All Quiet On the Castro Front: Prop. 8 Ruling Received With a Shrug

At 10:01 a.m., a Castro barkeep sighed, glanced at his wedding ring, and switched off the television. “Guess I'm still married,” he muttered.

Paraphrasing T.S. Eliot, the state Supreme Court's affirmation of Proposition 8 was received here not with a bang but a whimper — save for the solitary cell phone-wielding man at Castro and Market  who shouted “fuck!” at the heavens. The Mecca of Gay America was a big gay ghost town this morning — the place to shout and emote was apparently a hop, skip, and a jump down the road at Civic Center. News vans idled, wasting gas, while dolled-up TV reporters pondered how best to present the non-story story. “I can't be-lieeeeeeve how dead it is here!” one commiserated with your humble narrator.

Notions that tense Castro denizens would be huddled around radios awaiting today's ruling like archival footage of Brooklyn boys listening to World Series broadcasts seems especially quaint in retrospect. Today's digital technology enhances our isolation, even as it allows us to ostensibly be more connected to the world. Even still, it was a bit of a surprise how few people in the heart of the Castro could be spied playing with their iPhones or chatting with fellow passers-by. The non-tourists seemed glum — but, then, everyone seems glum these days. There were quite a few people quaffing stiff drinks in local bars — but they probably would be there regardless. “Oh, we're here anyway,” said one man swirling a whiskey drink at around 10:30 in the a.m. “The television's just on.” 

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