Monday, June 26, 2006

A Few Thoughts on the Parade/March

In no particular order:

Ow.

The route is only about 4 miles. I walk 4 miles all the time. I just don't normally stand around for two hours before I start walking. Also, I am normally a very fast walker. Shuffle shuffle stop. Shuffle shuffle stop. Argh! I swear, we spent an hour on 8th Street waiting to cross 6th Avenue. My feet were killing me.

Also, my butt hurts. I think I pulled something.

I guess I just wasn't in the mood. I was just over it by 31st Street. (That's a paltry 21 blocks, with 23 blocks and 4 avenues left to go.) It didn't help that I nearly got arrested at 42nd Street.

I am cursed with a small bladder. I spied some portapotties set up outside the Central Library, and I ducked out of the parade for a moment to take advantage of them. When I was done, this jerk of a cop was not going to let me back in the parade. He said, "Hey hey hey whoa buddy, where you think you're goin'?" I said, "I'm rejoining my group, I had to use the restroom." "Yeah, I don't think so pal, you can't just come and go like that." "Well...okay, why not?" "We got rules." I said, "But my group is right there...see all those people with the t-shirts that match mine? Can't I just get back with them?" "Sorry pal, I let you in, I gotta let everybody in." "What? No, you just have to let people WHO ARE OBVIOUSLY PART OF THE PARADE in." "Look, this isn't fun for me either, I'd rather be home eating dinner." (Fortunately I restrained an antagonistic response that shot to mind.) "Well, what do you suggest I do?" "Cross over here, go down Madison Avenue and see if you can rejoin further down." And I'm thinking, so if you think some other cop will let me in at some random intersection somewhere else, why won't you do it when my GROUP IS RIGHT THERE??? So I just said, "Fine." I crossed 5th Avenue, spoke to the cop at the other corner and said, "I got out of line to use the restroom and that cop over there won't let me back in, can I please just rejoin my group which is right there?" And the cop said, "Yeah sure, whatever." Sheesh.

To the people who suggested that God is angry at the gays and therefore we didn't have a picture postcard day, allow me to respond: I think God (see Genesis, where He flooded the entire world, reduced two cities to smoldering heaps and turned a woman into a pillar of salt) can do better than 75, overcast and light sprinkles. If you really want to try to impart signs of God's anger to the weather, you might want to look a little further south. Washington, D.C. got flooded and a tree fell over at the White House. Hello.

I saw so, so many cute guys yesterday. Not "hot," gorgeous guys, cute guys. Boyfriend types. So many of them. Where are they the rest of the year? Why aren't I meeting any of them?

*****

On a less irreverent note, here's why we do this, and here's the reason full marriage equality is important. It's about people. Real people who are hurt by the inequality.

After the parade I went to a barbecue for LGBT people and supporters at St. Bartholomew's Church. I met an elderly man there who told me, "I was in a partnership with another man for 45 years. He passed away 18 years ago." Then, with a tear forming in his eye and a little catch in his voice, "The hospital wouldn't let me be with him when he died."

36 comments:

Jarred said...

It sounds like you had a great time, sore legs and stupid cops aside.

Jade said...

I thought about you when I saw they were having a parade here in Seattle and a big festival thing in Seattle Center. I wish I could have gone, but Dan has been in the hospital. It's too bad that so many people require that magical piece of paper in order to respect a couple's love and commitment.

Jeff said...

Regarding the rainy-but-not-too-bad weather: as someone was quoted as saying in the New York Times, Mother Nature is a drag queen.

Matthew said...

Sounds like that cop's brain was on auto-pilot. I'm glad it didn't take you too much work to get back in.

little-cicero said...

There was a gay parade (not march) in the city nearest to me just as my brother and I were trying to drive through, and it was a site like nothing I'd experienced before. There was a float packed with barebreasted men in tight jeans and cowboy hats dancing, and all I could think was "So they're trying to send the message that homosexuals are just like everyone else?".

I think there's a reason that religious conservatives are not railing against these parades- they are counter-productive. Obviously a march like the one you participated in is much more productive to your political interests.

Andy said...

Bare-breasted men? Interesting turn of phrase.

No, Little Cicero, we're not just like everyone else. We're way, way, way more fun. But we're so fabluous that instead of asking for legal recognition of our innate superiority, we will magnanimously settle for mere equality.

Robert Bayn said...

Your butt was hurting at Pride?

There are sooooooo many jokes that could be inserted here!

LC, we happen to agree on the marches or parades, but that's only because the media focuses on the nuts in the crowd, and not the average gay person, i bet if you took the time and looked around, 95% of people there were just your normal gay person.

little-cicero said...

Actually, one of Andy's readers (it may have been you Robert) pointed this observation out to me a long time ago. No, most of the people I saw on the street marching just seemed to be partying. They were no more serious than are Irishmen marching in St. Patty's Day Parades, but I guess everyone has to party once in a while. That's a separate issue from whether it serves the good of homosexuals.

It seems entirely foolish to me to be proud of and parade your sexuality, but to march for equality and acceptance is admirable.

Robert Bayn said...

I think the pride has to do with, being shunned from the general population and being called sub-human by some extremist and not equal, the pride is to say i'm not ashamed of something people say i should be ashamed of.

little-cicero said...

I really do think it's about acceptance and not pride, but the sight of these parades doesn't give that impression.

Jade said...

My father in law once walked right into a gay pride parade in Santa Cruz. He had been walking with Dan's brother (who was around 10 at the time) just talking, and they turned a corner and literally ran into a bunch of half naked women, and men in chaps with no clothing underneath (ass cheeks waving as they walked) He was stunned, not knowing what to do, so he turned to his 10 year old son and said, as if they were talking about the weather, "So... what do you think of all this?"

I think the theme of the parade/march depends on which one you go to, and which part of the crowd you see. Up here, the media focused on the whole fair thing they were having at the Seattle Center (which looked like any other informational/celebratory fair they have with booths and such) Nothing looked particularly kooky. That stuff the FIL saw back in Santa Cruz so many years ago... given the location I'd bet those paraders were probably hopped up on the pot

little-cicero said...

Unrelated to the last comment: Do participants ever bring their children to these things if they adopt?

Robert Bayn said...

LC, the one we had here in Detroit, many gay families were there.

Here i think i saw only 3 people who were on the outrageous level, it was pride, not a March or parade, it was basically a gay festival, i imagine the parades bring out more of the "characters", but even than, i would say 90-95% of those there are just your average gay person, also rememeber, the Drag Queens, half naked guys, Half Naked Lesbians, guys in chaps, are attention whores, and when people and the media pay attention to them, that's exactly what they want, for the most part it's all about them, not the fight for equality.

Andy said...

Absolutely. Not only do many children watch the parade, children also participate. Not all the participants are LGBT -- we had many heterosexual supporters with us, as well. Also, LGBT people can have biological children, LC.

chiron said...

I saw pics of the NYC parade on Yahoo. I loved the older Rad Faerie with his pooch and linked to his photo on my blog. Thanks for sharing that story from the gay senior.

kr pdx said...

RBayn, silly question: Is "Half Naked Lesbians" capitalized like "Drag Queens" because they are an actual gender group I've previously not heard of? Or maybe they're an alternative rock band ... ;).

Heterosexuals don't have enough opportunities to be Fabulous, that's what I think. Why do the drag queens get all the best shoes???? Well, OK, it's a bit tricky managing children and doing dishes in stilettos, in my case ... but I used to manage theatre productions in them. (I cut back a little after having to change a lighting instrument on a 40 foot ladder ... luckily that day I was wearing just 2-1/2 inch heels instead of my 3-1/2 inch antique lucite stillettos.) The five percent of us heterosexuals who would Love a few chances to be Fabulous (myself, not so much the naked part, but there are plenty of those folks too) would quickly remove LC's objection that Fabulousness/nakedness being somehow uniquely homosexual ;). Perhaps I'll have to make room for Portland's Starlight Parade in my schedule next June ... I hear that can be pretty Crazy. Woo woo!

Ah, the halcyon days of youth, when I wore the electric-blue silk hairbow as big as my head on days I was feeling too tired to dress more interestingly ;). I was lucky, I was an academic powerhouse, or most people would have written me off entirely (as they did the other "freaks"). Pff. Just because I came dressed as a pirate one day ... and I loved my mother's 1969 vibrant-purple and flourescent-green floral caftan ... and wore the purple velvet Elizabethan hat with the peacock feather with some regularity (one has to look more serious sometimes) ...

I think anyone who makes an effort to really dress up at Halloween is probably a repressed Fabulous dresser :).

little-cicero said...

"Absolutely. Not only do many children watch the parade, children also participate. Not all the participants are LGBT -- we had many heterosexual supporters with us, as well. Also, LGBT people can have biological children, LC."

Socio-Political Child Abuse!
I am currently thanking God that I was never subjected to such things during my childhood! :)

These must be the same parents who turn on "Teletubbies"- allowing their children to be brainwashed into... (:

Robert Bayn said...

Picky PDX, could be a band for all i know, kids today i tell ya!

LC, i watched He-Man when i was little, i think that's how i became gay.

Andy said...

Which is the perfect lead-in for me to link to this.

Robert Bayn said...

That was funny!

LeshDogg said...

Socio-Political Child Abuse!
I am currently thanking God that I was never subjected to such things during my childhood! :)

These must be the same parents who turn on "Teletubbies"- allowing their children to be brainwashed into... (:


So, LC, is this entirely unlike the parent who drags their child to church (willingly / unwillingly) every Sunday?

You are decrying LGB parents for brainwashing their children, right? Does religion not brainwash? Think outside the box for a minute, kiddo.

DJRainDog said...

Thank you, Mr. Lesh, for stopping my verbally abusive response to l-c's last comment in its tracks. Actually, in this case, I have to say I think the lad's tongue might've been somewhere in the vicinity of his cheek. Speaking for myself, a dear gay friend of mine missed the New York march (and I must emphasize the word "march", not "parade") this year to stay home and care for his biological infant son. I fully expect the child will grow up to be a heterosexual, but I also fully expect that his father will take him to the Pride March to expose him to the wonderful diversity that exists among homosexuals (I will not claim that there is a "community"). I'm always titillated by the fantastically-attired Brasilians, moved by the various religious groups (who obviously get that when the Lord said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself", He did not except anyone from that dictum), amused by the brazen strength of the Dykes on Bikes, and perhaps most proud -- and more than a little choked-up -- as the gay law enforcement officers and firemen pass, not because I think they're hot, but because I admire their bravery and selflessness, protecting and serving those in a society that wishes them harm or nonexistence.

LeshDogg said...

DJ -
Sadly, I'm pretty certain that LC's comment was not tongue-in-cheek.

kr pdx said...

Aww, LeshDogg, give the LC a little break ... he at least realizes (and is reflecting) that folks here think this set of his opinions are ridiculous.

Andy said...

LeshDogg, I'm pretty sure the ": )" following LC's comments were meant to be indicative of deliberate snarkishness.

And I don't think taking a child to church, even against their will, constitutes "brainwashing." Don't you find that term a little extreme?

little-cicero said...

Yes, that was mostly tongue-in-cheek as I displayed at the forefront the thoughts that I knew you would find most ridiculous in a ridiculous manner.

But seriously, I find a HUGE difference between teaching children about their Creator and Savior and teaching them that same-sex marriages are admirable (this is not a criticism of that belief by any means)- the latter lesson has no bearing on the soul and one's character and moral values whereas the former will cause no such benefits. If you are to invoke the word brainwashing, they would both be worthy of the word, but I have semantic doubts about doing so. Brainwashing implies erasing what was once in the brain and replacing it with new information- I doubt that either is a case of doing so. I did put an emoticon after using the word, so if that bails me out... :)

Robert Bayn said...

I find it to be the same in my book LC, bottomline your teaching them what you believe to be right and true, nothing wrong either, as long as your not teaching them to hate people who believe differently, or see things differently, or live a different lifestyle.

Andy said...

I think parents have both the right and the responsibility to pass on their moral beliefs and visions to their children. I have no real problem with parents teaching their children that they believe homosexuality is wrong and same-sex marriage is not an equal alternative to "traditional" marriage. The same would go for abortion, birth control, religion, race/gender issues, political affiliation, etc.

But parents should also not violate their children's rights by preventing them from having access to alternative points of view. They can say, "We don't agree with [blank]," but it's irresponsible and cowardly of them to deny that other ideas/opinions exist.

LeshDogg said...

Andy, LC:

I knew I should have changed "church" to "worship" before I posted, but I got the response I wanted. I did caution to think "outside the box," right?

By your logic, Islamo-fascism does not brainwash; Branch Davidians didn't brainwash; etc. Religion does have the power to brainwash. And it's not always about Christianity, folks (though it was my bad for using the term "church" in my point).

I apologize if offended LC. But I base my comments on personal experience and conversations, and I stand by that, while he may have been "snarky," he would be serious in believing bringing a child to a Gay Pride march would be corruptive. Emoticons don't fix everything (which is sort of why I don't use them).

Andy said...

LeshDogg: Ooookayyy, I think you need to draw yourself a Venn diagram. There are brainwashers, some of whom are religious. Are all religious people brainwashers? Hello, logical fallacy much.

Robert Bayn said...

I bet brainwashing is how that whole walking on water thing started!

LeshDogg said...

Andy,

Didn't mean to imply all religions are brainwashers. The emphasis on "does have" was meant to convey that. It's also why I used EXTREME examples of brainwashing.

little-cicero said...

I think Andy's got it right on the mark here. Parents have a duty to pass their religion on to their children, and they are irresponsible if they forbid their children to look into alternatives. Islamofascists and other religious extremists forbid such alternatives- that is what makes them "brainwashers", not the fact that they pass on their religion to their children.

Andy said...

OMG, mark June 28, 2006 down in the history books -- Andy and Little Cicero in complete accord! (sort of)

little-cicero said...

Well, there was the communism thing but some might consider that issue too obscure to count. (:

kr pdx said...

LeshDogg:
religion/brainwashing recently covered under Andy's Pledge of Allegiance post ... I suppose that was 6/14 ... if it seems like you aren't getting the full set of expected reactions they're probably all in that string ...