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Houston Voice, April 29, 2005
File 011
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Houston Voice, April 29, 2005 - File 011. 2005-04-29. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3005/show/2990.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2005-04-29). Houston Voice, April 29, 2005 - File 011. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3005/show/2990

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, April 29, 2005 - File 011, 2005-04-29, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3005/show/2990.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, April 29, 2005
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date April 29, 2005
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript EDITORIAL & PRODUCHON Executive Editor CHRIS CRAIN EdKor BINNIE FISHER Correspondents BRYAN ANDERTON. DYANA BAG8Y, LOU CHIBBARO, JR., JOE CREA, MUBARAK DAHIR. LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN. MIKE FLEMING, MATTHEW HENNIE, JOHNNY HOOKS, PHILLAPADULA, RYAN LEE, BRIAN MOY- LAN, KEVIN NAFF. YUSEFNAJAFI, KEN SAIN, RHONDA SMITH, STEVE WEINSTEIN. ANDYZEFFER Cwitntxitors DON MAINES, DAWN RORIE, ELLA TYLER. SHANA NICHOLSON. JA CHAPMAN, RICH ARENSCHIELDT AND ANAS BEN-MUSA Ptotograplim DALTON DEHART, KIMBERLY THOMPSON Production Manager JAMES NEAL Webmaster ARAM VARTIAN SALES COADMINISTRATION General Manager JASON WILSON jwilson a houstonvoice.com Classifier! Sales / Office Administrator JOHNNY HOOKS - jhooksffhoustonvoicecom National Advertising Representative Rivendell Media-212-242-6863 n \ Window M«di» Publisher- WINDOW MEDIA LLC President- WILLIAM WAYBOURN Editorial Director-CHRIS CRAIN Corporate Controller- BARNETTE HOLSTON Art Director- ROB BOEGER Director of Operations- MIKE KITCHENS Director of Sales- STEVEN GUERRINI Director of Classified Sales- NATHAN REGAN Marketing Manager - RON ROMANSKI ihechamber CHARTER MEMBER Established 1974 as the Montrose Star. 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77006 (713) 529-8490 Fax:(713)529-9531 www.houstonvoice.com Office hours: 9 am.-530 p.m. weekdays To submit a letter Letters should be fewer than 400 words. We reserve the right- to edit for content and length. We will withhold names upon request but you must include your name and phone number for verification. Please send mail to Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77006 fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to ecHirahc-ustonvcice-corn. Opinions expressed therein do not reflect those of the Houston Voice. All material in Houston Voice is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent ot Houston Voice. The sexual orientation ■ers. writers and cartoonists er interred or implied. The * pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. Houston Voice accepts unsolicited editorial material but cannot take responsibility for its return. The edrtor reserves the nght to accept refect or edit any submission All rights revert to authors upon publication. GwdHmes for freelance cortnbutors are jvanable upon retjuest Forum HOUSTON VOICE APRIL 29, 2005 PACE 10 editorial Denial River runs deep A circuit party incident shows just how rampant drugs aw among gay men — and just how indifferent we seem to have become when people fall out from them. By MUBARAK DAHIR T'S A PICTURE-PERFECT Saturday afternoon on South Beach the first weekend in March. There isn't a single cloud in the azure blue sky This particular weekend, hordes of gay men have come to South Beach for Winter Party. At the Surfcomber Hotel, the site of this year's pool party, hundreds of handsome men in seductive swimwear are hanging out by the pool, bumping and grinding on the makeshift dance floor, parading their rippled abs and bulging biceps. I'm standing with a friend soaking up the sea of flesh when our attention turns to a particularly muscular man with a hairy chest who's wearing a red ball cap. He's absolutely stunning, but it's not his body that grabs our attention. It's his inability to walk without stumbling. "He's really screwed up," my friend comments. "From the look on his face, it's probably tina," he says, though the man might just as easily be high on any number of "designer" drugs, such as G or K. A Winter Party volunteer, wearing the signature pink T-shirt that helps them stands out in the crowd, approaches the unsteady man and asks if he needs help. I overhear his friends dismiss the inquiry. "It's OK." they say 'We're his "friends." Minutes later, there is a commotion in the packed crowd. The muscular man in the red ball cap has collapsed. His apparently unconscious body is slumped, limp in a white plastic pool chair. Four pink-shirted volunteers have surrounded him now One of them has two fingers on an artery in the muscleman's neck, as if she is checking whether or not he has a pulse. A band of volunteers heaves the chair up, and together they carry the unconscious man away. As they push through the crowd, the woman keeps her two fingers on the man's neck, and his pulse. The crowd hardly pauses, barely seeming to notice that someone has been carried past them. The dance beat cranks, and the bodies continue to gyrate. IT'S NO SECRET THAT DRUG USE, particularly crystal meth, is rampant at circuit parties all around the country When I mention the pool party episode to my gay friends, and comment I may want to write about it, the response is almost universal: Big surprise, stop the presses. And the drug and crystal problem is hardly limited to circuit parties. It's all around us, on a daily basis, and it is wrecking gay men's lives every day — financially physically and emotionally. But what strikes me most, perhaps, is the nonchalance surrounding the issue. It's become so routine, many gay men don't even seem to notice it, or perhaps they just don't pay attention to it anymore. Obviously, the drug use and crystal problem involves a serious issue of personal responsibility. But I can't help but think that there must also be a collective consciousness to this problem, if we as gay men — as a group of people who have staked the claim that we are connected to one another in some sort of bond that forms a community — hope to beat it. In the early years of AIDS, gay activists combed the streets and the bars and the bathhouses, armed with condoms and safer sex fliers, gently reminding other gay men that all our lives were at stake. In our newspapers and our magazines, at our offices and in private homes, people were talking to each other about the risks and perils of unsafe sex, and the need we all had to help each other stay as safe as we could. It didn't save everyone from HIV, or replace the personal decision-making at the moment of truth. But there was, at least, a recognition that we were all in this together, and that we needed to hold each other's hands, literally and figuratively, because even with the best intentions, we are all human, and we all slip up sometimes. To some degree, aren't we all supposed to watch out for each other? Particularly in places like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, or the Castro or Chelsea or Provincetown, or any of the other gay ghettos where we've congregated by the droves to create our own little gay Meccas, our insular, protected, safe spaces where we can fashion the kind of world we think is better than the places we came from. Aren't these places, at least — the places where we've worked so hard to make being gay so easy — supposed to come with something more than crowded bars and naked pool parties? Or have we created places where we are so callous to each other that we no longer notice, or care, if our community is partying itself to death? After the pool party, much later that evening, I get a poignant reminder about why, as gay men, we need to care about and care for our own. THE NEXT DAY, SUNDAY, MARCH 6,1 am at Winter Party's beach party, right on the gay beach at 12th street. The enormous swarm of muscled men dwarfs even the crowd at the previous day's pool party. It's another bright, hot Florida afternoon, and everyone seems to be hanging out shirtless and in sunglasses. I have my camera in my hand, and I'm taking pictures to publish in the gay newspaper that I edit in Fort Lauderdale. It's something 1 do frequently at such events, and I understand that different people have various comfort levels with their face being shown in a gay publication. Initially, I assume that is why so many people decline to remove their sunglasses when they agree to have their picture taken. Then I ask a smooth young Latin man in white pants and a sailor's hat to pose, and he gladly agrees. Lean and well-defined, he looks adorable in his little outfit on the beach. But he would look so much cuter without the dark sunglasses that hide too much of his face. I ask him to remove them, and he emphatically shakes his head no. "I can't show my eyes," he tells me. "They're a mess." Soon after, I come across the muscled man in the red ball cap from the pool party the day before, the one who had been carried away in the chair. He, too, is wearing sunglasses. Mubarak Dahir is " editor of the Express Gay "News and can be reached at mdahir@express- gaynews.com READER FEEDBACK: Send letters, comments and suggestions to forum@houstonvoice.com.
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