Monday, June 30, 2008

Fellini Pride Parade

Yesterday, I attended Chicago's Pride Parade, and as I walked the less than three blocks to meet my friends Aaron and John, little did I know that I had been sucked into a Fellini film.

"Sucked" into anything on Pride Day is usually very good, but "sucked into a Fellini film?" Not so much.

From now on, I will refer to this year's parade as the "Fellini Pride Parade," because less than an hour into the parade, if I had seen a clown in one of Nancy Reagan's old dresses carrying a dead goat in one hand and in the other hand, holding a leash that was attached to an albino midget waving a sign that said "Free Tibet!," it wouldn't have phased me in the least. Same old same old. Is that all there is? "Meh," as the kids say these days.

Here it is, folks. "Fellini Gay Pride."

It started out calmly. No troubles. Well, other than the fact that I was looking for two men dressed in leather standing in front of Cell Block during Gay Pride. It was like "Where's Waldo?: Leather Daddy Edition," but luckily I found my friends John and Aaron easily.

I watched maybe three parade entries go by after I met up with them - - only three, no joke.
That was when we heard someone yelling behind us, so we turned to see...

Look, y'all! Religious protesters!!

No, they're not gay, they came here to try and save our souls. Sure, they're staring slack-jawed at the Speedo-clad muscle studs on the Altoids float, but that's only because they're extra concerned about the souls housed in bodies that have bitch tits, six pac abs and a 12 inch rod.

Those souls need extra attention. The priests taught them that.

I shouldn't be so bitchy. They have every right to be there as we do and these weren't the Fred Phelps hatemongers. But usually these protesters are all placed together near the end of the parade route. And they are HEAVILY surrounded by policemen.

That's why this was so "Fellini." For some reason, here were a few religious protesters walking around and slightly provoking a very large, very rowdy group of leather men, bears and bull dykes who started drinking at 10:00 a.m.

That's 10:00 a.m. Moscow time.

The last thing these drunken queens wanted was someone covering up their Bear Pride flag with a sign quoting Galatians for fuck's sake.

And trust me, they know how where to stick that sign and precisely how to stick it. They've put much bigger things in much tighter places. (You know who you are and "Thank you!")

You know, in Victor/Victoria, Robert Preston's character Toddy says...

"Shame is an unhappy emotion invented by piotists
in order to exploit the human race."

So. Yeah. What Bobby Preston said.

Hey, Fellini! What follows the Word of God? Why, a rain storm of course.

But before the rain could come down hard enough to knock all of the "faux" out of every last twinks' "hawk," sadly, a dancer fell off of the float pictured below, breaking her leg.

Not that we knew this. We just knew that the parade had stopped. Something had happened. And that something kept the parade in this position for well over an hour.

And during that hour, the skies got darker, the rain started coming down a little harder and the queen in the baseball shirt in the middle of the picture kept wishing that the protesters would come back, since he was the one who had started arguing with them earlier.

Or maybe they started arguing with him first since his shirt says, "Abort Conservative Christian Fetuses" or some such horrific bullshit. Yeah, that's not fanning the flames of hate, asshole.

By the time the parade started back up, the rain started coming down much harder, so Aaron, John and I decided to go into the Cell Block for a drink. Since the backroom had just opened up. And they were playing porn. Starring Shane Rollins.

Fellini may have been directing the parade, but Chi Chi LaRue's masterpiece, Justice, dominated the backroom video screens. And let's face it, as a director, Chi Chi kicks Fellini's ass.

I mean, is there a four-way prison gangbang scene in 8 1/2?

Well, I don't know, but I doubt it. If there is, let me know so I can put it on my Amazon Wishlist

After a little vodka and never enough of naked Shane Rollins, we left the Cell Block to find that the rain had stopped, the parade was still going, it was still overcast and as evidenced by the picture above, Fellini was still fucking with the festivities. Or my head. Or both.

I give up. What are these two, anyway? Backup singers for Björk?
Sherman and Mister Peabody in "Pre-Op Missus Peabody: Beyond Thunderdome?"

I thought that was just a random sighting of "cuckoo panties couture" until...

Standard dress at a Pride Parade basically boils down to Speedos and a good cockring.

This dude wears a giraffe outfit.

He looks like he's in a production of The Lion King designed by Bob Mackie. WTF?

It's fucked up. It's Fellini. And notice that no one seems shocked by it AT ALL!!!

That was it for me. I made my way through the crowd towards home. This is the last picture that I took and I think it sums up the entire day.

One man, sitting alone, watching religious protesters, dancers falling off of floats, storm clouds, dog girls and giraffe boys. And his body language seems to say one thing...


Not that fun wasn't had. It was. It was just really bizarre, fucked up, Fellini-style fun. And too much of that will dull the senses and make Amy Winehouse look like Debbie Boone.

Hope everyone had a great Pride. This is one I will never forget. No matter how hard I try.


Bob said...

Yeah. They walked by us, too (seems you weren't too far from us - we were next to Bobby Loves). Fuck em. We ignored them. Those that yell at and argue with them give them the power of recognition. Didn't ruin my day.

Eric said...

I am SO glad I followed my gut instinct to stay home for Pride this year....9 years in a row either in it or glazing at it from the doorway of Gentry-Halsted had me fixed to just say MEH before Friday even came.

It's sad really...I mean we're constantly touting our creativity and originality yet it's NEVER shown in the Pride Parade. Well maybe once...the year Sidetrack sent their rose-laden float down the street unmonitored and believing that there would be a single stem left by the Broadway

Jackie said...

Thanks for the info on what held up the parade. Monica and I and some friends were at Grace and Broadway and yep the peeps telling us we were sinners were there too. We had a ball but didn't wait out the rain.
The saddest thing was four 9-11 year old boys going through the crowd saying "don't let any of them touch you"... "I don't want no queers touching me", as they weaved through a mass of queer folk. What nerve, the little twerps. Anyway we had a great time and even got a parking space a couple blocks north of Grace on Marine Drive. Now tell me God is not on our side! Heyyy!

Project Christopher said...

I didn't even see them... If they were on Halsted, I was too busy performing my heart out (and ass off) hoping to God by the time we reached the turn at IHOP that I never heard Christina Ag's "Ain't no other man" again in my life! for some reason ROTC was moved forward from the 60's to #30 this year. It did mean that we were done earlier, and the rain fell just as we reached the park (thank god, wet rifles = dropped rifles) and I'm so glad we weren't in the part of the parade behind the klutz who fell. But it was a strange day.

And you SO want do do Fellini don't you?

(PS. Did the giraffe have a cockring on? if so, then he was OK)

Aaron said...

This makes me very, very glad I don't go anymore...I'm gay all year round, with little fanfare, and I have enough condoms and candy in my house as it is, thank you!

Anatomicsd said...

It's been so long since I've been to a Pride celebration.

I don't think 8 gay guys walking down Main Street in Bancroft, SD counts.

Anonymous said...


Not that it really matters, but Justice was directed by Steven Scarborough - a Hot House production.

I just loves me some of that there Shane Rollins. Too bad he got married, made a baby and retired!

Anonymous said...

I feel you've asked 2 definitive questions here: Is it still Pride Day if all the gays that show up are more interested in displaying their lives outside ‘the lifestyle’, AND Is it still a Pride Parade if everyone who isn’t gay, shows up too?

I see more and more gay people these days who tout themselves as gay 'second'. I’m a married mother, with a 48k salary—oh, I’m also a lesbian, or – I’m one of the highest paid athletes in America, oh yes—and I’m gay. Once upon a time, the homosexual aspects of their personality would be listed first and foremost. Lesbian wife and mother; gay athlete— Did the 'definition' of PRIDE day change while I was away? Honestly-- the Tibet protester---his queerness is secondary to his need to save Tibet?

On the second question of ‘everyone else’: Sadly, I think you might have to accept the fact that since gay has become so stylish in popular culture—you’re going to be temporarily cursed with the metrosexual and the gender-tourists; it’s like those dudes in the 70’s that listened to Hugh Hefner when he said—‘support the women marching…it will get you laid!!’ *thumbs up*

Master Aaron said...

Tyrone Power, Stephen! I SAID I wanted to look like Tyrone Power! Well, SHIT! Anyway, it was great to spend some time with you, even at the circus. Next year we're gonna sit home in our house dresses with a pitcher of something cold and pink, and "Mock the midnight bell." That's Shakespeare, donchaknow. Get it free while supplies last.

Aaron said...

But if it's uncool for people to show their "lives outside the lifestyle"--and all the people IN the lifestyle tend to live fairly near each other anyway--then what's new?

What does the parade even mean anymore if it's not for EVERYONE to come together and share, both the "primarily identified" gays and the "more mainstream?"

If everyone lives in Boystown or Andersonville and flies a flag out their window, then here's a THIRD question: is it necessary to have a parade at all? If it's not for unity and acceptance of ALL LGBT folks, then what's the point, except a chance to have a panic attack from the crowd press, or for the Halsted bars to charge $8.00 for a vodka and lemonade?

Polt said...

Wow...I guess the DC gay crowd IS more conservative than the rest of the country. i saw a really tall guy, with a long neck at the DC parade, but that's about as close to a giraffe as it gets.

Glad you a had, um, a memorable time. :)


Anonymous said...


We were practically right across from each other.

Pride brings out equal parts idealist and the bitter queen in all of us, it seems. Hope everyone had a good day doing whatever was fun to them.

Stan said...

I see the NYC pride parade (I prefer to call it march) wasn't the only one rained on. We got soaked!

philip said...

Pride leads to shame.
Shame leads to fear.
Fear leads to suffering.

Aaron said...

Fear is sometimes a turn-on for the bottom pigs, though! So the protests of the Fundies will fall on many a deaf least the ones facing upwards. :-)

philip said...

Lots of interesting threads going on here,but I'll say this: I recognized one of my little high school students marching in the parade wearing rainbow angel wings. Now, I don't care whether he's gay or not, or if he identifies as a gay teenager or a teenage gay person.. ..all I know is, I've never been prouder.

Kristie said...

Our Pride festivities were moved to this weekend. Pride and Patriotism was the headline of the Creative Loafing this week. Mainly talking about the absurdity of the Don't Ask Don't tell policy. I believe the parade is going to hold special meaning to all the men and women who have been ejected from the service since it is being held the same time that we are supposed to be honoring that same country. One of the best parts from the article was this...
"Sgt. Danny Ingram..
For Ingram, who had already "told" his commander he was gay, the new law meant the end of his military career. He says he was summoned to his commander's office one day. Ingram stood at attention and waited in front of the commander and his first sergeant. The commander was Latino, the first sergeant black.

Ingram was put at ease. He remembers a long, tension-filled pause before the commander began to speak. "Sgt. Ingram, my grandfather had to get his ass kicked so that I could serve in the military today," the commander told him. "The first sergeant here, his father had to get his ass kicked so that he could serve in the military today. Now, Sgt. Ingram, you are going to get your ass kicked so that your people can serve in the military someday."

And with that sympathetic send-off, Ingram became one of the first gays kicked out of the Army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"The first soldier to challenge the ban was Leonard Matlovich, an Air Force Vietnam vet from Savannah. He lost the fight, but did wind up on the cover of Time magazine in 1975. When Matlovich died of AIDS in 1988, he was buried in Washington with a tombstone that reads: "My country gave me a medal for killing a man, and a discharge for loving one."

Shouldn't this be what Pride is about. These men and women love there country and want nothing more that to serve it, it should never be about who you sleep with or choose to love.

To read the full article go here..

Palm Springs Savant said...

sometimes these things exhaust me and I just get cranky. I suppose I'm just getting old and crotchety.