Quaint Little Villages and That “Other” Gay Resort
Ever since the early 1980s John and I have been such Rehoboth Beach chauvinists that we never bothered to visit that other gay-popular resort, Provincetown. We’ve done gay beaches around the world from Sitges, Spain to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and we have at least strolled along just about every gay beach in Florida. We even invented a gay beach across the street from a shop we briefly operated on Clearwater Beach. “Make it up and they will come,” was our theory, and it worked.
But P-town always eluded us. It remained on our proverbial bucket list—until now.
As this issue of Letters rolls off the press, we are vacationing on Cape Cod and enjoying a break from the sweltering heat of Central Florida, where we just pulled off a successful launch of an LGBT Pride float in our small town of Mount Dora’s annual Fourth of July Parade. Our participation in the parade (which I wrote about in this column last issue) went splendidly, by the way, with an enthusiastic crowd cheering on our 50 marchers and snatching up our gifts of rainbow-colored beads with anti-bullying messages attached. The vintage disco songs we blared from our float had many spectators dancing in the streets.
The most touching aspect of the parade experience was the response we received immediately thereafter. Two school teachers asked us for copies of our informational cards on bullying to distribute to their students, and we received a beautiful email from a local teenage boy.
“I saw you guys (and girls) in the parade!!,” he wrote. “It made me so happy to see that Mount Dora isn’t the horrid conservative wasteland I thought it was!…. It’s not very easy being a (sort of out of the closet) gay 14 year old…. I wish I could be totally out of the closet. I would have marched along too!!!”
Soon, my friend, soon. For all of us involved, that kind of response is what makes all the hard work worthwhile. And from the looks on their faces and the thumbs-up signs they gave us as we handed out beads, I know that quite a few other young people felt exactly as he did.
So, now it’s time to switch from parade organizer to parade watcher. I know enough about P-town to appreciate that part of the fun is to watch the never ending pageant along Commercial Street. Since it’s “Bear Week,” the atmosphere should be especially fun and feisty. And I won’t have to worry about my waistline. Or trimming my beard.
We want to be spontaneous, but we have made a few plans—notably a 75th birthday dinner party for a friend at the Crown & Anchor, followed by comic actor Leslie Jordan’s current touring show. John and I both adore Leslie’s southern drawled humor, and we hope he gives us at least a taste of his Sordid Lives character Brother Boy, whose reincarnation of Tammy Wynette is pure joy to behold.
There are also tourist sites to see in P-town. The Pilgrim Memorial is the tallest granite structure in the U.S., and there’s something my friends in the know refer to as the “Dickie Dock.” It must have a nursery rhyme theme as it seems to reference “Hickory Dickory Dock.” It’s beneath the boardwalk of a resort complex, and I am told there is nothing quite like it in Rehoboth or even Dewey.
Aside from the popular attractions of P-town, we’ll spend most of our time checking out the shops and restaurants of those “quaint little villages here and there,” as Patti Page (and later Bette Midler) crooned in “Old Cape Cod.” John has been singing the lyrics to that song for weeks now. I’m hoping he’ll finally stop once we actually see them.
Of course, I’ll be comparing the beaches and the bistros of P-town to those in Rehoboth, where both categories excel. (We reconfirmed how great the food is in Rehoboth during our wedding trip home to Delmarva last September.) And I am looking forward to eating enough New England shellfish to risk a full blown bout of gout.
Ah, but that’s grist for a future column. I’m sure I’ll have some adventures to share about that “other resort” in a forthcoming issue. Meanwhile, I hope you’re making the most of your summer and continuing to celebrate the year that marriage equality became the law of our land—everywhere.
Wherever your travels take you, keep the party going.