A Rainbow Full of Gays
No two shades of the rainbow are the same. Those who encompass the LGBTQ community are as nuanced and varied as the spectrum of visible light that feels so many with pride. They come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, experiences, socioeconomic classes, races, and religious beliefs. Standing on a corner in Palm Springs and bouncing from bar to bar, this becomes both evident and self-evident. In the friends surrounding me and those we meet, I find myself filled with my own version of pride. These are my people and I’ve denied too many of them for too long.
Sunnylands Center and Gardens
Not far from Palm Springs in Rancho Mirage, sits Sunnylands Center and Gardens. Needing a break from the hustle and bustle of the scene, I escaped to this desert oasis to walk underneath the trees, among the cactus, and through gardens demanding to be photographed. As I searched out perfect angles and just the right amount of sunlight, I found the peace and calm that drew me here. Walking back to the parking lot, the hour or so spent here was like a breath of fresh air. Refreshed, I returned to Palm Springs ready to take on the night.
Bootlegger Tiki is a masterclass in the art of the cocktail. Scanning through the seasonal menu, the options and concoctions seem boundless. In the heat of the moment, don’t get too worried. Instead, focus on a flavor profile (sweet, bitter, evenly made) and see where the road takes you. As I finished my first and began working through my second drink, I felt bliss wash over me. This is how Tiki drinks should be done.
Palm Springs baffles me. Green lawns don’t belong in the desert. This place shouldn’t be here, yet here it stands as an escape for people needing a break from Los Angeles, snowbirds making their way south for the winter, and as a refuge for a more dignified crowd. Walking its streets, eating in its restaurants, and visiting many of its watering holes, I find myself perplexed and enjoying myself without understanding why. Perhaps, in the mystery, there is release and an excuse to be yourself. Maybe, this is why Palm Springs exists.
Yet, I could never see myself living here. Without a doubt, the landscape mesmerizes. The architecture allures and nature is within reach, but, for me, it all seems too polished and put together. There is no underbelly. There is no contrast. This is a city built for the few and not the many. Taking it all in, I am left to wonder, what good is a city, if it isn’t for everyone. So, no Palm Springs, I won’t be establishing residence any time soon, but I will never forget you. Escape will always be necessary.
Be good to each other,