Sep 16, 2007 10:10 PM GMT
Living in San Francisco for 5 years was an interesting experience - this isn't meant badly to anyone who lives there since I still consider it to be a second home, but this is just food for thought and something that needs to be addressed.
As a Texan who moved there to sell medicine, I found it odd how many people talked about San Francisco being "liberal". As an outsider, what I saw were a bunch of people who chose to live in segregated neighborhoods after screaming for years that society should integrate and accept them. huh??? I was confused.
The Castro for the gays, Noe Valley for the lesbians, Chinatown for the Chinese (oh, and don't forget the Sunset district), the Marina for the yuppies, Mission for the Mexicans and Latinos, Little Italy for the Europeans, etc etc I mean, is that what liberal was supposed to be about? It confused me. And yes, there is a Japantown too.
When I would walk the streets of the Castro, I wasn't welcomed there. I got some weird stares at times and a few under the breath not-so-nice comments. I know I'm tall, but it wasn't my height. It was an appearance thing. I looked, well, conservative, and on a number of occasions, with my drug bag in tote, I was snickered at by 'leather daddies' or muscle-ripped boys standing around doing nothing with their Starbucks in hand (slow afternoon boys??), and told to go back to my own neighborhood. And where was my neighborhood? Did I not belong in a city of liberals, too?
I didn't find San Francisco to be liberal. I found it to be a very intolerant place where people expect you to look a certain way - and if you didn't, you weren't accepted....if you were in the "wrong" neighborhood.
The same can be said of other cities and the gay community in general (what's up, Dallas?!). We're not accepting of others unless they're ripped or have a 6 pack....or better yet, a 12 pack. They better wear Calvins and a closet full of A & F if this is going anywhere.
What happened along the way that the people who screamed the most for tolerance and open mindedness are now the ones most guilty of being judgmental and condescending based on nothing more than shallow appearances and skin-deep attraction?!
Interstingly enough, I found San Francisco to be just as guilty as radical Right Wing conservatives. Both believe they are doing the right thing for society, but that is ONLY to the extent YOU go along with THEIR agenda. So I didn't dress in leather or chains, and I never wore a piss gag (well, in public). But because I "looked" conservative, I was not accepted fully for who I was, but rather as people assumed I was - a Bush loving, war mongering, poor people hating rightwinger.
I thought, and still think, that liberals are just as off base as conservatives. If you don't go along with their agenda the way they believe you should be, you are not accepted - which is the antithesis of being open minded and tolerant.
I'll never forget the mass "shit-ins". No, not "sit-ins"......."shit-ins". Mass defications in protest of Bush and the war. Oh, yes, they do it, to make a point. Crapping on your own sidewalks always makes a wonderful point of just how right you must be (idiots). When in doubt, crap in the streets and piss off the tourists!
I am glad I have done what I have done. I'm not picking on San Francisco, it's happened to me before in NY too. Yeah, got kicked out of line at Twilo one night cause I was told by the doorman "Um, it's gay night, honey" and showed the curb. "Um, yeah, well, I am gay" I said......another story......
I am happy to report that regardless of the intolerance from the gay community as well as other cities across this intolerant nation of ours, I did keep my piss gag.