Monday, June 26, 2006

My Wonderful Gay Pride parade

Groan....I'm so stiff and sore I can barely move. I whooped it up and hollered so much I can't really talk either. It's too painful. It's going to take a week to recover from this weekend. But I don't care. What a party. What a parade. What a way to show our colours to the world. And show them that they can hate us all they want. But we are not afraid. Like the guy in the photo we're fearless and proud.

It was the best ever Pride Parade as far as I'm concerned. It was better organized. The parade moved along quicker and although it started late (gay time is a bit like Caribbean time) the show was over in two hours. And it was a good one.

I loved the fact that they started the parade with muzzled marchers carrying the flags and placards of countries where gays and lesbians are persecuted like Poland, Russia, Zimbabwe, and Iran. And a big banner that read "We march for those who can't."

I also liked the show the Toronto and Ontario Provincial Police put on. It was big and noisy with lots of police cars and motorcycles draped with gay flags. And lots of gay officers in uniform, including a lesbian officer holding hands with her partner and kids. I felt so proud of our police force I admit I had tears in my eyes.

Then there was the radical contingent that had printed up hundreds of big pictures of Stephen Harper. As their convertible moved down the street they held up a picture of our homophobic President. And then tore it in half. One picture after the other. I know it was a cheap float and a cheap gesture. But you know me. I loved it all the same!!!!

There was also more music than in other parades. Although still not enough. I expect to hear it blasting out every inch of the parade. So people in the march and those on the sidewalk can really whoop it up. I mean are we gay or what?

But with great gay friendly samba bands like this one who's complaining? They had to hold me back from leaping over the barricades and bouncing like Tigger down Yonge Street behind them.

There were lots of cute bois too...

Although seconds after I took this shot I was forced to whip out my Super Soaker and mow down the one on the right. Stitched him from tit to tit. And left his hair looking like a soggy mop. I had no choice. Look what he was packing. Whew! It was either him or me.

Too bad. He was cute. Although the one who stole my heart was Superman...

Can you blame me? He's not only fearless. He's friendly too...

Anyway.......the whole thing went off without any ugly incidents to spoil the party. Although the guy in the next photo had to leave early. For the hospital. You know taking bad drugs is never a good idea. But when you take them and then wear a t-shirt that says "Governments are the Real Drug Dealers," you can look really dumb when you OD. Duh?

Once again the police, including some senior officers, were magnificent. As were all the volunteers who worked so hard to make the party happen.

I had no idea there were so many of them, young and old, gay and straight. I was so proud to be part of such a great team I can never thank them, or Sebastien enough. Even if I was just a broom boy. (sob)

And a big thank you to all the straight people who turned out to cheer the marchers on and join in the celebration. Along with all my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, they made it happen too. And it was beautiful.

I may be all beat up.

But I've never felt so happy and proud to be gay. Fearless and free. And ready to take on Harper and his homophobes in the battle over our equality rights. Ready to rumble. After today I'll settle for nothing less than their unconditional surrender.

Which I guess is what a Gay Pride parade is really all about....


Anonymous said...

I take back my earlier comments about the parade. Sounds like it made a statement and the tearing of Harper's pics, couldn't happen to a more hateful fellow. I can feel the energy as I read your piece. I felt a gush of pride yesterday out on Okanagan Lake with my husband and our friends as we thought of our friends back in Toronto and around the world enjoying the fact that we are gay and have a lot to offer the world. The most important parts are about those parts of the world who are still murdering our brothers and sisters with their crimes against humanity. That is why it is so important to stop President Harper and his born-again thugs. Canada is a safe place for us and ought to remain that way. The ones who belong in the closet are Harper and the born-again phonies. There I go again, get me on the Harper topic and I can't seem to shut up.

Steve said...

Dumbest comment so far.
"The most important parts are about those parts of the world who are still murdering our brothers and sisters with their crimes against humanity. That is why it is so important to stop President Harper and his born-again thugs. "

Yes maybe we should be looking at the thugs in "those parts of the World" rather than Harper who is relativly harmeless, except to some of our "fealess" brothers and sisters.

Give me Harper over the dumm NDP and the corrupt Libs any time.

Anonymous said...

Steve, take Harper, he's all yours man. Enjoy yourself as he and bros Stockwell, Thompson and Toews take your tax dollars and tell you that your are second class. Brilliant. Cheers!

Steve said...

I don't believe I am second class, I am secure.Harper is wimping out anyway, he needs to kick some ass out of all the whiners.
Marriage is not a right, it is an archaic institution all about property, and who gets what when the spouse dies.I hear nothing about love, only about who gets whose pension and house.
Gays in the country are self absorbed in their little world, of booze,drugs,and so called rights.
When people around the world would love to have half the rights the spoiled brats in Toronto have.

Anonymous said...

Steve, there is a universe outside of Toronto where gays are not all about booze and their own little party world and they certainly are anything but spoiled brats. I'm rural myself, live a nice, quiet stress and harrassment free life. Not all people in this country are as fortunate as I am, and if you take a look outside Church and Wellesley, it's not all a bed of roses. I really take offence to your description of our community as spoiled brats and your giving in to the conservatives on the issue of rights. Marriage is most definitely a right and I believe the "debate" over gay marriage was not really about marriage at all but how this religion or that religion wanted to mask their hatred of gays in a bundle of religious bullshit. Homophobic bullshit is alive and well in this country. I will not accept having my citizenship and civil rights debated by the likes of the CPC and bigoted religious outfits. I happen to have seen and heard some of Harper's thugs first hand(Stockwell Day, Colin Mayes(my riding) and Myron Thompson). These boys would prefer that you contracted AIDS and died a slow miserable death, and that's no exaggeration. Is that the kind of ass whooping you want for us? You may want to re-think your support for these people that really, really don't like you. Take a Sunday drive into some of the smaller communities where gays still live in the closet and then tell me that we're a bunch of spoiled booze hounds.

Kas said...

I have to weigh in from lurkdom to agree with Tim here. I live in a small town in northern BC with my wife and our furkids. We had no parade (Vancouver is 1200 away) but we've been legally married for 2 years and enjoy a great life, out and proud in a community where it feels like everyone else is straight. I, too, thought marriage was about property rights until I got married, and felt the difference in how I'm treated here in Canada. It really is about equality. And Harper better not annul my marriage with a sweep of the pen.

Simon said...

Good for you Kas and you Tim as well. Living your lives out and proud, and reminding people that we don't just live in cities. We're everywhere! As for you Steve brother how can you put your own people down by saying they're obsessed with "booze, drugs and so-called rights." Booze and drugs are a problem in our community. The tragic result of self loathing brought about by hatred and prejudice. And what so-called rights are you talking about? They are real equality rights. I fight for the rights of people all over the world. But what's the good of standing up for their rights. If I don't stand up for our own?