Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Gay Thing: My First Real Gay Pride Parade!

At the ripe old age of 47, I've finally been to a gay pride parade. Well, a real one, anyway. I've been to a couple here in Las Vegas, but unless things have changed in recent years, it was a rather sad, very brief affair. Not so in Palm Springs.

We were in Palm Springs this weekend to see friends who were in from England for a visit. It was only by coincidence that it was gay pride weekend (which the desert locales have apparently switched from spring to autumn in recent years). I found out a few days ago when I saw that Joe Jervis of (my favorite blog) was the grand marshal. Happily, I got to meet Joe, and we were able to not only see the parade the next day, but had a ring-side seat at a sidewalk restaurant. Unfortunately, all of my pictures are either out of focus, or framed by rows of specators. But in person, it was an excellent vantage point.

The most notable thing about the Palm Springs Gay Pride Parade was how PG it is. Well, maybe PG-13. But there were kids all around, nobody was freaked out or having any kind of distress. There was an overwhelming spirit of joy and dare I say it, gaiety. Everyone was having a good time, whatever level of freak flag they were willing to fly! By-and-large, people were just people. There were folks of all ages, sizes, colors and styles. My entire group was of middle-aged to senior gay men, dressed in ordinary summer attire. There were of course flamboyant costumes, and full-fledged "cos-play." There were drag queens, mostly of the very over-the-top, highly exaggerated variety. And everything was just fun.

You know how if you hand your camera phone to someone
else, they never get it right? That's why this is blurry.
Also why I look so fat, I'm sure. I'm really as svelte as
Joe Jervis is! Joe.My.God. himself.

Being in that environment, it was difficult to figure out exactly what all of the negativity about gay pride really is. If there was any lewdness or "depravity" going on, it was not in plain sight. And while I'm sure there was plenty of sinning going on, it sure looked like fun to me. And Palm Springs surely saw huge revenue boosts from all of those people in town.

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