Archives for posts with tag: West Hollywood

I love this picture.  Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud in Wheelers.

1.

Waking up at Robby’s apartment.  West Hollywood.  Feeling like I have a hangover.  I haven’t.  I’m still not drinking.  Waiting for the right moment…but it never comes.  The sanctity of sobriety.

It’s hard after nearly 16 years to think about the right time to start drinking.

A woman I know from the programme called yesterday.  I told her that I had renounced AA.  “How’s that working out for you?”  She pried condescendingly.

I faked a dropped call.

2.

Saturday pre pride party.  Good fun.  The über gays.  The fake NYC producer I mentioned in an earlier post sitting at his table wondering how I manage to surround myself with such beauty.  He looked exasperated.  Staring over at us.

Pride was a great deal of fun.  On the streets.  The floats have not changed for 30 years: muscle boys and drag queens.  Not very inventive.

I stayed at the London Hotel courtesy of my Kuwaiti friends. They pitched up at 8am.  We ate smoked fish and Quiche for breakfast.

3.

Nothing is obvious.  Just when you thought you’d never kiss anyone meaningfully ever again.

I saw you in the bar and knew you were the one.  A brief conversation.  Kisses, glances, then you pissed on me.  That was new to both of us but so damned exciting.  A mouth full of piss.  Then we spent the afternoon talking.  Eating.  Each other.

You left an impression.   Creases in the bed sheets.

4.

Without me even noticing it LA is full of gay men with beards.

Does this mean that they/we are growing up? That men are trumping boys? The aesthetic is not only very pleasing but means I get looked at all over again. I have some currency…if you know what I mean.

5.

I don’t have time to write this very often.  There’s a great deal to do.

I’m helping those boys in the jail, even though they don’t know it.  Meeting lawyers down town who are investigating conditions in the jail.  They seem shocked.  Young lawyers.  Fresh faced.  Idealists.

I try balancing my complaints with a broader understanding of the jail dynamic.  The deputies are not just cruel…they are frightened.  They do not treat the trans population with contempt because they hate gays, they are confused by the feelings the girls bring up in them.

Ernest lawyers ask how I would change things in the jail.  I am always prepared for those questions.

Last week I sat with Senator Ron S.Calderon who is co-sponsoring a bill in the State of California that would basically abolish the situation in which I found myself.  Protocols would have to be adhered to.  States right to decide trumping the draconian Immigration Department.

I drive for hours to get to the meeting and speak clearly and concisely.  I know that I am speaking on behalf of thousands of wrongly incarcerated immigrants.

I go to cities I would never usually visit.  I am introduced to people I would never usually meet.  Immigrant rights advocates, Methodist ministers.  I am familiar with Secure Communities.  I hear terrible stories.  They tell me that ICE operate like the Gestapo.  They spread fear in the immigrant communities, wrecking homes, lives, marriages, separating families, sending children into foster care.

6.

Then, there is the other work.  Kevin, my incredible new assistant, and I…running all over town.  Putting this show together.  Holding things together.

Today I see the doctor.  No good news all over again. I’m sure.

Wish me luck.

I am downtown. Downtown LA. We are drinking coffee in a chic coffee shop.

It is reassuringly sophisticated.  It feels like NYC. It feels like a city.  Spring Street. Coffee bar.  The people who pass by are dressed well and don’t have that Hollywood vibe. The women are not showing off their chests and legs, the boys are wearing well cut pants and have covetable accessories.

Having the car makes life more interesting. I am scarcely at home.  I am writing this on my phone.

I had dinner with an old friend on Saturday night. We ate at Bossa Nova then we saw Clash of the Titans 2 at the Chinese Theatre.  There were less than 10 of us in the theatre.  The film was terrible, Olivia was terrible. Everything about that terrible film that could be said…was said.  He brought two young men. They didn’t say much. One was gay, the other ‘in training’.  Outside the theatre there was a costume exhibition. We poured over the ormolu costume jewelry Elizabeth Taylor wore in Cleopatra.

We explained to the boys the history of Century City.  You know that story don’t you?  How Cleopatra bankrupted 20th Century Fox? How the back lot was sold and Century City was built?  Everybody should know that story, if they live in LA.

It was pouring rain.  Under the theatre, in the parking lot, valley girls were vomiting out of SUVs onto their fake Louboutins.  We drove west, we sat together at my club and they drank cocktails. I drank coffee.  The boys remained mute.

Not feeling at all combative, I found myself passionately discussing racism and gay equality which quickly disintegrated into a nasty UK v USA argument.  At one point my friend told me that if he could press a button and eradicate all Muslims he would.  I pointed out that my father was a Persian Muslim and technically so were the majority of my 11 brothers and sisters. That he would have to kill my young sister Rebecca.

How did he feel about that?  His genocidal zeal was not diminished.

How come it’s become ok for reasonable men to become so islamaphobic?  The conversation further disintegrated into how retarded the Brits were for accepting equality without the word marriage in the equation.  It made my blood boil that he would rather have nothing if he couldn’t have the word marriage. Civil unions in the UK seem, to those who have them…just like being married and my friends who have civil unions think of themselves, describe themselves, as married.  Anyway, the m word is now being fought for in the UK but more as a nice after thought attached to the equality that we already enjoy.  You know how I felt, and people like me felt about that word. Archaic, patriarchal bull shit…antiquated in the secular UK.

Then, this morning, I found myself listening to Democracy Now on the radio as I drove the 101 Freeway.

Van Jones being interviewed.

He pointed out that in the civil rights game played out in the USA…if you are prepared to be arrested for what you believe…and there are enough of you, change happens quickly.

Be seen to fight for what you believe rather than playing the faceless gay equality/marriage ‘incremental’ tactic…employing expensive lawyers and fighting state by state…  He mentioned the names of 5 or 6 black civil rights leaders. I got to wondering where our civil rights leaders were? Who are they? Why can’t I name them?

I suppose Lance Black has become a recognizable leader/voice of the gay community but this seems accidental rather than deliberate.  It has always been my dream for the gay men and women of the USA that they get the human rights they deserve.  But…what are they prepared to risk when demanding those rights? How many windows do they need to break?

There is something weedy and unfocused about the movement.  Worse, by articulating this frustration I risk people like my friend telling me that I am letting down the cause.  We need leaders, we need direct action. It is the only way the unelected justices (who get the final say) at the Supreme Court will truly understand how important equality is to us.

The system has failed us.

Meanwhile, Justin Bond shared on Facebook a piece from the NY Times about the suicide of a gay man struggling with the notion of old age…amongst other things.

Read it here: gay suicide

Some of Justin’s friends dismissed the piece as worthless. Some of them understood how important it was.  Some of them, quite rightly, wondered why the piece was in the style section. Our community wrestles with all sorts of problems peculiar to our people. It is absurd, at moments like this, to pretend that we are just like everyone else.  Our generation of gay men, used to unlimited sex, sexual validation, Peter Panism at its worst…has to wake up and acknowledge the wrinkles.

So, it’s been quite a week. A date last night that went really well. Passionate discussions and…well the dogs.

What more could I want?

20120403-120523.jpg

It was a wonderful day yesterday.

Had lunch with Jon in West Hollywood.  Delicious chicken and polenta at Hedley’s.  Great to see him.  We hadn’t seen each other for weeks and had loads to catch up on.  He is in very good spirits.  Business is booming for purveyors of luxury furniture so he is doing very well.

Robby picked me up and we sat in the sunny Chateau Marmont garden and drank iced tea.  Eva Longoria sat next to us.

Met Ryan F and his super sexy new girlfriend Kirsty Mitchell who was once Miss Scotland but is now a very bankable young actress.   She worked with my old friend Billy MacKinnon in his and his brother’s film Small Faces.

We then headed into the hills under the Hollywood Sign where we met Tom D who very kindly let Robby try on the Wolverine talons used in X Men 1.

Had dinner at The Tasting Kitchen in Venice with Anna.  Wonderful food.  I had pork…again with polenta and baked cherries.  Dropped into Gjelina to congratulate owner for sticking to his guns and not let Gordon Ramsey and ‘Lady’ Victoria Beckham bully them into making menu substitutions.

Arrived home late and fell into bed exhausted.  Woke at 5am and watered the garden.  My current obsession.

Robby With Wolverine Claws

Duncan Roy and Kirsty Mitchell