Friday, June 10, 2011

Purple Lenses in View

TGIF! Or so to speak. Perhaps that should read, "Thank God for another Friday," with all the breaking news, updates, views, observations and opinions that have burst forth from this forum. No need to yield, just put the metal the peddle and keep pressing on. Come with me..

Gay Pride Week Arrives

Next week the local watering holes have stepped to the plate to offer their vision or interpretation of Gay Pride Week activities for patrons and visitors alike. In case you were unaware or for reason didn't know that next week is pride week, I want to make the connection that their is much more to this celebration than boxer, boots and beer. Enter The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Yes there is such a website and it offers a wealth of knowledge including, that's right Gay History in this state. I highly suggest that you take a gander at  to get a refresher or maybe a clue on what this pride stuff is all about and why its annually celebrated. Now, if you have tuned into this forum, you get a sense that there is a "cerebral" bent to my existence even though I've been known to like to have bawdy good old time. I'm not always the life of the party but I do like being somewhere near folks throwing down. But then there's the side of me that also enjoys a little heady stuff, therefore at this posting the pride week appears to null and void for us needing more serious fare. I remember years ago being told by GPW committee folks that "we just want to have fun and not think about anything serious." Apparently, that mindset still prevails today as "girls just want to have fun," and not be too serious about what's going on around them. I realize that the "serious"stuff such the fact that there's no actual functioning Pride organization or that many of other GLBTQ focused entities have wish list including volunteers, in-kind gifts and ultimately, cash. I know that none of that is as sexy as standing around signing ugly boxers or playing cowboys and Indians, however, when is it time to get serious and start trying to making societal a difference. For myself, I try to make it a daily pursuit either by outreaching to you in this forum, networking among activist and advocates, empowering someone with information or staying engaged with subjects and topics that not only effect myself, but my community. Ted Danson said in a recent NPR interview concerning his save the ocean campaign, "take 10 minutes out of your day to make a difference." Is it that simple, believe it or not it is. What can you do in ten minutes? You can make donation to one of the local entities such as The Living Affected Corp in their efforts to offer more HIV/AIDS services, call an old friend who you haven't heard from in a while, sign an online petition or share your thoughts with us.  As we celebrate another Pride, can I ask you to take a moment to really ponder the thought "what have I done today to be really proud of?" Be safe, Be merry and Be Thoughtful. 

Pageantry MIA

With pride week getting ready to step off with its Pride Mr & Miss contest June 12 at Pulse, Miss Arkansas Review show slated for June 11 in Hot Springs and later the Miss & Mr. Red Ribbon contest June 18, I've noticed that the local pageant circuit has begun its four decades old season by being thumped with a lack of contestants and what appears to be an even less than enthusiastic public from the quips and comebacks that I'm hearing. What's driving this situation? Is prize package, don't think so, according to the MGA website its valued at over $3,000 including some designer jewelry. Is it lack of sponsors, well it's every guy for himself on this one and there's still folks out there willing to help out. Is the economy, could be but that's a hard one to really call except for the fact that being a "diva with a crown" will set you back a few Benjamin's and then some. So what is it? If I had to finger it, maybe this business model is slowly running out of steam due to many factors. Those who participate discover that "all that glitter isn't gold" once they assume these titles and responsibilities, especially when it comes to scheduling, rehearsing, traveling, costuming and all the associated cash outlay that it takes to make being "Miss or Mr." whatever. One former contestant who has participated in at least two outings told me that he had coughed up almost $3,000 for the experience only to placed marginally. He stated," although I like and appreciate the art form, I can not continue to afford putting out that kind of money." Another former hopeful stated, "I tried it and may try again, but putting together the type of package that you need is almost too much. Its a lot of work to get it all together and not win." In hindsight it's been about 10 months since the last Miss Arkansas America pageant and I don't recall seeing the current title holder out and about. I know that its a late night show game for the most part, but you would think that at some point in my own travels I would've run across him. Nevertheless, the system will roll out it's 40th year of preliminaries with hopes, high hopes I'm sure for entry fee paying participants and a waiting audience. We'll keep you posted.  Go get em, boys and good luck!

No comments: