Archives for posts with tag: West Village

Blair Thurman

My Pink Shoes

1.

Mark Carson was a black man and a gay man. He did not have the luxury of invisibility.

When he was shot in the head yesterday, he was already walking away from the man with a gun.

He was killed moments from where Joe and I lived on 13th Street in the West Village, NYC.

He went down fast.

This story is peculiarly American. It includes race, guns and queers.

The narrative is so familiar I am no longer shocked.

In London a white queer couple are walking home arm in arm. They are beaten to the ground.

We can kid ourselves that our ‘visibility’ has somehow made things better, that Glee and Will and Grace have improved LGBTQ functionality but frankly… that’s the lie we tell ourselves to get by.

To walk the streets.

Holding my lovers hand in the street is still an act of rebellion.

2.

The rate of HIV infection is still epidemic, around 45-50,000 new cases every year, 60% of those are gay or bisexual men.

AIDS education has not served to change the attitude in the general GBTQ population to bring those numbers down.

That is the cold hard truth.

No use dragging in references to children in Africa. The causes are preventable here amongst Americans.

The immune defense systems of many people are compromised and therefore vulnerable to deadly viruses such as the new strain of meningitis.

I fully support my GBTQ community, but I must also defend and uphold the bare truth:  people in America want what they want when they want it.

They don’t care to understand that they are living off the principal instead of the interest.

3.

When Jake and I were in Paris we sat on the Terrace of the Hotel Mama Shelter.  We were dining,  holding hands and kissing.

During a tumultuous and difficult relationship it was a moment of tender kindness.

From a window high above where we were lounging a man called out:  “Pede!”

Jake didn’t speak French.  He, thankfully, did not understand that we were being insulted.  “Faggot!”

I expected something to be thrown.  A shot to ring out.  My life felt threatened.

I wrapped my arms protectively around him.  Just in case.  I loved him so.

If you are queer.  You know what I am talking about.

If you are black, a muslim… anything other than a straight white male. You know what I am talking about.

You know that feeling very well.

4.

They want to march the street tonight.  They want to hold a vigil for Mark Carson.  They want to fight back.  But, what exactly are you fighting when you fight back?

The young men who want to hurt us, to kill us… are just doing what they understand: they are identifying the enemy and bringing it down.

To some they are patriots.

They are heroes from another age.

They do not understand our rarefied world because we have not done enough to explain it to them.

What do they know about us?  We may seem like a grandiose secret society… like the Scientologists or The Masonic Order and like any other secret society… we pose a threat.

We have done nothing to make our position clear except demand to oppress by joining historically oppressive institutions: the military and marriage.

They may have every good reason to hate us because they think we have everything and they have nothing.

They think we are rich, successful, they think we are celebrities… or connected to celebrity.

In this TV Quick world they see us living a dream. Why? Because we have sold them this in an attempt to seem ‘normal’.

5.

Dinner at Nobu. What a mess. Had to concentrate solely on my dining companion and not get side tracked by huge black eyebrows drawn onto Botox faces, short men with pony tails and overly developed biceps.

The creamy snow crab was delicious.

The crowd was not.

6.

My friend Benoit Denizet-Lewis has brought down Abercrombie and Fitch… a gay empire.

The morbidly obese, trapped in their mid west homes, are lifting their fat fingers and tapping one key at a time… declaring their outrage.

But, the rest of you… the gays… Mike Jeffries is gay… what did you expect?

Jeffries made a fortune from Bruce Weber’s homoerotic (bordering on pedophilia) A&F ad campaigns and the gays kept their mouths firmly shut.

What did you think that Weimar Nazi imagery was all about?

Did you see those highly collectible A&F catalogues now owned by all my gay friends?

Who complained that there were no fat models, no wheelchair bound kids frolicking in Bear Pond?

Now that Mike Jeffries is old, his face scarred with reconstructive surgery his very common gay obsession with youth and beauty is suddenly in bad taste?

HUH?

Perhaps fat people should stop eating if they want to wear hideous A&F clothing.

As for the guy who gave the stuff to homeless people. WTF? Ha Ha Ha. Not funny or clever or LIBERAL.

7.

Why isn’t the LIBERACE movie being distributed in the USA?

Why can you see this movie in European cinemas and not here?

I am told that very powerful gays here in Hollywood scuppered it.

It was they who described it as ‘too gay’ (camp) and inappropriate for audiences in the USA who might think we were all like Liberace.

In this ghastly straight acting world… we don’t want straight people to get the wrong idea.

God forbid… sportsman might not want to come out of the closet and be heroes.

7.

Today, at Gjelina, we sat next to 3 good-looking, rich, straight Russian boys on vacation from Moscow.

We charmed them. They thought I was so funny and sweet.

As we left I drained the smile off my face. I touched one of them gently on the shoulder.

I said very seriously, “When you go home can you tell your President to stop killing the gays.”

They laughed. They thought I was joking. After all, I had three beautiful women friends for lunch.

“No, I mean it… it’s really got to stop and it’s up to you.”

They looked foolish and embarrassed and that was good because the last thing you need when you are a rich, white Russian on vacation in LA are liberals making fun of your country… your government and you.

Most gays wouldn’t have bothered. But that’s the way you change the world.

Let them know it’s not OK.

8.

The 14-year-old son of state Sen. Brian Hatfield has been charged with four counts of first-degree child rape and four counts of first-degree child molestation in Lewis County.

The boy is accused of assaulting an 11-year-old boy from November 2012 until Feb. 14 of this year, when the younger boy’s mother interrupted an incident.

According to the police report, the mother informed detectives Hatfield told her on several occasions that he was attempting to ‘enter his son into therapy’ and would also be contacting authorities in Lewis County.

The mother stated that she knows that this has ‘not occurred’.

Neither parent called authorities at that time of the alleged incident and the mother said she had not ‘witnessed any physical contact’ between the boys.

Her son informed her some contact had occurred, but the boy later told detectives he didn’t reveal the full extent of the ‘abuse’ at that time.

The two boys had no further contact after the February incident.

Was this the love affair I remember when I was 11?  

Is this pubescent messing around or… rape?

Homo sex demonized by frightened parents?

There’s something so wrong about this story and it’s not the sex.

8.

Marriage equality would not have saved Mark Carson’s short life.

The cloak of equality he may have worn later on in life was not his to wear.

Joining the army may have paid for his education… but would not have saved his life.

Marriage equality would not get him to the hospital in time.  It would not have paid the hospital bills if he had lived.

Marriage equality would not have stopped the deathly glances of those who disapprove or those who thought he might rob them because he was black.

I am praying that Mark Carson took the bullet intended for this old faggot.

Mark… I shed a tear for you today.

This is What Homophobia Looks Like

Beaten in London Walking Home

A dreamily beautiful day in NYC.  Mother’s Day at home in England.  My Mother’s sweet bf texted me so that I didn’t forget.

Met Ian for lunch.  Discussed press strategy for next month.   After lunch we walked the High Line which was such a treat.  We continued our afternoon in the West Village window shopping.  Marc Jacobs Men has moved which I found oddly disconcerting.

To tell you the truth I was less than great company.  Ian left me to my massage.   90$.   I sat in the steam room on my own sweating out the poison.  Maybe the Scientologists are right about the emotionally therapeutic effects of sweating.  I certainly felt less toxic after my stint in the steam.

I am being IRONIC about Scientology.

I had organized to meet Sean at 6pm but he was late so, thinking he had flaked, I started walking east.  He finally called as I was passing the O’Toole Building on 12th St near to where Joe and I lived when we lived in New York.

I have always liked that building.  It was designed by Albert C. Ledner in 1963.  Even though it now looks, from afar, terribly grubby…and from the street like something impregnable..it is a charismatic building up for demolition, that some are seeking to preserve.  Is it worth preserving?

In as much as it was one of the first buildings in the city to break with the Modernist mainstream it maybe deserves a second chance.  It is a significant work of architecture.

It was built to house the National Maritime Union, as the era of longshoremen and merchant sailors was nearing an end. Its glistening white facade and scalloped overhangs, boldly cantilevered over the lower floors, were meant to conjure an ocean voyage and a bright new face for the union.   Its glass brick base, once the site of union halls, suggests an urban aquarium.

Perhaps, as else where, the recession may end up saving this building if the West Village historical society doesn’t.

I digress.   I found myself standing on that corner at 7pm on a Sunday night.  After a few minutes everything around me just melted away.  The people, the cars…I found myself enjoying a rare moment of city silence.  Peace.

Sean arrived and we walked.

Dinner with Woodrow and Dan at Takihachi on Ave A.  I made a paper man out of the wrapper a straw comes in.   See above.

A cranberry and soda at that gay bar opposite.   I forgot the name.  Apparently Anderson Cooper’s boy friend owns it.  Or, is that an urban myth?  Anyhow, the experience was decidedly lackluster.  I looked at the vintage gay porn on the TV monitors and wondered why we play gay porn in gay bars.  Do we just want to remind ourselves why we are there, or…why we should be there?  The images of great gobs of cum shooting out of glistening penises seared into my brain all the way home.

Date night tonight.

Do you want to see something funny?

Don’t they look terrible on me?  Those severe glasses?

NYC November. Beautiful day. Breakfast here in Veselka the polish restaurant on 9th Street then apartment hunting. I hope I don’t bump into him. I really do. I don’t know what I would do. Not angry with Jake today. Being back here in the thick of my life but laying on a bed where we had once been. I am getting over this so damned slowly. I keep wondering how many lies he told me? Who is this guy Richard Brooks who writes to me? His friend?

I remember him telling me that he would hang around his old apartment at night looking up at the window. Wishing that he was inside. That was when I gave a fuck. Now his behaviour just seems creepy and weird. A lonely drunk on the corner of a windswept street looking up at the window of someone whose life he had effectively stolen.

How would he feel if I hung out on the corner of his street in Westchester? Ewww.

Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to live such a lie, so complete, so utterly avoidable. Then I remember that for a few years I did..when I changed my name.

What must it feel like to wake up on the eve of your thirties and know that your conflicted life until that point had not been lived at all. Avoiding ones nature. In opposition to ones own nature?

Part of me wonders if Jake and I shouldn’t attempt to say that kind goodbye I so badly wanted in August but he dashed..then..the questions I need answering (haunting) one can’t imagine he would answer truthfully. He is such a fucking liar.

Sometimes I wonder if we will ever forgive one another? If that is possible?

I am looking at places in Gramercy Park and both East and West Village. Two bedrooms so I can have people stay. I am going to have what I want.

I left LA early yesterday morning. Ashley drove me to the airport.

I arrived in NYC yesterday afternoon, made my way into town, walked the dog. Met a man from off-line. Joan and Joe picked me up at 7.30. We had dinner in the West Village at the Little Owl. Met Amelia at the opening (soft) of the Derby. It was very shrill in there. The whole place needs calming down. Amelia very disgruntled. Used to having an audience of adoring fans she stands there miserably belting out songs for noisy, unappreciative diners.

Walked home at 2am and stopped in at the Phoenix. Sat with a friend.

Life becomes immediately full when I get here. January 1st I will be here full-time.

East 10th St,  New York City 2010 again.  The little dog and I traversed the city (east/west) three times today.  It makes us very happy.  My feet hurt.  The little dog is curled up, fast asleep, beside me.   I flew out of LAX yesterday afternoon, arrived late at JFK and miserably stayed at the JFK Comfort Inn as amazingly could not find a single room in any hotel near to where I usually stay in NYC, in fact, there wasn’t a room anywhere in Manhattan less than $1, 800 a night.

The Comfort Inn is a bit of a misnomer as it isn’t very comfortable nor is it ’in’.   My room stank of old cigarettes and feet.  Even the little dog was suspicious of the bed and refused to get under the covers.  There was a $250 fine for smuggling animals into the rooms apparently.

Thank God we didn’t know.

When I arrived I was warned not to leave the hotel because it was dangerous.  Hmmm.

“Is this the hood?”  I asked innocently.

All week I received evocative, beautiful letters from Italy, descriptive, sexy and exciting.  I await his return with delicious anticipation.   I will be back in LA ready to be there fully for him.

It delights me!  Everyday I get his beautiful loving emails. All this comfort and joy from a man who loves me and is not ashamed to say the words: I LOVE YOU.  He is sure to tell me that he loves me, to make sure that I understand what this means.  That it means something.

I came to NYC to help celebrate the birthday of a man who said he didn’t have anything to do.  Now, apparently, he is sick and unable to leave his house so it looks like I am in NYC spending money needlessly.   Call me foolish, call me an idiot tell me that I shouldn’t have made the effort!   Remind me once again; wagging your fat pink finger at me ‘what did you expect?’.

The following morning I took the subway from The Comfort Inn into the West Village where I met J&J for lunch.   It seems that VH1 is very well watched by the residents of Queens as once on the Subway I was stared at, talked about and asked for autographs.  Once up on the Soho House roof we ate an emotional lunch due to my realizing that if my friend had known he was sick the morning I flew here why didn’t he just let me know?

So, there I am on the roof of Soho House telling my best friends that I am a fucking idiot and hating myself more than any one of you could ever hate me.

I was pleased to have two of my closest friends in town.  I couldn’t actually eat my lunch because I was so ‘emotional’ and a ‘drama queen’.    I am so sick of being treated like an idiot by a man who obviously has no respect for me and considers me some kind of sappy pushover.

Oh fuck it.  I can’t be bothered to work it out.  Anyway, he got what he wanted-I am now disengaged at a much deeper level than I was before.  Totally.  It is hard not to feel like I have been used.   Needless to say my gesture of friendly goodwill has massively backfired.  Some things are just not meant to be.

That all said of course, I am happy to be home in NYC and immediately lose weight pounding the streets.  It is wonderful to be back in the city.  Wonderful to have all those faces to gaze, everyone is so handsome.  Windows to stare into, the anticipation of rain, city life at my fingertips.

The little dog loves NYC and we were up at 5.30am in Tompkins Square Park where we saw a feral cat and NO RATS.   He fixated on squirrels and I on the vagaries of this mad and exotic city.

Back at home in the East Village now.  Dan and I are catching up.

Dinner at Prune last night, I ate the mussels in lobster broth.  Delicious.

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Roque couldn’t meet me in the morning so went for a brisk walk down the Bowery in the cold wind.  I walked to my barber on Rivington St but he and his wife have moved to LA.  That, as we say in England, is a ‘result’.

Dogs do not, initially, like cold wind but get used to it after a bit and scamper along happily.  The Little Dog has become very grumpy of late, he shouts at bicycles, motor bikes and skateboards and I am sad to say-the morbidly obese.

It would be easy for me to take issue with everything in the world just like the little dog but I really don’t have the energy.  Again, this is exactly why I don’t have a TV-it just irritates me.  This morning Dan had his TV bleating whilst I was trying to write and Michael Steele was boasting about how much money he had in the bank.  Why would the chairman of the Republican party be boasting about that?

One of the greatest lessons I have learned during the past few years from my elderly friend ‘Coach’ (79 years old) is how to deal with negativity.  He says, “Don’t take things personally, even when they’re meant personally.”   It’s great advice.  I am rarely rattled by personal insults or attacks and my belief in God keeps me safe from those who want me to know how much they disapprove of me or my lifestyle.

Hanging around the rooms of AA for many years has taught me so much.  Mostly how to grow old with dignity, to understand the rigors of getting old.  I used to fear infirmity but I am at peace with that too and whatever time may bring.  Old age will hopefully come to us all.  I know that many fear it-and they have every good reason.  We do not treat the elderly with any great respect.

My mother never allowed my Grandmother to go into a home and visited her every day until she died age 96.  Thank God for free health care as the poor woman spent the last 6 months of her life in hospital after a massive stroke.

Perhaps my mother would have made different decisions about my Grandmother’s life if she’d have had to think about how much keeping her own mother alive would cost.

If keeping my grandmother alive would have bankrupted my mother would she have pulled the plug?

Free health care, affordable education.   Human rights.   Not privileges.

The book deal that I came here to sign has been moved forward to Tuesday.

Lunch with Joan, Alexi and Dan at Café Cluny.  Lots of fun.  Bought a pair of shoes in the 70% off sale at Marc Jacobs.   The sales guy in the store was so beautiful I told him that he was breaking the law.  How can being that beautiful not be illegal?

Last night Dan and boyfriend Eric took me to an avant gard happening in the West Village that was, rather annoyingly, a pretentious load of old tosh.  We stayed for the first half and left.  Took a cab to Joe’s Pub where we met the gorgeous Lady Rizo.

Ate dinner with Lady Rizo and others at Bowery bar,  my burger was very poorly executed, then headed over to DUMBO to see her perform at Galapagos.  She really is a remarkable performer.

In bed by 2.30am.  A perfectly lovely evening.