Because I work for an organization with ties to the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered (LGBT) community, I spent a couple of hours today manning (as it were) the agency’s booth at the Seattle Pride Festival.

This event used to be called the Gay Pride Parade. In recent years it has expanded to occupy an entire weekend. And I guess “gay” was just too exclusive a term, so it was dropped. Now anyone can show up and be proud.

I had great fun at the booth, watching the LGBT people stream by. Plenty of straight (S) folks were there, too. My family came with me, as did Gungaboy, and my eight-year-old turned out to be an ace pamphleteer. My husband showed his support and pride in his dorky middle-aged straight white guyness by wearing the gayest clothes in his closet (a blindingly bright Hawaiian print shirt and matching pink Converse high tops).

Interestingly, I noticed that most of the gay male couples I saw were dressed in unremarkable Seattle summer style (khaki shorts, Teva sandals, and sweatshirts). The more flamboyantly costumed men, like the one dressed in orange body paint and a towel, and the one in head-to-toe neoprene, were alone. (Gungaboy said neoprene-guy was making a safe sex statement, but I’m not sure I believe him.)

There were also some fabulous drag queens. By virtue of their towering 6-foot height, their perfect hair and makeup, and their enormous bosoms, some of these guys would easily have qualified for supermodel status had they actually been women.

I’m sorry to say I missed the parade, and therefore didn’t get to wave at the Dykes on Bikes who ride every year. Maybe next time.

The festival drew more than 100,000 people over two days. The music flowed freely, and all was happy and peaceful.

A few miles away, a counter-event was held at a church by the James Dobson “I’m OK, you’re going to hell” crowd. As far as I know, that one was peaceful too.

Almost makes me wish I was L. But then my employer wouldn’t have a token S chick on staff. Anything I can do for diversity…


21 thoughts on “

  1. Y’know, I live so close to San Francisco–only about an hour away–and yet I’ve never had the opportunity to go see the Gay Pride Parade.  I ought to go one year….

  2. I intend to attend such an event someday, too. You’re lucky to work for an organization that promotes diversity like that. I hope I end up working at places like that when I land a job next fall.

  3. The Toronto Pride Festival/Parade was this weekend as well, and it is officially 25 years old this year. It got me to wondering how many of those that participated in the first protest march (like many other pride festivals/parades, it began as a protest march) back in 1981 were around this year, and how they might have felt. 25 years ago they were protesting the mistreatment of the gay and lesbian community (especially in Toronto’s bathhouses) at the hands of the police, and prejudice in general. This weekend, they celebrated instead. What a long way to have come.Both F and I wished we could have made it, but sadly circumstances dictated otherwise.Hope you had a great time!

  4. James Dobson “I’m OK, you’re going to hell” crowd.   
    As an ex-minister of Southern Baptist persuation who has saw  the light many years ago and deeply repented of his “Jesus loves you unless you’re a white-middle-class-heterosexual-gay bashing-let’s put the ten commandments up in every public place and lynch anybody who tries to take them down-roots, I haven’t stopped laughing at the James Dobson reference.

  5. If you mean the “Grown-ups with Content worth being featured” ring…..
    I never saw anything too awe inspiring there.  But…I’m fairly picky and weird in my tastes.

  6. i used to love going to the gay pride parades in SF. theres nothing that i love more, than seeing a 6’2 man in 4 inch heels and a 3 foot tall beehive hairdo. i wish i could see people being that comfortable with theirselves and sexuality everyday.

  7. Your hubby sounds like he really rocks! (I have a pair of pink Converse too – from when I dressed in ‘costume’ while performing in a production of Godspell. I wonder if Dobson’s pals would think that that was too evil too? You know, theatre and all that.I’m glad you had a good time. And I’m glad that the event was a success.

  8. Wow. I always think that it would be neat to work for a company like that, and then I think that it might be impossible to concentrate for a while, which would be long enough to get me fired. Ah, well…..

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