the 1970's were a tumultous decade for many gay people. stonewall had ushered in the birth of new energy all over the states. it had become imperative to come out and to be seen as gay.
1974 was a very tumultuous year for me. i was in my 2nd year of my 2nd year of high school (didn't attend much of the 1st try) and i was a loose cannon. i had been sexually active for years already, but my hormones had gone haywire. i could barely be in my skin at any time of day or night. i had already been getting high pretty regularly.
i was living in the chicago suburbs and had been going traveling on amtrak to hang out a gay bathhouse in andersonville (man's country) once or twice a month. i had even hung out at the bistro, the annex, and pq's. impressive because i had only been 15.
my mother had been in an unsuccessful relationship. she had been drinking heavily and was moody and depressed a lot. naturally, i felt it was my fault, as i was a darling narcissist. so on my 16th birthday, i left home and moved in an apartment with a puerto rican drag queen named danee'. she was doing shows around the smaller clubs, like carol's speakesy broadway, and then on halsted.
but before i moved out, i attended my very 1st gay pride parade in chicago in the summer of 1974. life was all so astounding for me at that point. i remember the revelry, and i remember the camaraderie. i felt i truly had found home. i didn't stand out as the only sissy. the only queer. i didn't stand out much at all- (a different kind of trauma to be discerned much later on).
the journey that unfolded from that point had more circuitous nuances than i could have imagined. but at least i didn't have to feel as alone i had in my life thus far. happy pride weekend! pride and 1974 are two of the best things that ever happened to me...