by Carlotta Gurl
VANCOUVER – Hello, wonderful people, and welcome back to the inner sanctum of Carlotta’s crazy mindscape, a place where many have entered, but only few have left.
I find myself marveling at the incredibly vast and wildly colourful stories of our gay history lately. Whenever I get the chance I try to impart some small measure of wisdom from the things I have learned while spending a large part of my life living in Vancouver and being involved in gay culture since the early ‘90s. I see many young people today coming into the scene with very little understanding of the trials and tribulations people had to go through to make it okay to be gay in society today. To understand oneself it is also important to know where we came from, and what it took to get us here.
I had the great fortune of being involved in a groundbreaking made-for-TV miniseries recently that focused on the start of the gay rights movements from the early ‘70s and through all the eras leading up to today. It’s called When We Rise and is a production from acclaimed directors Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant. I would advise everyone, especially our younger gay culture, to view this series in its entirety. It takes us from the early days in San Francisco with pioneers in the gay rights movement such as Cleve Jones and Harvey Milk, all the way through the ‘80s showing how AIDS affected everyone and took away so many loved ones at the time. It continues on up till today and shows how hard it was to achieve strides in equality and to finally see the legalization of gay marriage. I hope everyone has a chance to see this amazing miniseries and to learn much from it.
I would also encourage our gay youth to take advantage of the many sources of information in our community. If you get a chance, take the opportunity to sit with an older gay person and strike up a conversation; you never know what you’ll learn by being willing to listen. God knows I bend enough ears when I’m out and about partying in the community after a few drinks. Oh wait, that may not be the best example. Anywho, that ends my somewhat educational diatribe on the importance of knowing gay history for this month. Until next time, dahlings, be good to each other and live life to the fullest… Now let’s go for a cocktail. Loving u all.Carlotta Gurl