Posted tagged ‘Proposition 8’

SF Gay Pride Parade

June 30, 2009

This was my first year going to the parade, though we missed most of the actual parade. Last year, I just went to the “Pink Party” the night before the parade. Both times, I’ve seen my share of naked men and strap on…fairy wings.

Technology-phobic as I am, I wish I’d brought my camera – which I have just rediscovered, since I needed to photograph the guy I interviewed last Friday for a story about his work employing at-risk youth at a recycling plant.

I wish I’d got a photo of the naked guy painted completely – completely – blue and wearing an large feather headdress. Chelsea, who interviewed him for her radio broadcast, said he called himself an “Apache.”

I also wish I’d got a picture of the older man covered in naked Barbie dolls, along with a large, erect, wooden phallus that thrust between the hapless dolls strapped to his belt. I wondered whether this was the same man who my mom knew in her San Francisco General Hospital days – the one who swallowed Barbie doll heads, and, since he was frugal, would boil them after pooping them out, so as to sanitize them, before swallowing them again. Chelsea interviewed this man as well – I believe he called himself the “Objectifyer.”

The weather was ideal for wearing nothing, or close to nothing – about as warm as it ever gets in San Francisco.

Chelsea also interviewed an Human Rights Campaign volunteer, who complained that she wasn’t getting many people to support an anti-hate crime bill. Most older people there, she said, had signed up with the HRC in the nineties, but now the younger ones couldn’t be bothered. I wondered whether there was another reason she wasn’t having much luck, as an HRC volunteer in particular.

Last year, I’d been planning on going to the parade (I don’t remember why I couldn’t), and I’d signed up to do voter registration with the HRC. I figured there was no way Prop 8 could pass (back then, despite Schwarzenegger, I mostly believed that my state had some common sense), but I wanted to help make sure. Then, the day before the parade, I read in the paper: “LGBT groups protesting the Human Rights Campaign.” It turned out that the HRC had recently promoted a bill that would give equal workplace rights to L’s, G’s, and B’s, but not T’s. Their rationale: something was better than nothing. Not in the eyes of transsexuals and most others in the LGBT community.

For fear of being spat upon, I decided not to volunteer with HRC. This year, I felt a little guilty about not volunteering again.

I asked the volunteer if the whole affair had blown over yet. She gave a very long spiel about how they realize they made a really, really bad mistake, and they have apologized profusely, and they want to make it absolutely clear that this new bill they are promoting includes rights for everyone. Then she asked us for donations, and I assuaged my guilt and also felt a little glad that I wasn’t volunteering this year, either.

I did see this guy, or one much like him

I did see this fellow, or one much like him

Anyway, as all the headlines have declared, everyone seemed to want to celebrate extra hard in the face of the Defense of Marriage Act, no fix to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, etc.

P.S. If you are seeking to attract quantity but not quality readers to your blog, tag every post with “sex.” I got seven hits in the first hour after I published my last post, all from people searching “sex.” I’d never got hits from a tag before. Will people have learned their lesson? And/or will the title “SF Gay Pride Parade” be less intriguing than “Dirt makes everything more interesting” to those who search for “sex” on WordPress? (Likely.) Find out in my next post!