Unsordid Lives

by Deer Roberts

Deer Roberts Sordid Lives

Maqui & Standing Feather mug during dress rehearsal for Del Shores's Sordid Lives.

The gay community is in the forefront of innovation here.  Out-taking, off the grid, they’ve gone a long way in mastering solar energy, sustainable agriculture, architecture, local farmers’ markets, organics, etc.  Much of the off-grid community looks to them for advice.  They also contribute voluminously to the local theatre, visual arts, poetry group, and gastronomic arts.  Here they are cherished.  Native Americans held the cross gender in reverence.  We can see why.  There is no stopping the creativity of these guys.  A boon to any community, I remember how some of these brothers took over the run-down neighborhoods at Forest and Warren Avenues in inner city Detroit, post the riots, and made them show stoppers some thirty years ago.  It’s the same here.  In this hard-bitten land, they’re discovering how to dance with it and are passing the information along.  And in a place of probable isolation, they help to keep us socialized, elegantly.

Last fall, Del Shores’s Sordid Lives was presented at the Old School Gallery in El Morro Village for three sold-out nights.  The old stage (originally created for Wild West shows) had been extended, new theatre curtains installed.  Mostly underwritten by the Ancient Way Café across the street (a destination spot in the art of fabulous food and its presentation run by a gay and lesbian community), it highlighted the conundrum posed to a Southern family of granny dying upon tripping over her married lover’s prosthetics.  She had committed her transvestite son to a mental institution twenty years earlier.  The siblings and the newest generation have to cope with the fallout.  Pathos ridden, it was funnier than he – and quite thought provoking.  Da – good acting, besides.  Heard it was better than the movie version.  So good, in fact, I understand it will be presented this May in Gallup.

Of course, this is still the real world here.  Not everyone feels exactly welcoming to this relatively recent addition to the community.  Some Mormons here have, understandably, expressed discomfort with the lifestyle, but are tolerant. However, the fellas have had their own run in with the authorities.  Since cases are pending, they really can’t be discussed here.  But they brought to mind a story I read a few years back of a couple down in Radium Springs (http://www.desertexposure.com/200711/200711_radium_hot_springs.php).  Those two guys, life-long partners, fixed up an old run-down resort into a beautiful bed and breakfast . . . then found access rights had been cut off.  No way in.  Ended up destroying them both. Apparently those guys got railroaded and the greater community with them. Don’t know whatever happened to their beautiful work.

Some folks are just shortsighted, ya know?

More later . . .

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