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02 July 2008

Out in the open

A couple Sundays ago -- 15 June, which was Father's Day in the U.S. -- I took the Metro into downtown DC for the annual "Gay" "Pride" Festival.

Scare-quotes supplied because for the most part, I think that Gay Pride Days are even stupider than those mandatory-attendance pep rallies in high school: "We've got spirit, yes we do! We've got spirit -- how 'bout you?" (I make exceptions for Gay Pride parades held in savagely backwards countries like Russia, of course.) But this year I broke my rule of not going to Gay Pride because the University of Virginia Gay Alums booth needed volunteers for a couple hours.

Although I was the youngest alum at the UVa booth by at least 10 years, quite a number of current Wahoos came up to the table during the day, and it was great to get some updates on what things are like at UVa and in Charlottesville these days -- both generally, and for gay undergrads. (I'm told there's still only ONE official gay club in C'ville; what's changed since my time there is that attendance by straight students and townies has soared.)

Anyway, after I'd put in my time at the UVa table, I went walking around to take in the sights of DCGayFest, which occupied about three closed-off blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue, just north of the National Mall. And since I was no longer representing UVa, I decided it was time to whip out my homemade sandwich board promoting the safer-sex approach known as frot -- essentially, a form of mutual masturbation between two dudes that involves no orifice penetration, and favored by some homo and bi men because of the ultra-minimal STD risk.

But as I've been arguing on the Web for several years now, the mainstream "AIDS Educators" in the "Gay Community" have never done an adequate job at educating guys about frot as a safer-sex option. On the contrary, throughout the course of an HIV epidemic that has spread among homo/bi men almost entirely via buttfucking, the received wisdom has been and continues to be: "By all means continue with the buttfucking -- just Use A Condom Every Time™, boys!" Suffice to say, I think this is a poor approach.

And so there I was at Capitol Pride 2008:

Click for full-size image

Let it be noted that the photo of me was taken by a pair of cute 20-something black lesbians -- one wearing orange/yellow "alien" contact lenses and the other with an I'm a Vagitarian button on her shirt. Neither batted an eye at my T-shirt with the rainbow-striped GOP elephant, and they were interested to know what "frot" meant.

Got the same friendly and curious reaction from a gaggle of six or seven dykes with whom I spent about half an hour chatting after the event was officially closing down and most of the booths had packed up their tables. Didn't take long to explain "frot," because as soon as I gave a basic definition, they were like, "Oh, that's kinda like what we call 'scissoring'." Then one piped up with the synonym "tribadism," and another mentioned  hacer una tortilla .

The only hostile reaction I got to the FROT IS HOTTER sign was from -- who else? -- a gay male "safer sex educator" at the Whitman/Walker booth.

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posted by Throbert | 7/02/2008 09:44:00 PM |
Hey Tits McGee, nice outfit!
Hi, anonymous! And thanks for the compliment on the outfit -- I made the shirt myself, as I mentioned.
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