It was sunny and beautiful and all the promise of a day sprinkled with rainbow gold. It was Pink Saturday 2010. The afternoon had the Castro District filling up early with celebrants while many were down at the festival at the San Francisco Civic Center grounds.
LGBT spirit and the big gay party of the year was on. My friends and I were enjoying a great time hanging out with both locals and visitors. The crowds filled into the Castro . Some people dressed in their pink best or in the most creative pink outfits on the planet.
We actually decided to join our wonderful friend, Ana Mae Coxxx, at Marlenas to watch her show and to get away from the craziness of the street party later in the evening when it got too crazy and crowded.
Everything was set for a wonderful, beautiful eventful day.
Then, my bff gets a message from the guy he is currently dating who said he was mad about a former boyfriend that came to talk to my bff. He basically left my bff for the evening over that…yes, can I say we just entered Jr. High again. So that should have been a sign.
Then when we headed to Marlenas . We walked a while to get a cab and then we were dropped off by the venue. As we were walking, I heard a rough female voice behind me say, ” I need these damn people to get out of my way” Then I got literally got shoved out of the way by this short obese woman who was followed by her timid man. She trailed away not hearing the few expletives that left my mouth.
The we went to get something to eat at Flippers next to Marlenas. Can I say that was the slowest and was one of the worst service I have ever received at a restaurant. We waited to even be acknowledged at the door by the wait staff for over 15 minutes. We were the only ones standing there! It was busy but not so busy for them to exhibit common customer courtesy.
Then we finally got to Marlenas. I was looking forward to it. Unlike some of my friends, I genuinely enjoy the show and really love watching the performances. Some of the performances are not really that great but some of them are simply stellar. As the show started, I was especially having fun as Georgie ( my other best friend) and I were really getting into the acts and dancing to the performances and just getting lost in having fun.
All of a sudden, this older man came by us and roughly shoved me and then Georgie out of the way and said he needed to make room for the performers. Now I have been there many times before and I stood at that same place . I have helped performers off the stage and I know when to clear the way. I actually moved up after thinking that he was just an old man and he just did not have any tack. Well he pushed me and even jabbed five other times even after I moved and I guess he did it to Georgie too. I even tried to move across the room but could not find a spot. That old man kept looking at Georgie and I with such disgust . I felt like he was racist.
I had it.
I grabbed my stuff and left. Chris and Georgie left also.
We walked all the way back to the Pink Saturday street event. The party was going on and I was still reeling from the Marlenas incident. I was trying to text my ex who was my roommate to get my bag from the car because I was planning to overnight with my friends. Chris met up with someone on the way and started talking to him. Georgie stayed close to me. I must have slowed down while texting because Chris shoved me from behind. Under normal circumstances it would not have been a big deal, but I had been shoved all night. I had to walked fast and to the front or I would have turned around and popped him one. I know his date left him but I could not handle someone shoving me either after all the shoving I had gotten already.
Georgie held onto me for a while. Then we went through the crowd and it seemed we all calmed down at that point and there was some joy of the night back with celebrants all around us. We met our friend Tony on the way.
Georgie decided to go to Tony’s place for a little while. Chris wanted me to stay with him in front of the Edge Bar. Chris was still out of sorts with his date issue. Then Javier and Joey showed up. Chris had some words with Joey. Long story. Joey walked away announcing he was going back to Santa Rosa.
Then one of the Pink Saturday Officials ( a Drag Queen dressed in nun attire) told us there had been a shooting and that we had to leave the area. Chris and Javier were talking. I started going into a panic inside. My ex contacted me on the phone and I walked away to hear him better. He told me he was on his way.
I went back and Chris looked at me and said, “I never want you to leave my sight again.” Then turned around and started speaking to people. I was standing there alone.
I did not know what happened. But something inside me really went panicky. I saw the ambulance and the sirens. I suddenly felt the that same fear that came into me when I had my near fatal car accident nearly two weeks ago and the loss of my dear Marsha in the same time period. I have been shoved around all through this night. Now there has been a shooting. There is no one around me. Even my best friend is in the corner talking to people.
I get a text from my ex. He tells me he is down the street. I text back. “I think I need to go home.”
I interrupted my best friend’s conversation just to let him know I am leaving. Of course he was mad and said something like, ” You have your reasons.” I thought, “I do. But you never asked me what those reasons were.” I walked away mouthing something.
I found the car and Gary. I felt safe.
I was soon in my bed. There was a message on IM. It came from a continent far away. I went to bed with a smile.