Is HF the country’s best gay party? We certainly got the best gay writeup!
We’re beyond words flattered by Zack Rosen of The New Gay’s amazing article about his experience at Hard French October! It was a pleasure to get to meet him (as we love his blog) and even more of a pleasure to give him such a great experience. When the whole HF crew started the party we dreamed of creating a space that was open and engaging to all walks of queer folks (and rad straight people too), and according to Zack we accomplished what we set out to do and then some! We’re gonna post the whole thing cuz we love it so much, but be sure to check out The New Gay as its seriously generating some of the best queer commentary out there!
Zack’s Ramblings: Is Hard French the Country’s Best Gay Party?19 October 2010, 12:15 pm
This post was submitted by zack
I was in San Francisco a couple weeks ago on vacation. Unlike previous trips I didn’t spent too much time studying the gay scene there, and thus will save you any major pontifications on the subject. I did, however, go to a queer dance party that might be the best one I’ve ever attended.
Hard French, spun by DJs Carnita and Brown Amy, and other special guests, took place on a Saturday afternoon at an unassuming dive bar called El Rio. I got there too late for the free barbeque, which was heartbreaking to say the least, but I got something even better than a pulled pork sandwich: A surprise. I go to a lot of alternative and “alternative” queer parties, and I find that most fall into the same unnapealing trap of making assumptions about what gay people like.
The whole point of an alternative party is just that, to provide an alternative. Take away the hipster, alt or “indier-than-thou” connotations the word has picked up and think about it this way: If every gay party in the world involved wearing paper bags and listening to Bonnie Raitt, you would probably jump at the chance to go to a cluttered megadisco and listen to Diana Ross in the glow of laser lights. Unfortunately, though, every gay party usually falls back on some iteration of the latter so the true alternatives are rare.
Hard French, then, was so much fun, and so genuinely different, becuase it made absolutely no assmptions about what queers find appealing. It had a co-ed crowd dancing to soul hits of the 60’s and 70’s. No strippers, no glitter, no unicorns. It wasn’t Kristine W covering “Twist and Shout” to make it more palatable to us. It was a party I actually would’ve wanted to go to based on location and music, but with gay people.
Why can’t more parties do this? Take away every conjecture of “gay people need…” and just throw a balls-out queer dance party that is based on what people like, not based on what gay people liked to do 30 years ago? It proves that you don’t need to dumb down your theme, or “gay up” an otherwise good idea, to get a shit ton of people out to a bar far off the Castro Street, with not a single “oonch ooncha” in any song played.
So in short: We’re not as sheep-like as everyone casts us to be. The only thing “Gay” about this party was the people and that could not have made me happier.