Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Pride 2016

Here are my two favorite pictures from yesterday's march! These pictures speak a thousand words!....and here is Inner Life's "Make It Last Forever" Enjoy

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Love Orchestra: Let'Em Dance: We Are Orlando

Just came back from doing some travels and haven't had a chance to post here.  Lots of crazy and tragic events have happened since the last post.  I must say it has been very hard and sad to process and come to terms with the events of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.  

Pulse is a place all too familiar, where one goes to live and celebrate life.

A  place to  escape from the norm, negativity and a judgmental society that has a long way to go. 

A  loving and inclusive place were queer culture goes to create "other spaces", to experiment,  a space of dance,  joy and catharsis.   A place where feeling free and liberated is a ritual. Yes, a type church! 

 A place that is usually dark and smoky, lonely, desperate, sad, fleeting, superficial, instant, predictable and temporary yet full of vigor, possibilities, authenticity and love.    

 A place of acceptance where you meet amazing people, lovers,  people to form lasting friendships and bonds creating unique families.  

A place where you create memories, happy and sad. 

A place where self expression, glamour and even the tragic and ridiculousness of life is celebrated.  

A place where the music only stops when a fabulous drag queen going full out, entertaining you with love and magic or when you hear last call for alcohol or when the lights dim with the music as the sun sets.

As a young gay man living in south Louisiana during the repressive '80s and early '90s,  these places were and still are vital, a life blood, a breathing space of self-acceptance and inclusiveness were you felt free and safe!  

How tragic and sad that in a place like this, 49 beautiful lives were robbed by a hateful, self-loathing, evil, violent and unhappy lost soul. 

 My love goes out to the victims, their lovers, friends and family. We are Orlando! Love is love is love is love!

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

Here is a tune by Love Orchestra from their beautiful LP "Let'Em Dance!" Let them all dance in the

 And on a personal note let me indulge here with a list of some of my favorite places,  "The Pulses" that in many ways, shaped me who I am today.   The places where I encountered love, romance, heartbreak, lasting friendships, self-discovery and creativity.   And yes, including wild nights of drink, dance, abandon, decadence, glamour, drama, exhilaration and fun! But most of all,  these where the spaces where I fell in love with the magic and communal energy of the dance floor with its flickering lights and reflecting mirror balls uniting us with the love of music making the soundtrack of our lives while dancing and singing along to the dance music coming from the DJ booths with it's camp, drama and hard pounding beats of the times. 

In no particular order, these were the places I frequented spanning a decade from 1984-1994 before I moved to the big apple, some are gone, some are missing, some are still here:

Xanthus, Banton Rouge
Chaps, New Orleans
Opinions, Baton Rouge
The Parade/Bourbon Pub, New Orleans
La Boucherie, New Orleans
Street Talk, Lafayette
George's, Baton Rouge
Lautrec's, Lafayette
Cafe Lafitte In Exile, New Orleans
Oz, New Orleans
The Phoenix, New Orleans
The Monster, New Orleans
Good Friends, New Orleans
Rawhide, New Orleans