Just like in past years, I know I’m behind on the pride-related post, but this really is when our city celebrates pride. This year’s theme was “Let’s Make Magic.” My partner and I took that concept and twisted and twirled it to suit us. She has a wand that a friend made, and she has lots of fun black clothes. She also has badass sword earrings and newish leg tattoos. I have this zebra print cowboy hat that I’ve worn a lot for drag performances, and recently it’s acquired a white plastic flower, but I don’t know from when or where. I also had an idea for a magic trick. Here’s some pictured from right before we biked to get down to the parade:
This year, we started out earlier than usual, and went to a friend’s house for a brunch party ahead of time. Three of them were wearing black matching short-shorts in overall form, with nothing underneath, plus loads of glitter and spray paint and face makeup. They had made incredible puppet-like creations to carry, and they planned to watch the parade and then jump in at the end. That sounded fun! But my spouse and I also wanted to march with her employer (a food co-op), like we had done last year. So we split our time half and half: after the party we went to find her group, and we did half of the parade with them. I handed out 300 coupons for $5 off a $25 dollar purchase. I love handing things out!
Then about half-way through, we jumped out and walked back to where our rouge group of friends were watching. Every time a dog walked by, a bunch of them would go pet him/her. And every time there was a gap in the parade, they’d all walk into the road to fill the space until the next group caught up. Once the last group passed by, they jumped in and started chanting, “The People, The People…” and urging other spectators to jump in and join. A lot of people did! The mass got larger and larger until we reached the end and people started dispersing. It was a blast! Usually in the parade, I’m with a small group, and it was really great to just get swept up in this energy.
Afterward, we decided not to go to the festival because of the admission cost and crowds. We met up with some of my spouses co-workers for pizza and beer. The following day though, we actually attended the picnic, which I haven’t done since I was a teenager, because we wanted to catch up with some friends. It was low-key. We saw some drag performances, which do not quite translate into a mostly sober, middle-of-the-day, middle-of-a-field environment. Haha.
This may have been the most fun I’ve had during pride in years. I think because we were with different people, throughout the weekend, and just because I was less stressed and anxious. With less anxiety, there’s more potential for fun! I love it! (Also, we were having a lot of fun with our costumes!!!
Here are some past posts about Pride:
I know that pride month is long over, and it would appear I’m quite a bit behind, but this actually is when Pride happens in our city. I’d been having a glum summer so far, and this day really helped lift my spirits. My partner and I marched in the parade with the local gay alliance (the one I’ve been doing office volunteer work with, since January).
I woke up early to help create 8 balloon “backpacks” to be worn at the parade. I didn’t end up claiming one to wear, so my partner and I decided to create our own balloon backpacks, you know, so we would fit in better.
As we marched, I seriously could feet the pride sinking in, for real. The parade followed a new route this year, and it was a definite improvement. Lots of people cheering, protesters much less prominent (for whatever reason.) My partner and I held hands for a while! I said hi to and hugged other people I knew from the alliance. It feels super great to know I’m starting to become more connected to this community, a little bit.
This was not my first time marching in the parade, not by a long shot. But it was my first time marching with a group, legit. For about 7 years straight, I would merge in with the parade to do my own thing, sometimes with my partner and friends, sometimes just with my drag buddy. In my own way, I was protesting the fact that groups have to pay for a spot. I strongly felt that, even though I didn’t belong to a group, I belonged in the parade. It was always kinda chaotic. Frenzied, manic energy (sort of forced, sometimes).
We walked with boomboxes playing our fave song (not the club hits.) We rode our bikes. We handed out flyers for radical queer reading groups, for performance nights, for the anarchist community space. We gave away candy and hugs. We hoola-hooped, danced, ALWAYS created huge gaps between ourselves and those in front of us (accidentally) because we were interacting with the crowds so much which caused us to delay walking forward, haha. At some point, it started to feel exhausting, but I kept thinking I had to keep doing it – it was a tradition. Last year, I let myself off the hook, didn’t even attend. This year, we’re figuring out different ways to do it. It felt pretty great.
I read some reflections on Pride this past month – that it’s corporate, that it’s not inclusive, that it’s not worthwhile or necessary any longer. If, by chance you do feel this way, next year, consider making Pride your own by merging into the thick of it, or streaking through the middle of it, and giving voice to whatever it is you feel you want to say. Be the people you feel you’re not seeing!