My Uncle the Lesbian

Happy Gay Pride Day!

You know, my boss thinks y'all don't want to constantly be hearing about my family and friends. While I'm pretty sure you do, he's the one who keeps me in my fabulous Snoop Town lifestyle, so I generally bow to his gentle decrees, except when I don't. I think in this instance, though, he'd be entirely too happy to have me air my family's lingerie.

My universally beloved Uncle Johnny has decided, at the tender age of 56 or so, to stop denying his true essence to others and himself and . . . become a woman. He hasn't yet committed himself to the actual operation—it's very violent, after all—but he'll begin the hormone treatments in August, which will raise the pitch of his voice and shift his fat cells around to form lovely, womanly breasts and hips. He's also easing into appearing as a woman in public. So far, it's pretty much on a case-by-case basis: Brunch in Hermosa Beach on Mother's Day? He's Uncle Johnny. Drinks and Thai food in the LBC's gaytto? Meet Annemarie. You'll be seeing her a lot in the future. While I know I shouldn't be hung up on status and appearances, I can't help it. God, my family just got even cooler.

The main question on my mind—and one I didn't bring up right away because he's, like, my uncle and stuff—was whether as a woman he would be straight or a lesbian. And that's up in the air, too. He's still attracted to women, but with something as seemingly immutable as his gender mutating its way straight up to San Francisco, nothing is really static anymore. Maybe.

But enough about us!

Sunday's Gay Pride Parade through the mean streets of the really nice part of Long Beach was so beautiful a thing it made my teeth ache.

In the crowd lined up along the Ocean Avenue curb, there was overwhelming love for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays(PFLAG). One young guy marching with the group of old (and mostly fashion-impaired) folks held a sign high that read, "I'm Proud of My Straight Mom." I was proud of his straight mom, too.

It's always a party at Gay Peter's place: his oceanfront apartment was home base for a motley crew of overweeningly straight people chasing down his bitchen chile soufflé with champagne and fresh croissants. Gay Peter always knows how to throw a party.

But there was a little too much love at Gay Peter's, what with all that delightful grub and people we like there. Making the scene were such LBCelebs as Dan and Roberto Lo Fi Champion; my homegirl Arrissia and her new bloke, Nic; various and sundry celeberrific waitresses and stylists; and, of course, Mention and Ruby Diver's Handsome, Handsome Erik. Seeing as how everybody was being friendly and nice, Arrissia and I decided to head down the block to where the Bible-thumping was being perpetrated. Now, I am all for Bible-thumping—especially by Jehovah's Witnesses. It really touches me that they truly want to save my soul. But the anti-gay Bible-thumpers tend to be a different breed, gettin' all up in people's shit and shit. Plus, they're kind of boring. And on this particular day, the guy on the bullhorn just wasn't very pithy: the best he came up with was, "You are stupid!" We stood right in front of their taped-off protest area and chatted with the mustachioed (straight) cop who was rolling his eyes at the hellmongers. Then we shouted and clapped real loud for everybody who marched by, which was an awful lot of people.

The superbutch chick Long Beach cops who marched through followed by patrol cars sporting rainbow flags were a particular crowd favorite. Even McGruff the Crime Dog was in on the act—I think. I couldn't really see him past the hunky gay cop driving the car, so it could have been just your garden variety big, gay, crime-fighting dog. Then there were the gay Disney employees, who did a fabulous gay dance through the entire route, their shiny teeth surely Vaselined.

But it was the Dykes on Bikes—hundreds of them screaming up the street, some on Japanese crotch rockets but most on good-ol'-fashioned Harleys—who made me wish I was a lesbian and not afraid of motorcycles. Then I would be even cooler.

Unfortunately, some of Long Beach's City Council members got heckled by some people who weren't very respectful. As Mayor Beverly O'Neill drove by and pretended to ignore us, Dan Lo Fi Champion shouted at her (in what is pretty much his normal speaking voice), "YOU SHUT DOWN THE LAVA LOUNGE." As Councilman Frank Colonna drove by, we just wagged our fingers and frowned.

Long Beach's Grunion Gazette broke the story last week that Colonna—who has been siccing the law on promoters Mark and Maralyn diPiazza until the fabulous Lava Lounge was forced to announce it will be closing on June 16—is, in fact, the real-estate broker representing the Long Beach Unified School District. And guess where the LBUSD wants to put a new junior high? No, really. Guess.

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