Last night, I attended the San Francisco Pride Media Cocktail Party, or as I kept calling it, the GLAAD Media Awards. Held at the Clift Hotel, my first and biggest concern was getting the doorman to make me change for the parking meter. I’m sure you’re a perfect saint who rides public transportation and likes it, so you wouldn’t know that parking in this city is emotionally assaulting. I could write a book about the parking space I got last night. It was so amazing, crowds gathered and applauded.

The party was held upstairs, in the same space as the SFIFF Centerpiece Party, and the fabulous folks at Pride had arranged for the lights seemingly inside the walls to constantly changecolors in rainbow order. Some gay was on this project and committed to it entirely. It was marvelous.

I attended with my media friends (actually, I consolidate. My media friends are my regular friends) Melissa from the Examiner, Brock from SFist, Matty Matt from this site and and The Brians from Calitics. I don’t know that any of us were there to write about how you should go to Pride and scream your head off for the incomparable Solange Knowles, although I’ll certainly be doing that. Frankly, we’ll go anywhere with free sliders. Homosexual Party at the Clift Hotel? You don’t have to ask me twice.

I’ve decided everyone goes to these parties based on our pathetic love of all that is free (and of course, to support our friends in the LGBT Community). Like the man in the red Members Only jacket, body clocking anyone who tried to get between him and another free slider. He had every piece of paraphernalia one might obtain at the GLAAD Media Awards (er, Pride Media Party), his neck covered in several of the free Barefoot Wines mardi grad beads and a collection of press kits shoved in his backpack which I suspect might double as a pillow. He wasn’t there with a soul, just his posse of empty appetizer plates at his hub by the kitchen door. At one point, Melissa giggled, “Sir, it’ll be okay! There’s enough sliders for everybody.” I considered telling him about the wonderful websites devoted to alerting the public about free shit, but was slightly afraid Members Only might tackle me for the gum in my handbag.

Melissa and I enjoyed hamburgers with Judson on the back patio as I restrained myself from asking if he was named after a soap opera character. That name is just too good to be True.Brock spent much of the evening referring to the “elephant in the room.” He felt, apparently, that we should all be addressing the tragic passing of icon, Michael Jackson and quite frankly, I agree. A moment of silence would have been highly appropriate.

I had the chance to meet Pride Board Member Todd Torr and his charming husband, Emil. I may have been complaining to them about the length of introductions until Todd was called on stage…to be introduced. The only person more frustrated with the party-stopping speeches than me was Members Only. Politely, food and drink service ceased as treasured and courageous volunteers were given awards.

Oh, that reminds me! As I walked into the party, Brian pointed out a group of people sitting at a cocktail table, including a woman in a wheelchair and whispered, “That’s Lieutenant Dan!”

“Oh Brian, you’re terrible.” I smirked. “Lieutenant Dan! Ice Cream!”

Actually, I’m terrible. He was talking about the gentleman with whom the woman in the wheelchair was speaking, Lt. Daniel Choi who outed himself on the Rachel Maddow Show and was thus kicked out of the military under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

We left soon after Jose Cisneros got up on stage and reminded us to vote for him, as opposed to his stalwart opponent, “write in.” Melissa, Brock, Matt and I headed out to the Farrallon Islands to attend Greg Dewar’s anniversary party for The N Judah Chronicles, held in San Francisco’s “Sunset District.” After the passport check and currency exchange, we had a fabulous time out there in what I understand to actually be within the city limits of the City and County of San Francisco. Who knew?

Dewar had quite a crowd at the Blackthorn, including Judson True, who’s the spokesperson for the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority. You’d have thought Barack Obama attended, people were so excited that some dude from Muni actually showed. Melissa and I enjoyed hamburgers with Judson on the back patio as I restrained myself from asking if he was named after a soap opera character. That name is just too good to be True.

Having come from the Pride Party, we decided to bookend our evening with the gayest thing we could think of: Martuni’s!

Martuni’s, if you’ve never had the pleasure, is a wonderful cabaret bar on the outskirts of the Castro. I’ve been going there since I worked backstage at Beach Blanket Babylon, when the cast would close the show on Sunday nights and head straight to Martuni’s to get plastered and sing the entire book of Les Miserables to elderly gay men.

We had a lovely time listening to former Supervisorial Candidate Paul Hogarth sing standards, and I will leave you with this tidbit: good luck getting Joseph the Martuni’s accompanist to perform “Being Alive” from Company. He implied that our sophisticated Sondheim selections were “downers” and he wanted to create a party atmosphere. Responding accordingly, Melissa screamed her request of “Caribbean Queen!” and was met with another eye roll. You can’t please this guy. He won’t even sing any Michael Jackson.

It’s time to pull Grandmother’s party wig out of the closet, Pride is officially kicked off!

Photo: Steve Bowles

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