeli/Jewish determination (yes, ok Zionism) and the U.S. Congress for protection.