“Beautiful Life”

The mid 90’s were the best time to live in The Gayborhood. Rents were still affordable for artists and there was a burgeoning activist movement that created an excitement on Walnut Street. I managed to snag a killer apartment with dirt cheap rent at 12th Street and there was a constant flow of artists, activists and all around general freak-a-zoids. Ross and I spent a lot of time drinking chocolate milkshakes at the now bulldozed Savoy Restaurant, home to the sassiest wait staff, featuring Luanne and Rita. Sticky humid Summer nights often included “stooping” on various corners with street walkers, underage queer kids and those who admire them, sometimes those admirers cruising by in their late 70s era Lincoln Town Cars, drivers leering out the window at the nubile flesh and enticing them with invitations. Mostly, we partied late into the night enjoying our community of misfits and the pre-gentrified 13th Street corridor. At any minute, word could spread about an action taking place at City Hall to fight for Domestic Partnership Rights or perhaps you might receive an invitation to attend a seminar for an Inter Faith Working Group at The Unitarian Church. In 1995, Grassroot Queers held the first Drag King Contest in October and helped spurn an equality movement quite visible today. While fighting injustice, we made our feelings known and managed to laugh through our tears. It was the worst of times, it was the best of times, it was a time of empowerment.