Jesse's Journal

Jesse Monteagudo is a freelance writer, journalist, writer and activist who is a proud member of South Florida's LGBTQ+ community for almost half a century. His first regular column, "The Book Nook" (1977-2006) was syndicated in a dozen LGBT publications in the United States and Canada and was considered an authority on LGBT literature. Jesse also wrote extensively about LGBT history, plays, movies and (for Toronto's The Guide) a regular column about gay adult cinema. His current, personal opinion column, "Jesse's Journal," began its career in the 1980s and has been published or posted in numerous newspapers, magazines and websites throughout the United States. As an activist, Jesse has served on the Boards of a dozen LGBT organizations. He lives in Plantation, Florida.

 

Wilton Drive is a one-mile segment of State Road 811 within the city of Wilton Manors. It begins at Five Points and ends at the Fort Lauderdale border, just north of Fort Lauderdale High School. I first visited Wilton Drive in 1980, while I was living at SIR Apartments in nearby Dixie Highway. I washed my clothes in a laundromat at 2365 Wilton Drive, an address now occupied by Wilton Collective. Other than some restaurants, and shops here and there, the Drive did not make much of an impression on me. Then things changed.

There has been a lot of speculation as to what would happen if (G*d forbid) Donald Trump is elected president in 2024. A natural-born authoritarian, Trump might seek to govern in the image of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Erdogan, Hungary’s Viktor Orban and other dictators. Trump himself denied the charge somewhat, saying that he would only be a dictator on “Day One. We’re closing the border, and we’re [oil] drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator.” In other forums, Trump also promised to use the powers of the presidency to evade justice and punish his enemies.

November is Transgender Awareness Month, a month which, in the words of Heckin’ Unicorn (heckinunicorn.com), “is an annual celebration of transgender history and the transgender community. It is celebrated every November to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs on Nov. 20. The month is centered around educating people about the transgender community, raising visibility of transgender people, and advocating for their rights.”

According to journalist Liz Highleyman (“Past Out”), gay “motorcycle clubs, a mainstay of gay culture since the 1950s, ushered in a new brand of queer masculinity and gave rise to today’s leather/SM community.” The first gay motorcycle club, the Los Angeles Satyrs, began in 1954 and is still in existence.

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2520 N. Dixie Highway,
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