Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Saturday, November 16, 2013

8-11-13 RMB Cityfest

8-11-13 RMB Cityfest
Dear Rita Mae Brown,
Today I went to a street fair called Cityfest. A few streets are closed off, bands play on a stage set up in the middle of the street and vendors set up shop in the center of the closed streets, selling everything from food to clothing, sunglasses to plants.
The music was a bit too loud. I must be getting old. I liked the feeling of community and watching everyone have fun. The streets were packed with people, yet they remained fairly clean, the streets – not the people, although I guess the people were clean too. Forgive my wandering, it’s late.
Cityfest took place very close to the location of the Pride Festival however, during Pride, flyers flew everywhere and assorted trash littered the ground. Interesting how locales take more care to pick up after themselves.
I stopped in at a coffee shop and sat near a window to observe the festivities. One passing couple fascinated me, two young males, mid to late twenties, both tall, handsome and well built. Both would have passed for straight and have been considered quite a catch by any young lady.
Seeing them hold hands and obviously enjoying one another’s company…it gave me hope that there is a better “normal” out there for us. I didn’t know why they intrigued me, until another male couple passed by right after they left the area. The new couple wore earrings, dressed more flamboyantly and had exaggerated movements.
It occurred to me that there is a big difference there. Much like the women that dress or act overtly gay…not butch, I understand that some women are more comfortable in a masculine style of dress…but there is another look, belts worn low, hair shaved on the side…or on one side, etc.
You mentioned the early days of women refusing to shave and wearing certain clothes to buck the establishment; to make a statement. You said, “You can see where it all came from though.”
I watched people pass, the statement they are making now is fed by designers, jewelers and tattoo artists. It’s not appealing to me, but as you said…I see where it comes from. I don’t see where it is going though, maybe because it’s not my style. Yet, I have been accused all my life of not dressing “right”. I thought it more along the lines of not dressing up, not conforming to the costumes we are expected to don, whether for work or holidays or dates, etc. So I don’t have room to talk one way or another, this is just my observations.
Something tells me it’s a phase, not a classification. Butch is a classification, but it too has degrees, from the norm of its type to the extreme costume of butch. The whole topic reminds me of teens trying on certain looks. As a society, we are testing our look, experimenting. That’s good, in my opinion.
The two men that caught my attention dressed in regular clothes with regular haircuts and mannerism … holding hands. It seemed real, not a costume at all. I like that look.

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