By Gerrard Panahon
One of the joys of having a cousin that is also gay is the amount of trouble the two of you can get into when you are together. This would be the theme of San Francisco Pride 2007.
My cousin Anton picked me up from the airport and knowing that I enjoy happy hour, we went straight to Castro. Badlands wasn’t busy when we walked in, and we quickly ordered drinks, nabbed a high table, and began people watching. The loud group of guys a few feet away from us had to be tourists. My cousin confirmed that residents don’t act like that. Some of the guys—filled with liquid courage—introduced themselves to us. They were from San Diego. My cousin is always right. I hate that about him.
An hour later, the bar was packed, and a couple of former men, with beautiful breasts, were so pleased with their surgeries that they managed to push my head into their chesticles for motorboat madness. Why, Lord, why?
We did a little dancing, and when the bar got too crowded, the patrons spilled out into the street, interrupting traffic. I’m claustro, so Anton and I crossed the street. Then I spotted one of the newly breasted women… “Trannyyyyyyyyy!!!” I yelled. Do forgive me, this was when Christian Siriano was on Project Runway, and if I didn’t get it from him, I got it from Amy Poehler’s impression of Siriano on Saturday Night Live. Sure enough, the big breasted woman ran across the street to meet us. Thankfully there was no motorboat follow up.
We ran into one of Anton’s friends, and he told us about a birthday dinner for a friend of his—so we’re twice removed now—we decided we could go, since we didn’t have anything else planned. We were pretty blitzed. I can’t stand a restaurant where you can only order three things, and each item is $20, so I asked the server if I they could put ground beef together and call it a hamburger. She checked with the kitchen so I ended up with a special order. This is what happens when I’m under the influence and you give me a fixed menu.
As we waited for dinner to arrive, my cousin and I were competing… to get the most laughter out of people, to out-gay each other, to be the best. We’ve done this for years, and though we have so much fun with each other, we know we can’t live in the same city because no city is big enough for the both of us, and we would tire of each other quickly. Weekend trips are perfect, and we wasted no time trying to outdo each other.
But I would get the most attention, naturally. Twenty minutes after the food arrived, the chef introduced himself, wondering who ordered the hamburger. All eyes were on me at this dinner attended by 18 or 20 people, four of which I actually met. The chef was cute enough for everyone to be jealous. Yes, I won the dinner round, that we weren’t even really invited to.
The night ended at Bar 1220, a gay bar in Walnut Creek, which was dead. Janet Jackson’s Pleasure Principle came on and I served a little bit of Janet’s choreography. Anton pressed me to continue, and I didn’t want to, so he said, “I’ll take you to Denny’s.” This bitch wanted me to entertain him, and he would buy me dinner. So not fair! He knows I love to eat, and that I can’t resist Denny’s!
The following night, we drove to Castro for Pink Party. Parking, naturally, was tough, and we had to do a bit of walking to get to all the gay pride madness. My cousin saw a cute guy walking across the street, and asked, in a rather loud manner, “Isn’t it your birthday today?” This fool was trying to get us to talk to the guy, and I wasn’t having it, so I responded back with, “I know what you’re doing!” This is how we communicate. Always on. #AlwaysReady
We met up with some of Anton’s friends and had some cocktails, danced in the street, and enjoyed the view from above, and people that have been to Casto for Pride and have witnessed the activity on the upper floors of homes, know what I’m referring to. And there was action for the ladies too. We saw a rather shiny face on a young woman who was taking care of her lady friend, right outside The Anchor Oyster bar. Get it where you can get it, hunty!
I didn’t get to see the pride parade the following day, because I had an early flight back to Los Angeles, but this was the best gaycation I’ve ever taken, at the center of which is my cousin whom I love dearly, and who owes me a Grand Slam.