Jun. 26th, 2017

Prideful

Jun. 26th, 2017 01:30 pm
mrdreamjeans: (Madison 2008)
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.

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