One of my reoccurring San Francisco political thrills is the appearance of political office seekers at a Sunday beer bash at a gay bar. When I moved to The City 25 years ago, there were few other cities whose politicians would openly court gays and lesbian voters. Certainly the city council members of Long Beach from where I just escaped wouldn’t have even had their campaign literature in such places!
But in San Francisco I got a charge out of swilling beer on a warm day while an earnest — and sometimes nervous- — looking man would step on stage to tell the crowd that he wanted our votes. Sometimes they even came with or sent their wives because they sensed that the crowd would like them better. Lady Di Fi never appeared on stage at the Eagle, but follow-on Mayors like Art Agnos reliably begged for the votes of my fellow travelers and me.
Why we were being treated just like any other social grouping — Irish, Lions, PTA picnic’ers! We were being pandering to as an identity group that could help the candidate win election.
It was heady stuff. Their attention was not something I would have ever expected growing up “That Way”, as my mother phrased it. Not only was I That Way, but the people in power thought that they needed my help. Just like a real person!
Damn, I like being pandered to.
I feel cheap and used. And, I love it.