Zany, vibrant, dying

By Leila Marie Lawler (articles) | Jul 05, 2004

My friend Margaret points out an article in yesterday's Boston Globe about Provincetown, a name that means Queertown. Husbands cower behind their wives when going for a hike on the dunes just inside the town line; real guys don't like having to get to close to P'town even for the sake of that empty beach after the hot walk over the beautiful rolling hills of sand. When someone tells you a bishop summers there, a nod's as good as a wink, what?

The story is forthright the town's problems that lurk beneath the bright exterior -- and about what's missing: children. Without children, a town can't survive, no matter how trendy: "The town's share of children under 10 -- an important indicator of a school system's viability -- is just 3.7 percent of its population. That ranked Provincetown last among the state's 351 communities."

Provincetown has money, it turns out, being a popular tourist destination, but money alone isn't staving off doom. ''What you're starting to see is a way of life in a community start to unravel."

The answer? Fund more arts, build a musem, expand a nursing home by turning it over to a nonprofit. The weakness of these suggestions would be laughable if not so tragically inevitable. The reporter knows, but can't find anyone in the place to say, that what Provincetown and indeed every town needs is children, families, mothers, fathers, and a Church. And that maybe homosexuality isn't a viable lifestlye after all.

Maybe sooner than we think we'll be able to afford a house on the beach...

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