It’s where I went when I wanted to be around other gay people when John Kerry debated George Bush in 2004 for the presidency. I had just moved to Long Beach from Los Angeles and I was still figuring out the city. I didn’t have access to the debate on my TV at home, and I needed to see it. The bartender turned it on for me and we all gathered around and watched. By we all, I mean the gay men and lesbians who frequented that corner café and bar.
I remember laughing so hard that day when someone in the bar said what I still love as a quote, “John Kerry: Bring complete sentences back to the White House.”
Later when I met my girlfriend, who would become my wife, we were living a few blocks apart and in the middle of those few blocks was The Paradise Café. We didn’t have access to the lesbian TV series smash The L-Word. We often went to the Paradise and guilted them into turning it on. We’d sit at the bar with French fries, which to this day I think are the best fries in Long Beach, and watch The L-Word, chiding a lot of gay men around us that they needed to watch to and catch up on this “amazing show!!”
It was where I went, where tons of us went after gay marriage was declared legal in California. I went in with a friend of mine, Carolyn Weathers, who is the cover girl on my book, Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (BYAMR).
Continue reading “Another Gay Bar Closes – Paradise Lost by Marie Cartier”