GFP’s Gathering Spot for the Boston Pride Parade

Happy Pride!

Don’t you fret none; we’ve got the details for Pride! We hope you have those sparkly boots ready, ’cause we be dancing, er “marching.”

Details:

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Meet at 12:20 PM
755 Boylston Street (near Max Brenner and Crate and Barrel)

If you haven’t learned DHSS (the parade adaption) or basic two-step yet, that’s just fine! We’ll teach you as we’re lining up. This is a great time and the emphasis is on fun, not on perfection. Dancing to the beat of your own drummer strongly encouraged!

May and June Happenings and Annual Meeting Notice

In this Post:

A quick list of stuff happening in May/June. Tell us what you think (surveys!). Queer Country Social: May 20, and Dirty Water Saloon update.

Spring Stomp: a Hoedown in P-town was amazing!
Thank you all for making it such a great success (success = happy, smiling, sweaty, exhausted people). In the “Tell us what you think” section below, I have a survey to this year’s Stomp attendees and one for previous Stomp attendees too.

End of Year Annual Board Meeting, Saturday, June 17 (before the dance)
5:30-6:30 pm, 1st UU Church of JP.
GFP Members (those that bought a membership for the 2016/17 season) come talk about the year, elect a new board member, and strategize about the new year.

While we think of the end of the 2016-17 year as the June 17th Queer Country Social dance, our Dirty Water Saloon dances continues through July and August on Tuesday nights in air-conditioned loveliness.

Busy May/June!

We’ve got a bunch of stuff going on, here’s a “quick” list:

  • Tuesdays – Dirty Water Saloon. (see full info below)
    7-10 pm, Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge.
  • Saturday, May 20 – Queer Country Social. (see full info below)
    6:30-11 pm. 1st UU Church of JP.
  • Memorial Day Weekend – IAGLCWDC annual convention.
    A bunch of us are going to Miami to partake of the annual convention in conjunction with Out Games. It should be a blast and we’ll post pics when we can. We’ll also be on the lookout for fun line dances and new dance moves to bring back to you.
  • Sunday, June 4 – Boston AIDS Walk.
    Julie Kaufmann is walking again this year (as she has done since almost the beginning of this fundraiser) and she will be collecting at the May 20th dance. Trivia! Did you know it was at this walk in 1988 that Gays for Patsy was coined and formed? Go figure.
  • Sunday, June 4 – Queer Country “Sweet Tea” Social and Workshop: Pride Edition.
    3-7 pm. 1st UU Church of JP.
    Come at 3 for a hour-long workshop on Salsa with Elvi and Beth! Then dance from 4-7 to music by Ruth Ewing. Invite your friends! We’ll have informal two step lessons in the hall for anyone who is new.
  • Saturday, June 10 – Boston Pride Parade.
    Gather 11 pm, March 12 noon,
    We are marching this year! Kendra and I will have more information after this Sunday.
  • Saturday, June 17 – Annual Meeting before the dance.
    5:30-6:30 pm • 1st UU church of JP
    Members come elect a new board member (Bucky is stepping down), and talk about the year ahead. Let me know if you’d like to be our new board member.
  • Saturday, June 17 – Final Queer Country Social of the 2016-17 year.
    Join us for the last dance before we take a break for the summer. Art Sullivan will be teaching, Bob will be DJing. More details to come.
  • 2017-18 Queer Country Social and Stomp Calendar set.
    I’m hoping to get the dates into the calendar on the site this week. We’ll turn 30 in June 2018, so we’ll be having a special dance to celebrate. More details soon.

Tell us what you think!

Our last season of Queer Country Socials didn’t do well for the first time in my presidency. I’d like your opinions. Ever want to tell me off? Now’s your chance. You can be anonymous.

  • General GFP Survey. (about 3 mins.) survey on instructors, format, partner and line dances, and music. If you’ve not attended dances, I want to hear why.
  • Spring Stomp: A Hoedown in P-town surveys. One for those who attended last month’s Stomp and a survey for people who didn’t come this year but have attended one in the past. Your chance to tell me what you think. Don’t miss out!
    • Survey for 2017 Attendees (about 10 mins) A bit more in-depth than the general GFP survey, but I want to get your feedback, thoughts, and gather some quotes that I can use for next year. Fill out what you can. I definitely want to know about the instructors and your thoughts on line dances.
    • Survey for Past Attendees (about 5 mins) Attended previous Stomps, let me know why you didn’t go this year.

May 20 Queer Country Social: Stomp Review and Renegades Performance

7-11 pm • • $12 suggested sliding-scale donation ($8 for GFP members)
First UU Church of JP • 6 Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain (Boston), MA
gaysforpatsy.org/queer-country-social
6:30-8 pm Lessons with Bob • 8-11 pm Social Dancing with DJ Art Sullivan
Lessons: 6:30 pm – Beginner Two Step with Bob Sweeney
7:00-8:00 pm – Stomp Review with Bob Sweeney. We’ll look over our videos from Stomp and try to recreate moves and line dances taught during Stomp. Think of it as a peer review.
Social Dancing: 8-11 pm with DJ Art Sullivan
Come dance the night away with DJ Art Sullivan while he plays a selection of music that you can two step, west coast swing, east coast swing, line dance galore, waltz and more.
Bring Extra $$ or a check to give to Julie for the Boston

Dirty Water Saloon: Two Step and Line Dance Review

Tuesdays, 7-10 pm • $10 suggested sliding-scale donation.
Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain, MA
gaysforpatsy.org/dirty-water-saloon
We are working on Two Step this month and reviews of line dances.
Tonight:
7:00-7:45 pm: Alan Gaskell is teaching a two step move (he may be a few minutes late)
7:45: pm-8:15 pm: Kendra is teaching a line dance of some sort that will be fun
8:15-10:00 pm Bob is DJing the social dance portion

That’s it for now,
Bob “da prez” Sweeney
Gays for Patsy.

A Northern Country Boy’s Dilemma

Bob Sweeney "da prez" Gays for Patsy
Bob Sweeney “da prez” Gays for Patsy

Last night I woke from a dream where I was in a NY-esque subway where a cluster of families in ethnic garb were trying to get to the safe house. It looked like a wedding party — joy and fear were around. People were jeering at them. In the dream I helped create a safe passage and asked the jeering crowd, “who here is not a descendant of illegal aliens?” I think this dream came by a combo of St. Patrick’s Day and looking at the news before bed. Both sets of my great grandparents came from different parts of Ireland to escape famine and persecution. I think of the Jewish who escaped genocide and the Africans who were brought here without consent. How our “great” American forebearers killed indigenous cultures in our settling of this nation. And that we have the gall to single out people because they want to come here to make a life or have a different view?

In the dream I tried to help but in my everyday life, what is it I do to help?

When I became president of Gays for Patsy — a lgbtqa+s* country western dance club — a few years back, I didn’t know a thing about running a group or the dances: I just liked to dance. As I became the de-facto spokesperson (a challenge for an introvert, I’ll tell ya), I’ve been slowly trying to learn more about the dance, being a host, and making people feel welcomed. When I started DJing I had a steep learning curve that I’m still struggling with (as when my software redid my beats per minute and I played last night a polka that no one could possibly dance to – it’s been deleted from my playlist). I previewed my share of red pickup, bad boy, daisy duke, and acting bad country songs — I played a few songs where someone quietly told me it was really a song about abuse and/or hanging. The things you learn. Now it’s more important than ever to be aware of what you say and it’s impact since our leaders don’t seem to have that ability.

With this current climate, we face a number of issues for our group and the greater queer community: fear, anger, and shame are just a few. These are the weapons that can be used against us — in the media, in the churches, in our politics. We’ve seen it throughout history, it’s not new. I find I’m so bitter at seeing all the progress that has been made in the past few decades being threatened. I know this winter I battled my own disbelief, shame, embarrassment, and anger at my fellow Americans, the political process, and the media that aided and abetted this farce.

I am struggling this year. I know I drank a lot of that toxic soup and turned inward, isolated, and hid (well, part of that was just winter in New England). But now as “spring” is here, I’m trying to turn that out. Little things like organizing Spring Stomp: A Hoedown in P-town is helping. I’m trying to be a bit more vocal about the importance to kind to each other and accepting. Looking for music that is danceable that echoes that theme. Trying to cope by turning that anger and frustration into action, even a little helps me feel less isolated.

What are ways that you cope?
I cope with dancing and listening to music. It’s become a lifeline for me.

What inspires you?
I know the women’s march in January was A-MAZ-ING to me and heartened me that I was not alone in saying WTF? and helped show that showing that anger and frustration need not be violent. I think of how strong women are and maybe that is why men are so afraid of them. Suffragettes, mothers standing in a line in front of police to protect their children, hell, even childbirth. men can’t hack that shit.

Just know, you’re not alone.
The women’s march was heartneing in so many ways. Get out and do things with people, come dance, have a game night, invite a few friends to watch TV, find a group that helps organize (like Meetup — there’s resist groups out there.

March in Pride
I’m about to fill out an application for the Boston Pride march. We’ve not marched for a few years, but this year Gays for Patsy will be a place to dance and have fun without fear. (I wrote “gays for pastry” now that’s a line I can stand by). If you don’t march, come watch. Be part of something.

Come out to a dance.
You’ll be guaranteed a hug and a friendly smile from me (unless I’m DJing and am frantically trying to figure out what’s coming next).
Ask me to dance. I’m fun.
And embrace your two left feet, you can ask some of our veterans, we all started stumbling around the dance floor.

Bob Sweeney
“da prez”, Gays for Patsy

* LGBTQA+S = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, asexual, and straight – I know I forgot some but what it really means it don’t matter who you love, what your gender, skin, or politics are. That’s why I go with “queer” for our dances, for queer country boston meetup and I identify as such. I’d much rather be different in this day and age.