In Under the Rainbow, (apparently straight) writer David Shaftel touches upon a subject we've been dealing with for years. Apparently, some gay people live in Hell's Kitchen (or NoChe, Hell's Kitchenette, Hell's Kitty or Hellsea. The gays are so good with nicknames!). We've been wrestling with the idea that HK might be New York's new gay mecca, but this article settles it. If it's in the New York Times, it must be LONG over.
Despite all that, we loved the article, and not just because of the overeager graphic designer who stuck the random rainbow below the dek. We loved it because it is centered upon a boy we know, Addison S., though his roommate Justin O., was mysteriously left out. We loved it because it called Addison's friends "young, modish" gays, and his hair "rakish." We loved it because it had a photo of a shirtless man with the words "porn bingo" in the caption, and because it called HK "less a scene than simply a neighborhood."
We found it interesting that they trotted out the idea that HK's lack of a "cruising spot" like the Big Cup was to its detriment. We wonder - isn't that a good thing? Shouldn't we be glad that new gay 'hoods don't need a place where people go to look for sex? Can't we just live calmly like normal people, in a safe place?
And this, we thought, was the best part:
“My boyfriend and I will hold hands and walk arm in arm down Ninth Avenue,” [Brian] Orter said, “but we won’t do it down Eighth or 10th. It’s still kind of sketchy.” Even on Ninth, he finds the picture mixed. “We’ll walk down Ninth between 43rd and 53rd Streets holding hands,” he said, “then after 53rd, we’re like, ‘Ooh, doesn’t feel so good over here,’ so we’ll stop holding hands.”This is something very real that we can relate to. From block to block in the city, it sometimes feels good to hold hands with your boyfriend, and sometimes it feels scary. We have always been aware of this, and we try to force ourselves to hold hands with boys no matter how uncomfortable we feel. Sometimes it's the little acts of bravery that are the most important.
We can't wait for the Times to tackle other pressing gay issues, like Post Coital Cleanup and Dance Floor Erections!