Vacation successes (in and around the USA)

Victoria, Canada Winnipeg, Canada Seattle, Washington Olympia, Washington Portland, Oregon Devil's Tower Denver, Colorado San Francisco, California Las Vegas, Nevada Santa Cruz, California Monterey, California The Grand Canyon, Arizona Lindsborg, Kansas Minneapolis, Minnesota St. Paul, Minnesota Stillwater, Minnesota Quad Cities, Iowa/ Illinois Atlanta, Georgia New Orleans, Lousiana The Florida Keys, Florida New York City, New York Provincetown, Massachusetts Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Atlanta, Georgia
Devil's Tower
Portland, Oregon
Winnipeg, Canada
Las Vegas, Nevada
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York City, New York
Stillwater, Minnesota
Seattle, Washington
St. Paul, Minnesota
The Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Florida Keys, Florida
Lindsborg, Kansas
Victoria, Canada
Olympia, Washington
Monterey, California
Quad Cities, Iowa/Illnois
Santa Cruz, California
San Francisco, California
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Provincetown, Massachusettes

Battletech at Chicago's North Pier

Walking in Atlanta in the rain/ drinks at the top of the tower

Devil's Tower

Portland's outdoor mall

The jugglers going up to Winnipeg

Boystown (Boylston Ave.) in Chicago with Beth

"Explore Central Illinois" with Beth

Las Vegas with Rob Voight

New Orleans

NY Broadway theater

Antiques in Stillwater

Seattle: Breakfast in Black Diamond, Washington

Seattle: Chateau St. Michelle

Seattle: Spag's

Seattle: Scottish festival in the shade on Mt. Charleston

Staying at the St. Paul condo

The Grand Canyon

Arizona's Meteor Crater

NE Arizona and Nevada wastelands (painted desert, too)

The Florida Keys

Lindsborg, Kansas

Victoria (especially Butchart Gardens)

Oysters in Olympia, Washington

Monterey with my parents

My first crown tournament in the Quad Cities

Santa Cruz pier with Rick Howard

San Francisco

Holidazzle on Nicolette Mall

Provincetown, Massachusetts

And what strange things to see! My favorite memory is seating a cheap slice of pizza outside of "Spiritus Pizza", where enormous crowds gather outside the sidewalk to see and be seen. Very soon, along came the famous "Hat Sisters" with their friends, driving a convertible onto the sidewalk. The radio started blaring a vocal number, and the couple in the back stood up and starting lip synching, while the Sister up front held a spotlight plugged into the cigarette lighter socket. Instant theater! After the number finished, the car merged with traffic, only to round the block and do another number. Now, where in the world could you see something like that?

Sure, there's trouble in paradise: hotels were expensive, crowds were immense, and some of the drag shows at night seems to be solely for the entertainment of the straight crowds who seemed to be laughing at us and not with us. Gay culture itself seems to be splintering (and it could be argued that it was never very "cultured" in the first place) with homosexuals meeting in private trysts on the Internet rather than trying form any sort of coherent community. I hear the town absolutely dies in the winter, full of underemployed fishermen and boarded-up closed shops. Circuit parties have brought back a dangerous side to gay life, with unsafe sex, and way too many drugs. In a world where gay people are so many things besides cute party boys, I wonder if Provincetown is kind of a 70's anomaly, a backward vision of what it means to be gay in the US. Maybe it would be a good thing if the gay people went elsewhere for their vacations, and turned Ptown into just another art colony tourist stop for the affluent Nantucket crowds.

But as my ex-boyfriend Mike asked me, "Why do people have to ruin things? Can't there be at least one town in the US that's totally gay?" He has a point. I don't really mind if Provincetown is kept as a sort of gay amusement park, frozen in touristy decadence. I never expected it to have a sustainable local economy aside from tourism anyway. And, as much as I'd love every town in America to become more gay-friendly and to see gay-oriented shopping even in small towns in the country, there's something to be said for walling off Provincetown and keeping it separate and special. It was the first gay resort, and the biggest, and even if it goes the way of Key West and the trendy straight people take over, I hope there will always be a place for the Hat Sisters and their convertible.