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Summer Collage

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Summer here in Provincetown is about half-over. My low maintenance, orange-alert, day lilies have given it their quotidian best. My green thumb for petunias is sticky from the daily dead-heading you must do to keep them from getting all straggly, whiny and I-want-some-sun-too. My impatiens are usually my prize-winners, but this summer after ten straight days of fog and rain, they looked puny and I over fertilized them. Lesson: don't get impatient with your impatiens.

It's not just the progression from lilacs and lilies to dahlias and hydrangea that signal summer's midpoint. We've phased through several theme weekends -- Memorial Day, Portuguese Fest, Film Festival, July Fourth, Bear Week -- on our way to Carnival and Labor Day. Girlsplash, the newest and most recent theme weekend was a big fun success with lots of women and women performers in town. Girlsplash promises to become the bridge event between Memorial Day when the young recently-graduated college girls come to town for one last lesbo blowout and Columbus Day when the more mature babes motor in for Women's Week.

We're also cycling too quickly through summer's many fundraising benefit parties: GLAAD, Mass Equality, The Pan Mass Challenge, Helping Our Women, and the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod on our way to August 29th's big Lily Tomlin Bark Park fundraiser, emceed by moi. Organizations use cocktail parties, auctions, barbecues and drag bingo to raise money for great groups in these rough, okay hideous, economic times. I emceed the recent Gay Lesbian Advocates and Defenders [GLAD] cocktail party at the base of the PTown monument on a rare sunny afternoon. We celebrated GLAD's marriage equality work, and executive director Lee Swislow outlined GLAD's work on MA transgender civil rights bill, their suit challenging DOMA and their Maine campaign to defend marriage equality.

This week there's an unsettling themelessness in town and despite my vague vertigo, I am enjoying the lull. So far no one has called for the "Skip and Jim Have a Beer with Barack Week," the "Scavenger Hunt for Lou Dobbs' Birth Certificate Week," "I Hate the Insurance Lobby Week," or the "Citizen Palin Poetry Week." We've had a few hot, sunny days and I think people are at the beach. Maybe they're just resting up for Gay Family Week.

Next week the town will crowded with double-wide strollers, face-painted kid kitties, the smallest rainbow crocs you've ever seen and pods of gay parents sharing tales of triumph and trial. There will be beach fires, dances, and meet-n-greets. For the past couple years I have remarked on the fact that gay parents don't seem to bring their tweens or teens. I worried aloud that parents had turned them in for younger kids, or a ten and and six year old for a sixteen year old. But one of the fabulous, fast talking, smarty pants tweens took me aside and informed me that they were all in workshops with Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, COLAGE. The reason I had not seen them was that they are in training to be equality advocates, allies and community organizers. I told them that next summer they should invite the Obama family over from Oak Bluffs for a sunset beach-fire. Those COLAGErs could make it happen.

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