Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rainbows and equality for all!

June 30, 2013 marked my first attendance at a gay pride parade. It won't be my last.

I support equality -- and the freedom to eat Vietnamese sandwiches

Where shall I begin to share the tale of my first Gay Pride Parade? It didn't take me long to say yes to going with my friends Frank & Justin. There was some hesitation because of the weather, but it turned out to be the perfect day.
Here we are pre-parade. I'm so glad they invited me.
We met up with my sister and her wife who had already staked out a place for us to watch the festivities. It was fate that we were near a restaurant selling sangria to passers by. Yum!

Prior to the parade starting we hoofed it down to Walgreen's to pick up liquid provisions. Good lawdy! Everybody had the same idea. "All purchases except cigarettes taken at the pharmacy" was announced and we bee lined it to the back of the store. Why wait behind 50 other people?

With refreshment in hand, we made tracks back to our spot where we met newcomers who were faboo and hilarious companions. It's hard to describe just how fantastic the vibe was that day. It was just the strong as hell drinks Justin made for us, either. On that day, there was nothing to be unhappy about.

Lined up at the barricade, we hooted and hollered, jumped up and down, begged for beads and other goodies being thrown and handed out by the paraders. FOUR AND A HALF HOURS of screaming in support of gay rights.

I didn't lose my voice, surprisingly, but I did get motorboated, kissed smack dab on the mouth, given assorted beads, a lei, t-shirt. See photo below for all my swag. The security detail were two fun spirited cops named Wilde and Conroy. I've never been to Carnivale or Mardi Gras, but I would venture to guess this is much like it... possibly more tame, even, and far less unlawfulness.

The following are just a sample of the 400+ photos I took. Those are on a public photo album on Facebook. Feel free to peruse.

Saw the ghost of Elvis ...

The balloon people .. LOVE

Megan and the Andres. SUCH fun. Loved her.

Yes, I do!
How can you not be happy when you see a rainbow?

Equality for ALL

Straight Not Narrow -- My personal mantra

Revelry in full swing! Megan made the star necklace on my head

Megan convinced Officer Conroy to trade glasses

Flower child .... Jesus?

This photographer stayed in our area. I cheered for him each time he came by

Me with all the goodies I got .. yep, condoms (vanilla flavored)

Chicago Gay Mens chorus

More revelry ... WHERE IS FRANK!?

WGN Float. I SCREAMED like a banshee and jumped up and down. LOVE THEM

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