Rest in Peace, Charles “Charlie” Kinsley

I’m extraordinarily sad. The news about Charlie is hitting me in waves. I took an Ativan before my flight last night, so I first heard the news that Charlie Kinsley passed away after I got home and was in a Benzo mellow. Then I had to wake up and go to an important meeting. Now the Benzo is working its way out of my veins and I’m miserable. I decided to watch Olivia Colman’s speech to cheer me up. She made me laugh, which gave way to a flood of tears.  I used her moment as a springboard to release the grief I feel about Charlie. Gay bars are sacrosanct. It’s something very few straight people appreciate–the complicated, vital role queer bars play in the lives of sexual minorities. It’s why I always bitch about the “Lisa VanderPumpification” of West Hollywood. A few personalities have come to define these cherished spaces, these temples of safety and fun. Charlie was one of those people. It’s impossible to imagine Motherlode without his smiling, gorgeous face. I feel like somebody broke into home and stole a precious heirloom–something brilliant, valued, and irreplaceable. Even as I use all these words to try to map my feelings, words fail. Charlie was too young, too full of life and style and fun to be taken. Nobody could wear a t-shirt like Charlie. He was a such a star. This is all so wild and unbelievable and heartbreaking. And I know so many others are gutted by his passing. I’ll have to find a way to alternate between an avalanche of tears and moments of calm and denial. Back and forth. Ping pong. I can’t believe it.