I write this post from Cuties Coffee In Los Angeles.
Cuties is a safe space that creates programs for the queer community in Los Angeles. While we’ve come a long way from the Stone Butch Blues days, this is so important. If you don’t understand why, I highly recommend this book.
I remember you.
I was sitting in The Beehive on East Carson Street and I met you. I can’t remember how. You just walked into my life – probably fabulously.
I never saw you in drag, only your male persona. I wasn’t old enough to get into The Pegasus because I was only 17. I remember the day your Mom bought you that Chanel dress. I remember how proud you were. You came to me, your black skin glowing with happiness telling me how it was a once in a lifetime thing – you got a Chanel dress. Most Queens in Pittsburgh couldn’t afford a Chanel dress. You must have gushed about it for at least 15 minutes because my latte was gone by the time you were done. Your dress sparkled – just like your name.
I remember defending you when Yinzers would try and hurt you. Body blocking you. I remember not caring if I got hit.
I remember the day you convinced me to get on the table with you and sing Christine’s part in Phantom. “Ruby – I don’t know Phantom that well.” It didn’t matter. You sang to me. You got on your knees and serenaded me – me in my mini skirt, 7 inch platform boots, and spiked collar – as I stood on a table in that dingy coffeehouse with everyone looking at us.
We used to smack the shitty vending machines and get free Red Hots between lattes and my favorite – Italian Soda with lime.
I remember the day you collapsed in my arms. I think you had drank too many screwdrivers. I remember picking you up. I remember that something bad had happened. I remember holding you while you cried. I picked you up off of the floor at least 3 times that night and I sat with you, wanting to destroy the guy who hurt you. .
I also remember the day you left. I remember all the pain you suffered.
I hope you are alright today.
You always did sparkle.
Needless to say, Cuties is a great coffeehouse with fresh food, tasty coffee, and they also work to get folks housing and more (see that on their site) and very worth your time. GO HERE.
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Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based CMO and entrepreneur that is obsessed with progressive rock / metal, marketing, and nightlife. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.
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