Prideful

Jun. 26th, 2017 01:30 pm
mrdreamjeans: (Madison 2008)
[personal profile] mrdreamjeans
I've never been one to march or demonstrate. I pick and choose the times and places of my involvement. I'm not sure what that says about me as a gay man. I had planned to attend The Twin Cities Pride Parade; but, as is so often the case lately, I didn't wake up till 10:30am and the parade started at 11:00am.

As it turns out, I could easily have made the parade. It was held up almost 90 minutes by protestors from the Black Lives Matter group. I understand the frustration with the verdict in the Orlando Castille case, where a black man was killed in front of his girlfriend and a four year old, by a panicked policeman (who was acquitted). Disrupting a celebration for the most likely community to support your cause seemed ill-advised. I remember a time in the 70's when just attending a Pride Parade could make you a target of police. The Twin Cities police force has a large contingent of LGBT officers and allies, led by the police chief who is a Lesbian. I feel much safer having uniformed officers present than blocked from the parade, which initially the Twin Cities Pride Committee did. (The decision was overturned.)

I did pull it together and attend the Pride Festival in Loring Park. It was a gloriously cool sunny day. I arrived at 1pm and circled the entire Festival. Oddly, I only encountered three people I knew in the two hours I was there. The Festival was well-organized; I stopped at several booths. There seemed to be a booth for every political pursuasion; every conceivable religious (or non-religious) group was covered. There seemed to be a strong emphasis on events and organizations in support of trans-gendered youth. It was crowded. I saw several kids (12-14 years old) wrapped in the pale pink and pale blue flag signaling transgendered (new to me) with their parents (go, parents!), many men in drag and also several men and women wearing dog head gear, I guess part of bondage play. The leather community (men and women) were present in large numbers. To my eye, easily half of the people at the festival were straight.

As I age, I feel mostly invisible in the LGBTQIA community. What I didn't see represented at the festival were gay men like me. (But, then again, I often feel on the outside looking in.) Maybe, they've all relocated to Palm Springs:) Perhaps, this is simply the new normal, where the LGBT community is much more integrated into society ... at least here in Minneapolis. I guess that's good.

I had no stamina and after two hours, I called my friends who were on their way and told them I was going home. I didn't feel well. I drove home and slept for two hours. I rallied to meet Jason and David at Longfellow Grill for dinner and then went two-steppin'. I can only take crowds in small doses, so I'm not sure if I'm still recovering from my two-week illness or if the introvert in me took over.

Photos are available on Live Journal. I still haven't figured out how to post them on DW.

Photos

Date: 2017-06-26 06:47 pm (UTC)
pink_halen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pink_halen
If they are stored on LJ then as you upload them grab their link and paste it into DW. Choose the link with img src and it should work fine. If you are using autocrosspost, just paste them here and they will show up there.

Date: 2017-06-26 07:07 pm (UTC)
pink_halen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pink_halen
Alas, No one loves you when you are old and Gay! (of course, that is not true.)

There are many older gay groups. Some may actually have had booths and marching units like the Prime Timers. We are around.

We didn't go to the parade. We have participated for many years. Our usual habit was to walk to the corner about 4 blocks away and watch the parade until the Front Range Bears Marching unit arrive then we would joint the group and march to the end which was about 7 blocks. It was a mixed bag depending where the bears were located in the lineup. When they were at the very end we saw a lot of the parade. When they were near the beginning we hung around and watch them disassemble. It is a powerful thing to march down a street lined 10 deep with supporters. We would wave at all the people we knew as we marched along.

A word about Puppy play. Puppies are not into SM or Bondage. It is a new and growing fetish where men like to be seen as dogs. They role play dogs. Google it to learn more about this interesting fetish. We have also seen a few "horses" drawing carriages with their mistress and festivals in San Francisco. It is not quite the "Furries" who seem to be a mixed group.

I suppose that being a puppy means you give up all inhibitions and can put your nose in places a dog might but a human never would because of the consequences.

On the Margin

Date: 2017-06-26 08:56 pm (UTC)
midlifebear: standard headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] midlifebear
I empathize with you completely. I have lost my taste for big crowds, loud noise, and public drinking. I think the key to Pride for people in their 60's is to find a way to bring the party down to a more manageable size--a dinner with friends, a party to watch it on tv, a gathering at an office building that looks down upon the Parade route.

I think the question to ask yourself is: 1) do I enjoy going to county fair type events and 2) would I still enjoy the County Fair if more than half the people were drinking and cruising? You don't have to like the Pride celebration just because you are gay. And as gay seniors, I think we have many other ways to show our pride, and help our community, and most of those ways are more interactive and personal than simply being a bystander in a big Parade crowd.

But still, you went, you saw, and you conquered your introversion :) That is an achievement all by itself.

Re: On the Margin

Date: 2017-06-28 12:55 am (UTC)
midlifebear: standard headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] midlifebear
I have met quite a few younger men. I go to several bear groups here in SF, and we have members as young as 21! There is a lot of flirting that goes on, but so far, I have not dated anyone much under 43. However, other 50-something bears have had dates with these younger cubs--they love the attention of older men, apparently.

I also get noticed on the age-difference websites--Daddyhunt comes to mind immediately, but also bear411 and bearforest. However, while I have had some intense text conversations with younger men there, I have not actually met anyone under 40 in person from those sites.

have you thought of joining a non-professional chorus? I imagine there are several in Minneapolis that would include younger gay men. And you would, of course, be a standout in any such group!

Date: 2017-06-26 09:05 pm (UTC)
billeyler: (Default)
From: [personal profile] billeyler
Well, MANY have left Palm Springs to escape the summer heat. I know a half dozen that are back in Minneapolis!

I'm not one for those either; I feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land for the most part. The reason I've attended so many over the years is for the promotion of gay square dance. They all just seem to run into a blur these days.

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