Monday, June 26, 2006

Ecce homos!

I marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade today. Well, to be precise, I participated in the San Francisco Pride Parade today, but my contingent had a big yellow school bus as its float, and I rode in the bus. And despite years and years of instruction about not sticking body parts out the bus windows, I happily exercised my adult right to stick my head and arms out the window so as to smile cutely and wave at folks on the sidewalk.

I must have been smiling and waving awfully cutely, because there were all kinds of official video and still cameras pointed right at me as I was hanging out the window. There was one video guy who was not very subtle about this. He trained his big ol' camera at me and walked sideways for a bit, matching his pace exactly to the bus. But after about a minute and a half, I got very uncomfortable with this arrangement; and so I pretended to get distracted by something inside the bus. He lost interest in my cuteness immediately.

This year marked my first San Francisco Pride experience, and my second Pride ever. My first Pride was in Cleveland in 2004. Yes, they do have Pride in Cleveland, just on a smaller scale than San Francisco and with far more protesters. I remember there being a whole throng of protesters around E. 9th, just before the end of the parade. Said throng brandished a variety of decidedly un-Christian signs, along the lines of "Jesus hates you... and your little dog too!" I didn't see a single protester along the parade route here in San Francisco. I did, however, see tons of happy heterosexual couples encouraging their toddlers to wave (or outright flapping their little arms for them) at the leather daddies, topless women, and drag divas.

After the parade, my wife, my friend, and I headed toward the Castro, in hot pursuit of food. A slightly disheveled man observed my wife and me holding hands and said, "If this is the future, I don't want to see it!"

My first impulse was to shoot back, "I hope you die young, then!" But I was with my fine church-going wife (who'd just finished marching with her fine church), and I was embarrassed to say something so mean in front of her.

By the time I'd thought of something better--"Go crawl back under your rock until Pride's over!"--he had taken his slight disheveledness somewhere else.

But dude. Not only were we holding hands in the gayest city on Earth; not only were we were holding hands in the gayest section of the gayest city on Earth; but we were holding hands in the gayest section of the gayest city on Earth during the gayest weekend of the year. And he was surprised--nay, horrified--to see two chicks holding hands during his walk? Serves him right!

P.S. My wife had also wanted to express her best wishes for his early demise; but she didn't want to say something so mean in front of me. Great minds self-inhibit alike.

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