April 21, 2012: 1987 Redux

            Today, I attended a gay pride celebration. First time in 25 years.

            The last time I went to Gay Pride was in 1987. Back then, I was the chairperson of the local organization that produced the event. In the Olden Days, it was difficult to get anyone to attend a queer event that didn’t include a beer bust and a drag show, but I was determined that we should stage a march, a rally, a protest—anything other than getting loaded while watching a guy in a gown lipsynching to a Dusty Springfield record. I prevailed during my last year with the organization, and we marched down Central  Avenue in Phoenix.

            I think we had 300 people that year.

            This year, the march went on for hours. The festival that followed was colossal—thousands of people milled around a local park, being gay and lesbian. I volunteered at the table for the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, an organization that makes schools safe for kids of all orientations.

             It was good to see the ways in which things have changed.

             One thing that hadn’t changed was the comic hatred being offered at the entrance to the post-march event. Men with anti-gay placards stood on the sidewalk, denouncing pansies and bulldaggers, sentencing us all to an eternity in Hell.

              I blew them kisses.

God's spokespeople.

Thing I Hate Today: Cotton-poly blends


2 Responses

  1. I believe have a photo of you from that ’87 pride celebration. I think that was the one where I ran around hiding from the news cameras behind my “Gay and Proud” sign.

  2. Someday I am going to march in one of these, NOT in a gown but a grey flannel suit and a “Square and Queer” sign. We don’t all sh*t rainbows.

    (Oh maybe that’s an even better sign…)

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