Written by Alex Hickey
Wednesday 13th September
Pride doesn’t always come before a fall! But appropriateness is slightly more of a slippery slope, I was going over to a friend’s house the other day and was wondering what to take, I had already been there once so wine was not necessary and I was questioning whether or not to take something a little harder, or possibly a lot harder with me. You see, to me it seemed appropriate, we were playing video games for the day and it seemed like the right thing to do but that there, I suppose, is the whole thing isn’t it? But we digress.
I had planned to go to the gay pride parade and enjoy the last bits of summer madness on the island, not that the heat was going anywhere. Things slow down around this time, the winds begin to blow and it gets more bearable, the festivals and parties start to slow down too and you start seeing ‘end of summer this’ or ‘closing of that’ parties everywhere. But this is pride season and this week I was supposed to be out covering Pride week; but because my buddy who I was supposed to be covering it with bailed out on me, I’m stuck cooped up in this writing dungeon here with a lot of notes about wild nothingness and a stirring hangover that won’t exempt me, but every moment I get new streams which seem to say a whole lot by saying nothing at all but that’s the media in Malta, not fake, just boring as whale crap.
I get my news from the people on the ground, people who observe with a keen sense of understanding. I went for a swim the other day with an old friend and her boyfriend with whom I had a chat; he had actually been there, pleasantly and ironically, selling hot dogs. And let’s be straight, no pun intended, you know where I’m going with this. The irony was not lost of course on the guy but he wasn’t the one organizing this stand, the people in charge seemed to think it was a good idea though.
From what he said and what I saw it looked like a damn fine party and I’m not surprised, the gay community parties harder than anywhere else in Malta and yes, I’m sorry everyone else, it’s true and if you plan to come here to party hard, you’re gunna have to get comfortable with who you are. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just fun and for the most part the community are cool with straight people hanging out. I’ve had some of my greatest nights out here partying with the LGBTQPI crowd.
I once went with an ex-girlfriend from Colombia, an old friend with an unsuspecting date, and a couple lesbian friends and we hit some club out in Paceville, a gay bar of course and though perhaps the décor was not my taste, the cocktails, and again, I know, where huge and flamboyant, and I loved them. The theme was 80s camp, with Prince and Michael Jackson at the speakers and a dancefloor filled to the brim, a grand time at grind time was sure to be had by all. I must say I did get a couple of strange looks from time to time but all in all everyone was happy to accept a clearly straight (and totally out of beat) guy who was just having a whale of a time on the dancefloor. Soon, I noticed all the straight girls gathering around asking to dance with me, including my girlfriend at the time, I was surprised but not upset by any means, naturally.
Apparently some confused foreigners walked in and had no idea where they were and getting a little too frisky for my straight friend’s liking. So, I was everyone’s boyfriend for the night.
What I’m trying to say is that though I don’t state to be of any expertise on the subject but the gay crowd in Malta, firstly party the hardest on the island and know how to have a good time, secondly they’re a very open and friendly community and generally welcome everyone. I say this because I do know that abroad, they can be in some cases quite exclusionary.
Which brings us back to the parade and the hot dog stand. From his account, there was an abundance of rainbows as you can imagine but a fantastic time and to top it all off, the end of the parade which was down the main road of the capital, ended in a piazzetta between two churches, to which he [the hot dog salesman] commented that he was sure the priests were peeping out every now and again with dismay. But of course they would, they are the only ones who are really against the kind of thing, them and the filthy Nationalist party but at this state in time they and the church are one in the same anyway.
That was just the day party though, it’s Wednesday now and I’m fairly sure somewhere out there they’re still going hard, and another night at AXM would not be uncalled for with the right people. The after party probably went on all damn night, it was at one of these trendy beach lidos where drinks are at a €5 minimum but stimulants start at €10. That’s quite the offer you there, Bob.
But to conclude with my hot dog selling friend, unlike most of the people in charge had assumed and again, you have to be a bit of an asshole but anyway, that this kind of thing would go well and he’d sell loads of hot dogs. He didn’t sell many hot dogs that day, which goes along with what I was saying about appropriateness. Sometimes you just never know, until you try!