We are in the middle of Pride. It culminates on Saturday with the parade and festival, and a bunch of parties, because if The Gays™ know one thing, it’s how to throw a bitchin’ party. Stereotypes! Pride is an inclusive, safe thing. You can be who you need to be, who you want to be, who you just ARE, and you are safe, and you are loved. It’s fucking goddam beautiful and you’re a fucking small-minded simpleton if you don’t get that.
I think it’s weird that people get so judgy about other people’s choices. We ALL have stuff, right. For instance, take the following as a big gay allegory, if you will: I like sandwiches, but I don’t like what sandwich culture has become. Get your fucking aioli and your shitty roasted red peppers and your soggy applewood bacon and your fucking artisan artichoke spread off my fucking sandwich. I'm not paying you $14 for it. Also, I’m legit allergic to The Condiment of The Gods (cheese), so please don’t touch my deli meats with that slab of delicious-looking-but-also-deadly Muenster, because I have a date tomorrow and I won’t go if my face looks like I’ve been lying face down in a bed of poison oak for three weeks. I’m a purist, I just want my deli meat, my bread and the traditional condiments - mustard, lettuce, tomato and MAYBE onions, but only if you’ve soaked them for a few minutes in vinegar or salt water because HOW HAS EVERYONE NOT FIGURED OUT THAT RAW ONIONS NEED SOAKING BEFORE YOU EAT THEM EVERY CONTESTANT EVER ON FUCKING “CHOPPED.”
This is going somewhere, I swear.
So anyway, because I’m allergic to eggs (mayo) and dairy (cheese) I have to avoid most pre-made sandwiches. It sucks and makes lunchtime real goddam annoying if I forget to bring my lunch. THIS, my friends, has given rise to what I like to call Car Sandwich. It’s exactly what it sounds like. I buy some meat, I buy a roll, I grab some mustard packets and napkins and then because I work all the time and never have time to eat, I fucking assemble that shit in my car and eat it while I drive back to work. This can all be accomplished within 20 minutes, which is typically how much time I have to eat lunch, and just enough time to hate everything all the time and everywhere because life has become generally overwhelming and untenable.
So recently, because Car Sandwich is still a thing in my life, I was in the parking lot at Whole Foods assembling my $4 worth of items into a sandwich because Fuck You Whole Foods And Your $11 Sandwiches, and I looked up for a second and made eye contact with a man who was watching me do it. THE DISDAIN IN THIS MAN’S EYES! That boy was JUDGING me, hard. I mean, I guess... I get it, sort of? Is Car Sandwich the most sanitary thing? No, of course not, but my microbiome will take care of me in that regard, so no worries. Is it terribly polite and civilized? No. But I’m not generally that, either. Is it what i need to do to deal with days that I forget to make and bring my lunch to work because I’m so fucking weighed down by the crushing, constant work that is my life and sometimes I JUST WANT TO GO TO BED AND GET A FEW HOURS OF FUCKING SLEEP SO GIMME A FUCKING BREAK FOR ONCE WHY DON’T YOU MAKE ME LUNCH IF YOU CARE SO MUCH? Yes, it is. I mean, this is all probably compounded by the car I drive, which is a significantly dented up ‘99 Toyota Corrolla, it’s a piece of shit, I’m a piece of shit, I eat sandwiches in my fucking car, just get over it, guy.
Because it doesn’t fucking affect you, is the thing, Pretentious Judging Man.
It just doesn’t affect you. I’m sorry, no, it doesn’t. “Making sandwiches should be done in the kitchen, and in the kitchen only!” Uh, ok, have you ever been camping, douchebag? “What will I tell my kids about why you’re making sandwiches in the parking lot?” Shit, I don’t know, maybe make it into a fun creative thing and challenge your kids to come up with the most creative reason they can think of - daddy, she’s about to go on a mission to Mars and forgot to bring a sandwich so that Martians can taste earth food, so she’s packing one before she leaves! Kids are fucking epic like that, they are interesting and open minded until you shut them down with your shitty old person judgments. “I just don’t want to have to see people making sandwiches in the parking lot, it makes me uncomfortable.” Ok, well that’s actually a big opportunity for YOU; does it make you uncomfortable that I’m poor? Does it make you uncomfortable that I’m touching my food with my hands like the big, wild, powerful, mysterious, animalistic, dirty dirty dirty witch that I am? Why? That’s YOUR problem, not mine. I am not responsible for your emotions. You figure it out.
Figure it out.
Anyway, here’s what I recommend in honor of this sad holiday that has been miraculously turned into something joyous. Be brave. Face your demons, face your shadows. Embrace and honor the deep mystery inside of you, the things you don’t recognize. Stare into the dark parts, see what you can find there. Feel the things that are sometimes too scary to feel, too real, too much. Know that you’re safe, you’re loved. Cherish all the times you’ve fucked up, the times you’ve withheld compassion, the times you were not impeccable with your word, the times that you judged others harshly, the times you’ve judged yourself harshly. Look plainly, in full light at what true loving empathy means to you. Put yourself in the shoes of the judged. Know that you’re safe, you’re loved. Examine those moments, know that you know how to do better. Look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I see you, and you are good, and radiant, and loving.” Even with all the dark parts. Even with all the sharp edges. Even with the hot, syrupy mess inside. Know that you’re safe, you’re loved. Be as kind to yourself as you would want others to be to you, and then be kind to others because you know the pure joy of human kindness in your own heart. Watch that kindness travel on a quantum level from human to human, all different colors, creeds, genders, orientations, parties. Know that you did that, you made that kindness happen. Be brave. Be so, so brave. And know that you are safe, and you are loved.
(h/t Carla for the #prideinspo)
Friday June 16
All girl glam pop group Tiger Bomb are in Congress Square Park at 6pm.
The Shins are at Thompson’s Point with Tennis. I am an avid Shins enthusiast, but something about how desperately sad James Mercer’s new album Heartworms is doesn’t resonate with the jubilant outdoor setting of Thompson’s Point. Have you heard this album yet? It’s fucking devastating.
Mainers Lynn Deeves, Trina Hamlin and Colleen Sexton are at St. Lawrence Arts.
The FU’s, Point Blank (NY), Zombii, Whoopisticks, CRYPTID, Eyeball, Gant and The Labor Pains are at Mathew’s.
Queer/Pride/Drag/Show/Dance Chemtrail is at PHOME. Safe space, do a look or don’t, they don’t fucking care.
Diva Cup, Friend Roulette, Bright Boy and Spirits Having Fun are at Oxbow.
DJ Mary Mac is at Aura. This was super fun last year when she performed at Asylum, but the stigma of Aura’s “Consultant” and his violence toward women kind of brings down the spirit of the thing. I don’t hold it against Mary though, she probably doesn’t know. Also she’s a big gay badass who I admire and respect. But it’s sad that we’ve proven time and time again that we don’t care if you fuck up real bad as long as you’re a straight white male, right. Even better if you have lots and lots of money I guess. Sorry Mary and Portland’s queer community, I wish we could do better by you.
Flask has a Pride Dance Party with DJs Corbin and G Force. I fucking love you, Flask. I fucking love you so goddam hard.
Weedeater, Black Wizard, Serial Hawk and Sylvia are at SPACE Gallery. The Pubcrawlers are at Boru. Blue has Wendy Jo Girven, Samuel James and Dana Gross, and The Library Band. Salvage has Cumberland Crossing. Duke Robillard is at OLS. Port City Music Hall has Talking Heads tribute band Start Making Sense. Revision, Project 246, Acoustified, Dirty Rotten Winter and EA Indigo are at Live at 212.
Saturday June 17
It’s officially Pride today, and the parade is on Congress Street starting at 11am and then the festie is in Deering Oaks Park at 1pm. Let’s get real for a second, tho. We are very lucky that we can celebrate the beautiful multitude of flavors that people come in for this one day, but make no mistake that marginalized communities of all kinds - LGBTQIA+, people of color, immigrants, women, children, real progressives - are under terrifying, literal fire. PLEASE be safe. Please look out for each other. If you are an ally, and you want to participate but you’re not sure how, today is your day to really do your job. Please please PLEASE create a safe space for your community today. If you see violence or bigotry of any kind, speak up, step in, do your part. You don’t have to wear a rainbow thong and a feather boa to be a proud pride participant. There is so much honor and beauty in holding the perimeter if just for a few hours. We need you.
Double Dessert and Ms. Wrecks are hosting a pride after party at Flask. PCMH has Boston DJs Psyclone and BeSee for their EQME-hosted dance party. There’s a little acoustic Pride show at b.good in the Old Port starring all queer artists Liam and the Bees, The Empty and SPDG.
Port Fringe is also in full swing, and you can go see the Marimba Cabaret tonight if you fancy it.
The Portland Bach Festival is ALSO going on right now *mops sweat from brow* so you can go listen to 10 Bach concerts and get a specially curated menu and cocktails at Bayside Bowl (Bachtails!) if you wanna be fancy as fuck at a bowling alley. It’s a really nice bowling alley, tho.
Kid Ink, French Montana and Khalid are all at the Maine State Pier. This show has a stupid sexist clear bag policy and yeah I’m calling them out on it because the intended purpose - safety, getting people through the line more quickly - don't really apply here. It's more like, hey ladies, please carry your tampons, pads, medications, birth control, breast pumps or pads and whatever other personal shit you need to this concert in a gallon ziploc freezer bag. THAT'S NOT HUMILIATING. Also, let everyone see how much money you're carrying so that you can get attacked when you take public transit home. That's real safe. We all know that the most likely perpetrators of violence at these events are men. So why are women being abused with these fucking Draconian bag rules? Oh, what’s that you say? The same company whose founder is a domestic abuser ALSO books the Maine State Pier? SHOCKING THAT THIS SEXIST POLICY WOULD BE PUT IN PLACE BY THAT SAME COMPANY.
One of my favorite weirdo crooners John Nels is at the Munjoy Hill Tavern playing originals and some covers. No, that does not give you license to fucking request Freebird, get the fuck out of here.
The Laurie Jones band is releasing their new album at St. Lawrence Arts. Salvage has King Day’s New Imperials. Blue has jazz. Trombone Shorty is at Aura. Years Go By, Crypitus, Weapons at Hand, Without Warning and Uncertainty are at Live at 212.
Sunday June 18
If you’re not completely exhausted, go out to Peak’s for the Pride tea dance.
Monday June 19
Including Monday because it’s Juneteenth, and I’m willing to be that all of us who come through this web site (myself included) would do well to find out more about this holiday.