Sunday, January 23, 2005

Poof christmas

Poof christmas was first used to refer to Sydney's Mardi Gras by gays. However, Melbourne seems to have taken it on board now use it to refer to our Midsumma Festival.

Friday night we decided to attend the opening at Fed Square. We hadn't arranged to meet anyone there. We just thought we would come across some people we knew. Fed Square can be deceptive. From Swanston St there did not look to many there, but once we walked up the slope a bit, there were thousands and it was a wonderful atmosphere. It was impossible to get a drink, so we went without. The shows on stage were great. The tickets for the after party were selling like hotcakes. Had it been held on a flat site, like the old city square, it just would not have worked.

After procrastinating over my opinion of Fed Square for a long time, I have finally decided it is a great place and an inspired, brave piece of architecture (unless you are physically disabled).

Because we read the gay press, shop in Chapel St, lunch in Commercial Rd and occasionally listen to our gay radio station, I feel we are part of the so called 'gay community'. Does it not follow that we might have known a couple of people in the crowd at the opening? Does it not follow that we would have at least known a couple of people by sight? Well my reader, I saw one person who I could say a passing hi to and that's all. Ok, most of the crowd were under 35 and we certainly aren't. But there were some older people too, but not a familiar face among them. Out of the thousands there, we did not come across one person to stop and chat to.

We stayed a whole half hour and came home. In case you think I am particularly troubled by this, I am not. I am just being observational. Half an hour was long enough to be able to say, 'oh yes, we went to the opening of Midsumma at Fed Square'. But I did start to think later where are the people we know? Well, some were at home with a shawl over their knees watching tv. But he bulk of the people we know have 'moved on'. They are scattered around the world or the country, dead, or just don't go out to these sorts of things.

Oddly, in a 20 second tv grab of the opening, I knew everyone. I saw Carol Wilkinson, president of Joy, drag queens Candi Stratton and Lucy Loosebox and someone else I know.

I used to pick up the gay press and be able to name many people who had their pics in the paper that were taken at gay venues, but not now. How easy and seamless it was to slip from knowing lots of people to knowing few. What does trouble me a little, is that I don't care. Developing and maintaining friendships is hard work and we have put in the hard yards over the years, mostly without a long term reward, but that could be as much our fault. I don't lay blame. I am very happy with our few close friends and it is a privilege to have known them for so long and of course, if they are our friends, it must follow that they are very nice people.

Now, control A, control C, publish.

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