Yes, it’s hard to enjoy the parade when the straight couple parked next to you in lawn chairs keeps glaring at you for cheering too loudly and blocking their view with your dancing.
Sure, it’s a three-day booze fest that necessitates apologizing to friends and neighbours for the other 362 days of the year.
Okay, okay, it’s hard to focus on the achievements of queer liberation while being bombarded with that much gold spandex and Kylie Minogue. But there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy Pride weekend.
Here are a few of the things I love, and hate, about Pride:
Send in the Raelians
Am I the only one who misses the Raelians?
You remember, the UFO-obsessed folks intent on human cloning who used to be a perennial presence at Pride? Perhaps I was off peeing in the bush in front of someone’s ocean-view apartment building when they pranced by, but I’m pretty sure the Raelians were absent from the parade last year.
I don’t know if they went joyriding on the mothership and didn’t make it back in time or had a clone emergency of some sort but I, for one, missed them terribly.
Nothing says inclusion quite like welcoming a group of whackadoodles like that into your community. And when so many people in the world are quite vocally wishing that gays would just disappear off the face of the planet, I’ll gladly stand up and applaud a group of people interested in creating more of us. Even if they do kind of give me the heebies with their ’70s-key-party vibe and their extraterrestrial lovin’.
What did you get? I don’t know but it was free!
Apparently, gays love free stuff
We line the parade route and reach out our hands in desperation, hoping to catch a bit of whatever is being tossed out by the benevolent gods going by on a float.
But here’s the thing: no one is ever giving out anything good.
No, I don’t want your advertisement brilliantly disguised as a magnetic picture frame. No, thank you.
Okay, the cum towels were clever. The year when cuties were squirting people with sunscreen then helping rub it in was practical and sexy. But I just don’t need another 1-900-STUD key chain.
Who is the marketing genius behind that promotional item? Are that many horny gay guys stuck in traffic with only their cell phones and a number on their key chain to entertain them? And at $5.99 a minute no less?
We’re here! We’re queer! We have to pee!
It’s almost noon. You’re surrounded by people, the parade is about to begin and those mimosas you had at brunch are going right through you.
Yes, it’s the classic Pride problem: where to pee?
One day some smart West Enders are going to learn from those who live near the PNE and stand outside their apartments with signs that say: “Use my bathroom! $5!”
But until then, you’ll be stuck with the massive port-a-potty lineups at the park, the massive bathroom lineups in the cafés along Denman, or squatting in an alley with the rest of us. Ah, so proud.
God bless PFLAG
Every year I steel myself. I’m not going to cry when PFLAG marches by, I’m not going to cry when PFLAG marches by. And every year I cry when PFLAG marches by.
For those not in the know, PFLAG stands for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and I think they are, quite possibly, the loveliest people on the planet.
Communities are nothing without allies. Chosen family is great but when your biological family not only loves and supports you but also gets up early in the morning to paint a sign and tell the world about it, well, that’s something untouchable if you ask me.
Not that my family are PFLAGers. (Note to self, discuss with Dad the possibility of starting PFLAG Chemainus.) In fact, I only know one person who has a relative in the group.
My dear friend Jason is a queer trans man and his mother is the trans contact person for-get this-PFLAG Memphis, Tennessee.
Tough gig, huh? She has the area tranny girls over for tea on a regular basis and if you’re the parent of a Tennessee trans kid and need someone to talk to, Doris is your gal.
She also sends Jason e-mails that, completely without intention or irony, refer to the organization as PFAG. Oh man, I love those lovely people.
For those of you who took part in the resurrected Dyke March last year, you know that it was the wee-est parade route in all the land.
I went online the morning of the “march” to look up the route, and laughed my ass off. The whole thing was about three blocks long!
I entertained myself with thoughts of what that organizing meeting must have been like: “All right, sisters, here’s what’s going to happen: we’re going to march proudly past the blue house, hang a left, then call it a day.”
Not that I’m complaining. Let the drag queens give themselves shin splints and sway backs dancing all the way down Denman and Pacific in their stilettos. This femme in four-inch heels is quite happy with the Lazy Lesbian East Side Saunter. See you there.