Last night, watching The Fairly Oddparents, I had to chuckle at my timing. Timmy was on his way to Adrenaland on Friday the Thirteenth when he managed to accidentally free all the anti-fairies. And you know it can’t be good when there are anti-fairies around in a happening cartoon about fairy godparents.
I thought how perfect is that? The day before yesterday had actually been Friday the Thirteenth and the day after (today) I am declining to march in the Gay pride parade with my church. That makes me the biggest anti-fairy at church today.
Interestingly enough, this is the third year in a row I’ve declined and everyone acts really suprised.
Here’s my history of Gay pride parades:
Number One: Dallas, Texas, 1990. I risked being fired from my job by attending the parade. I had to be very careful to not end up in any news photos for fear of accidentally being outed to my family. Still it was exhilarating to know there were so many gay folk in Dallas that it could support a 10 block parade. I don’t know if I would have been fired for being Gay or just for skipping work that day, either way it added a little extra snap to the whole deed. As a side note, Linda, who attended the parade with me that day has since committed suicide.
Number Two: Washington D.C., 1994. I flew from NASA to D.C. To march with a million of my closest gay friends. It was a total party and site-seeing adventure. The four day “March on Washington” was a hoot. On the airplane on the way to D.C. I overheard one of the regular travelers ask the flight attendent why the plane was so full, and the steward simply replied that “there is some sort of march in Washington this weekend.” Ha! Some sort. There were so many Fags in Washington on Thursday that ridership on The Metro was up by 400,000 people. Then it got scary for them and the National Park service announced only 100,000 or so Gay people showed up for the parade on Sunday. “100,000 people,” packed like sardines for a 20 square block area, I don’t think so. I think even President Clinton was scared of the Gays, he fled town.
Number Three: San Francisco, CA, 1997. Watched the parade from the sidelines. It had something like 200 floats in it. I thought it would never end. It just went on and on and on. I was there with my boyfriend at the time, so I didn’t mind so much.
Number Four: Sydney, Austrailia, 1998. At the 25th annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, I felt lonelier than I have ever felt. My BF was part of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and they were performing so I was left all alone to fend for myself. Ah, the joys of being a groupie. There were queens everywhere but none of them were anything but party animals. Bored with that, I vowed to never go to a pride parade again.
Number Five: San Francisco, 2000. Went with a good friend of mine’s wife. She promised not to ruin my image and make everyone think I was straight. Times were different then than they were back in the Dallas days.
Number Six: San Francisco, 2001. Marched in the parade with a client called “Just Deserts” and handed out thousands of chocolate chip cookies. That was fun, we were very popular. It was fun to single guys in the crowd out and personally hand them a cookie. I could’ve gotten so lucky that night (that afternoon), if I had wanted to. Amazing what you can do with a cookie.
Number Seven: San Francisco, 2002. Went with Keith and his mom to watch the parade and Gandalf himself (Sir Ian Mckellan) came by and shook our hands.
Number Eight: Portland, 2004. Marched with the contingent from First United Methodist Church in Portland.
Number Nine: Portland, 2005. As the chair person of the committee at church, I marched with FUMC again, but I began to wonder why it’s important to march in this parade any more.
So I decided not to. It’s that simple. Been there, done that. Way more than anyone should ever have to. When I was younger and the parades were needed to help gain acceptance for us, I was front and center. I’m out to my family, out to my office (including the church), out to everyone everywhere, as far as I know. Now I can pass the flame (I was going to say torch) and let someone else do it.
oh, I ran across this from The Onion, that bastion of sarcasm, while I was searching for pictures for this post:
The Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade, Thorne noted, is part of a decades-old gay-rights tradition. But, for mainstream heterosexuals unfamiliar with irony and the reclamation of stereotypes for the purpose of exploding them, the parade resembled an invasion of grotesque outer-space mutants, bent on the destruction of the human race.