Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

OP-ED: New Year's Eve circuit parties go on despite COVID-19 travel concerns
by Christopher T. Conner, PhD
2021-01-08

This article shared 2408 times since Fri Jan 8, 2021
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


This past New Year's Eve, thousands of gay men flocked to Mexico to attend a New Year's eve "White Party" hosted by long time party promoter Jeffrey Sanker—the host of the annual white party in Palm Springs.

While some of us have been working diligently by taking precautions to avoid large gathers, forgoing holiday traditions and celebrations at the behest of public health officials, weekend or weeklong circuit parties have been ongoing occurrences in NYC, LA and, most recently, Puerto Vallarta. These include celebrities like Todrick Hall, Ian Frost and—as social-media activists have pointed out—several healthcare workers who just recently received the vaccine.

If that wasn't bad enough, those attending these events have used social media as a way to display themselves and garner attention from others. Mexican news reports have gone so far as accusing Americans of taking advantage of the economic privilege that allowed them to subvert authorities, and of acting with severe disregard for the communities who must deal with the impact of these events long after they have left. It is hard to not make analogies to white colonialists, given the concerns over the diseases they may be bringing with them as well as the occupation of space and resources—giving the name "White Party" a double meaning.

While in the early days of the pandemic there was a degree of innovation in creating a virtual world of social gatherings and parties, other party promoters sought to circumvent rules by traveling to places without rules to restrict them. The beginnings of circuit parties, like gay bars, were borne out of necessity to provide gay men with connection against an oppressive world. Contemporary circuit parties, raves, dating apps and pride parades have become culture industries in which profit becomes a driving motive. However, rather than solve the problems of old, they have merely inserted themselves as a means to profit.

Recent studies by PEW and other research groups consistently find that gay men are more reliant on these alternative mechanisms for making connections, but we remain just as isolated as before—perhaps more so. The result, some argue, is an emphasis on the hedonistic carnivalesque elements. Circuit party revelers like the ones I've interviewed since 2014 equate success with individualism and a "winner-take-all attitude" that are characteristic of the cultural logic that dominates much of contemporary gay and American culture.

The coronavirus has shown us where the cracks in our culture are and where we need to put our attention if we are to build back our society better. While the original circuit parties of the '70s and '80s adhered to the values of P.L.U.R. (peace, love, unity and respect), today's circuit parties have emphasized hierarchies and divisions within gay culture. These differences seek to undermine attempts at political solidarity and fulfillment of the political promise of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. However, it would also be irresponsible if I didn't simultaneously point out that such parties are engaged in by "straights." While I don't defend either group, I can at least understand and sympathize with the need for human companionship in a world where you are not part of the dominant group.

BIO: Christopher T. Conner is a visiting assistant professor of sociology at the University of Missouri at Columbia. His research focuses on LGBT+ issues, culture and criminology. He is also editor of The Gayborhood: From Sexual Liberation to Cosmopolitan Spectacle.


This article shared 2408 times since Fri Jan 8, 2021
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT The FBI, Loaves of Bread, Corruption, and Reform 2023-01-25
- When I was 13 years old I used to ride shot gun with my uncle A. on his Italian bread truck deliveries. My job was to enter the store with him and remove the old, stale loaves of bread while he ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Democrats and trans issues, political wins, gay bars, HIV drug 2023-01-08
- Republicans and Democrats differ widely in their views on gender identity and transgender issues—but there are notable differences among Democrats, too, especially by race and ethnicity, according to Pew Research. Overall, 60% of U.S. adults say ...


Gay News

Letter to the Editor: Pope Benedict XVI passes away 2023-01-02
- The Rainbow Sash Movement mourns the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Dec. 31 in the Vatican. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, known most recently as the pontiff who renounced the papacy—but who was situated squarely ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT It's The End...again and again and again ... 2023-01-01
- Jesus thought the end of the world would occur during his lifetime.* As Jesus hanged dying on the cross, he had to deal with the fact that the world had not ended. Paul thought he understood ...


Gay News

Dignity USA: LGBTQ+ Catholics recall Pope Benedict XVI's reign as causing LGBTQ+s tremendous damage 2022-12-31
-- From a press release - Dec. 31, 2022. The passing of former Pope Benedict XVI "marks what is, hopefully, the end of a long, painful era for LGBTQIA+ Catholics, our families, and the entire church," said Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of ...


Gay News

OPINION Remember the youngest victims of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination 2022-12-19
- On Dec. 13, the Ohio State Board of Education voted 10-7 in favor of a non-binding resolution opposing proposed changes to the federal government's Title IX protecting LGBTQ+ students. It was just one more blow for ...


Gay News

Respect for Marriage Act passage important step but not equity says LGBTQIA+/ally Catholic group 2022-12-09
-- From a press release - Dec. 8, 2022. DignityUSA, the nation's foremost organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in our church and society, is pleased that both houses of Congress have now passed the ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT What are the most banned books: take a guess 2022-11-18
- The Latin word for book is liber. It is also the Latin word for "free," as in not a slave but a person who enjoys freedom (liberty). The word library means a home for books, a place of liberation, a sacred ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The geopolitics of being Brittney Griner 2022-11-18
- WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. On Feb. 17, the Russian Federal Customs Service detained Griner at Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly transporting cannabis-derived ...


Gay News

GUEST EDITORIAL The Workers' Rights Amendment is a vote for equality 2022-11-01
- It is the American Dream: Work hard and you can achieve a middle-class life. This narrative is a broken bargain for too many in today's workforce. A far worse bargain exists for the LGBTQ+ community, especially ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The cults of Jesus, Putin and Trump 2022-10-21
- Originalist Christian nationalism. They say politics makes strange bedfellows. There is none stranger than the curious linking of Jesus to the cults of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in the faith and politics of an alarming ...


Gay News

LETTER A concerning change at the Art Institute 2022-09-28
- I have a fond, reverent remembrance of the first time I encountered Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled" (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) at the Art Institute nearly a decade ago. I was encouraged by a nearby guide to ...


Gay News

LETTER Vote 'yes' for the environment 2022-09-21
- Concerned about climate change? Interested in protecting our precious resources of breathable air, drinkable water, and native habitat? Want to create jobs while mitigating local flooding? Here's a way: in the upcoming midterm election, vote YES ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The art of citizenship 2022, or night sweats of a classical humanist get worse … 2022-09-08
- Ten years ago this September, I published my first op-ed for Windy City Times: The art of citizenship 2012, or night sweats of a classical humanist. I wrote this op-ed because of the serious damage being ...


Gay News

Vallas speaks at event of group known for anti-LGBTQ+ views [UPDATE] 2022-08-01
- Former Chicago Public Schools CEO and current mayoral candidate Paul Vallas spoke at a fundraiser for Awake Illinois—a group that has been criticized for its transphobic and homophobic rhetoric, The Chicago Reader reported. The group hosted ...


 




Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.