Sunday, June 25, 2006

It has come to this.

Last weekend was San Francisco Gay Pride. One of the largest (if not the largest) Gay Pride events in the world, I believe they were estimating over a million people would be attending. Apparently the parade is the largest parade in California, with the Rose Bowl parade being next in sheer number of floats and marchers.

AJ went and marched in the Pride parade though - with the AIDS Lifecycle contigency. He normally isn't that much of a rah rah sort of guy. But his friend Robert (Doctor Bob) was going to be in the parade as well. Robert is the sort of person that most people notice. He's a tall strapping lad, who happens to be Asian and who also happens to be quite gregarious. Last year the gay and lesbian channel LOGO did a documentary on the AIDS Lifecycle called THE RIDE. Robert was chosen to be one of the featured riders in the documentary (though later I found out that he was cut. Not sure why. Perhaps they felt they couldn't have any people of color on the documentary - looking at the people who made the cut, apparently only WHITE people did the ride.)

Regardless, Robert was quite the popular guy this year on the ride. He's in AJ's riding group (the Gutterbunnies) and will be competing with AJ in the Gay Games next month. One of the main reason that Robert was so popular on the ride, and why he wanted to march in the parade, was because of the fabulous red dress he wore as he rode on Red Dress Day.

What's Red Dress Day you ask? Originally on Day 5 of the AIDS Lifecycle, they had a "dress in red" day. The idea was that everyone would dress in red and they would form a red ribbon going down the coast of California. Naturally when you get a thousand queens hanging out together over a course of a week "Dress in Red" day will turn into "Red Dress Day."

Last year Robert wore a custom made dress, with red dyed bunny fur used as the accents. This year, he wore the same dress, but also wore six inch stilletto platform heels that he had his bike shop attach a bike pedal clip to the bottom of the platform. Yes he cycled 45 miles wearing stilletto heels (on one heel no less, as he had to manual clip in with his hand - meaning he could clip in both heels - he pedalled the entire 45 miles with one leg).

So you can see why he was so popular. And for Gay Pride he wore the same dress, the same heels and AJ went along to ride with him.

And just for the record, AJ did wear a red dress that day, but did not wear one for the Gay Pride parade.

For more pictures of the AIDS Lifecycle, feel free to visit AJ's yahoo photo album for Lifecycle 5. Or visit the official AIDS Lifecycle blog where you can see a close up of AJ in the middle of his water fight at the closing ceremonies!

After the parade, AJ came back home and we had a impromptu brunch with Karen and Ben and Annie (Belgian-style buttermilk waffles, fluffy scrambled eggs ala AJ, and thick cut applewood smoked bacon). Then we wandered about at Pride and had a chance to watch/listen to both Jody Watley, Crystal Waters and Lady Miss Kier.

AJ and I felt a little bad for Lady Miss Kier. Apparently she's not even B-List celebrity and didn't make it onto the main stage, but was relegated to the Dance Stage. Nevertheless, she rocked the house, and despite not really aging well (she had put on a few pounds) she had the entire crowded raising the proverbial roof with her closing song "Groove is in the Heart."

I did realize that one of my major reasons in going to Gay Pride isn't the fact that I am proud that I was able to come out of the closet and walk around out and gay. It isn't the eye-candilicious hot gay men walking around shirtless, or the people watching and the crazy drag queens and ugly naked guys who you never want to see naked, or the meat on the stick and funnel cakes. It isn't even the b-list celebrities singers on the stage (we even skipped Lisa Lisa so we have no idea if she was "all cried out" that day or not) - though in truth, I did want to see glam indie rock band The Ark play, and missed them too. No, the major incentive for me to go to Gay Pride is the free shwag.

I love free stuff. And, as always, I'm always grab handy when it comes to street fairs or conventions, taking everything I can get my hands on, and then realizing afterwards that I have no need for two frisbees, a hack sack, three pens, and suction cup plastic frog that jumps, not to mention the random fliers and catalogs that I immediately recycle. This year's pride yields some lube samples (which AJ and I rarely use, being as we are very specific about that sort of product and they often times don't have enough in one sample for proper use - though last year, I took all the lube samples and cut them open and squeezed them out into an empty lube container, much to AJ's chagrin and amusement), some condoms, a lollipop, a sticker, two magazines, a pen, and the best of the bunch - a red T-shirt from Delta Airlines that says "Go Brazilian" on the front.

Not a great haul, but decent. I probably could have talked the woman into giving me 5000 Delta miles but AJ and I hate Delta (another story) and refuse to fly them. So I took the T-shirt.

And then AJ and I came home. I won't mention what we did at home, but being Gay Pride Day, and us being very Prideful, you can imagine what it entailed.

My friend Rita's blog has an entry about the phrase "It has come to this." She got the phrase from a book by Maxine Hong Kingston called Tripmaster Monkey. In the book the main character often felt it was useful to say "And so, it has come to this." and take a good look around and decide what it has come.

And I look around and think "It has come to this." I live in a great city, with such great Gay Pride, that I can forget that I have something to be proud of and instead go there looking for free stuff I will never use. I look around and I see friends who will spontaneously come over for brunch, and loved ones who march and ride down the city in the Gay Pride Parade to both celebrate being Gay and also to remind people of the loss of AIDS and the tragedy of HIV. I am living a life with friends and lovers in a great city surrounded by great people. And though my life can improve (find a better paying job, lose some weight, relax more, stress out less, etc.) I do not want for anything. And that is all I can ask for.


At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Rita said...

Searching my conscience

Aw, nuts, Irvin.

If you're going to quote me, then of course I have to go back and see if I even got the quote right.

And, I didn't.

:P "So it has come to this."

You can change it (and delete this comment!) if you want. I just made the note in my own blog! :P


At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Rita said...

Btw, I can't believe you skipped Lisa Lisa! Damon will be sad.

Clearly we are living in the land of plenty. ;)


At 1:53 PM, Blogger jackhonky said...

skipping LISA LISA wasn't intentional. We just got antsy and walked away and ended up seeing Lady Miss Kier and by the time we got back, it was Crystal Waters and we were ready to sort of take off.

I've actually seen LISA LISA before - at the Gay Games closing ceremonies back in '94. She was booed off stage, and i (probably subliminally) was also a little bit afraid that she might be booed off again this time.

At 1:05 AM, Blogger DJ52 said...

Whaaaat? Lisa Lisa got booed offstage? Why? Did she lose her voice like Mariah? Were people upset that Cult Jam wasn't with her?

Actually, we can see her whenever. She's always headlining the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet. (Ouch.)

At 9:58 AM, Blogger jackhonky said...

-ouch- the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet? Now that's low.

She got booed off stage because she sang a love ballad to a guy - which she had choreographed a dance routine to that involved men serenading women and vice versa. This was one of several men serenading women choreographed dance scenes. In truth - LISA LISA didn't really know her audience. I mean the closing ceremonies was GAY GAMES. She should have realized that, and perhaps played a little to the audience.

Maybe she could have sung "All Cried Out" to a woman. I dunno. or at least kept it a little more gender neutral. but the audience was not having any of it.

It did seem as if she took a normal routine of hers and just did again, not realizing who she was doing it for. A little forethought would have benefitted her I think.

On the other hand, PATTI LABELLE was pretty phenomenal, as was CYNDI LAUPER who played TO the audience by bringing a up a gaggle of drag queens when she sang her song "Girls just want to have Fun." Now SHE knows how to work the audience.

At 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aw! : )


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