“Mask 4 Mask” Pride Party Wipes It’s Ass With Marsha P. Johnson’s Legacy

“San Francisco is a sanctuary city (unless you’re homeless).”

“It’s a place of equal opportunity (unless you’re Latinx with three kids and are having your rent tripled).”

“Black lives matter (but why can’t I use the n word?)”

“(White) Gay capitol of the world!”


San Franciscans are proud to be who, and where, they are. They’re proud to be liberal, right-wing-hating, feminist, LGBT+ allies. The sociological climate here is a forecast of love and acceptance, unless, of course, you don’t feel loved and accepted and in which case you’re told to be grateful for one or the other. They’re annoying, but cute–like puppiess–and sometimes I want to pet them instead of rubbing sand in their eyes. They try–they really try to not be dumb, so I struggle with my inherent pettiness to love them.

But then shit like this happens.

This is a poster for exclusivity mascerading as a Pride event. For those of you who don’t know, “Masc” is a trope in the LGBT+ community in which a gay man is able to present himself as straight (black gays call them “trade). Masc4Masc is what these queens have in their Grindr bios when they are seeking to wrap their ashy lips around the shaft of another straight-looking/acting queen. Being that we already live in a patriarchy, white cisgender men dominate all things. The gay community is no different. You’re top-tier and, most desirable, most exalted specimen if you’re “masc”uline. Why? Internalized homophobia (but, of course, to them it’s “just a preference”). These guys like having the ability to perceptibly assimilate into straightness because, in their minds, it makes them better than the rest of us. The rest of us are usually too “feminine,” which is deemed weak because of femininity’s correlation to women in this society. Men who wear anything other than cargo shorts and tank tops are weak.

So, say, if I walked my ass up in this party with my long hair and slender physique, I’d be looked at like I was lost because, honestly, I’d have to be. The men who will be at this party will be masc–round shoulders, muscles, beards, probably all with the same haircut. This party isn’t for me. It’s for them. Just look at the event details on their Facebook page.

Mm. Chamomille.

Thing is, this isn’t new to LGBT+ in Golden Gate Gay Hell, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us. But this issue drags its ass from the linoleum right onto the carpet when it perpetuates the toxicity in the community when it does so on Pride weekend.

Pride is one of the many offsprings of the Stonewall Riots, initiated by a queer, black, trans woman, Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson. What she did, and continued to do right up to the day of her murder–which never recieved justice–was grant visibility to the intersections, the people who were always looked over, and punch her way through the wall barring us from our rights.

Harvey Milk was another. He, like Ms. Johnson, forced everyone to see the intersections. He forced society’s head under the water so that it wouldn’t just see, no, acknowledge, what lies beyond the surface. Gays praise him. Documentaries and movies (starring James Franco’s gay side) were created to honor him. And we even have our beloved Castro District as a memorial to his work (nothing for Marsha, but I’m not surprised), and even now, the Castro is the Pride Rock the top-tier gays congregate at to prey on the weakers–the ones they think are below them, us. I, myself, have gone out to the Castro countless times only to be sexually assaulted by people who consider me prey.

The very obvious point here, is that there is no “we” in the community. There is “them” and “us,” kept in place by borders of racism and homophobia. It’s the reason we can’t discuss the racism in our community without the word “divisive” being thrown around. It’s why the black and brown stripe is such an issue. It’s why our dating apps are a ninth circle of a hell no one deserves but so many of us get thrown in. The disrespect comes when they refuse to acknowledge it and then continue it on the day given to them by the intersections they tread on to get to their Anderson Coopers and Colton Haynes.

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