"Pride South Florida" Weekend Done, Some Thoughts

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    Mar 14, 2011 12:40 PM GMT
    Well, another Pride weekend has come & gone in the Fort Lauderdale area, and as usual my partner & I ran an outdoor vendor/exhibitor booth at the park. Working nonstop Saturday & Sunday, though we had volunteer help who came in shifts. Our organization was The SMART Ride, the annual bicycle ride from Miami to Key West that raises money for HIV/AIDS, trying to interest people in being riders, or crew, or else donating & sponsoring others who ride.

    It's the most wonderful thing to be surrounded for a whole weekend by almost nothing but our GLBT community all celebrating who we are, thousands upon thousands of us. And nothing raunchy or worse than PG-rated, no nudity or even bare asses in thongs, this isn't San Francisco.

    The best thing about working a booth is running into all the people you know. Some visiting from their own booths for organizations they promote, others just attending the event. It becomes for my partner & me like a big block party with our neighbors, plus we never fail to make new friends & contacts that we'll develop over the coming year. I now have dozens of new business cards I have to enter into my computer and sync to my iPhone.

    It's curious to see what national corporations operate booths at Pridefest, from banks & insurance & real estate, to retailers & food services, and many more. I won't list all who were there among the acres of booths (nor those who were noticeably absent this year), except for one that continues to impress me: Budweiser. I wasn't too pleased about their purchase by a European company, but they continue to heavily support the gay community, so that's good. Because they just don't sell their beer to us at these things, but are also active sponsors of our events.

    I'm surprised at the things that still surprise me. Young, skinny twinks I expect to see walking together holding hands, but why does it make me do a double-take to see 2 bulky, bald but otherwise very furry middle-aged bears in leather doing the same? But then I smile even more, because that's as it should be.

    A very visible police presence, I suspect partly based on crowd-size formulas they have, and concerns about anti-gay protests, of which we had none. Those poor guys & gals had virtually nothing to do, our gay fests down here being as tame & well-behaved as church socials. I honestly didn't see a single drunk or disorderly person the entire weekend.

    The police looked happy, friendly & relaxed the whole time, easy duty for them (I noted none wore their regulation police caps, all bare-headed, I suspect to look less intimidating, though I thought they should at least have had soft baseball caps against the Florida sun), and I saw nor heard of a single disturbance incident both days. It was nice they kept police cruisers with flashing lights out on the street near the park entrances to control traffic and alert drivers to pedestrians crossing.

    Well, I'm still getting over the glow of this past weekend on Monday morning, and highly recommend you attend a pridefest when it comes to your location. And maybe volunteering to help staff a booth, for some organization you know, like your local pride center, or gay-friendly church, synagogue, some GLBT charity or activity group, whatever.
  • rnch

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    Mar 14, 2011 12:48 PM GMT
    agree on most gay peeps expect young, thin twinks to be holding hands and showing PDA (Public Displays of Affection), older guys are "supposed" to be more reserved.

    i also do a mental doubletake when i see older guys doing PDA's; then smile and tell myself "nothing wrong with that!"

    icon_cool.gif
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    Mar 14, 2011 1:34 PM GMT
    rnch saidagree on most gay peeps expect young, thin twinks to be holding hands and showing PDA (Public Displays of Affection), older guys are "supposed" to be more reserved.

    i also do a mental doubletake when i see older guys doing PDA's; then smile and tell myself "nothing wrong with that!"

    icon_cool.gif

    Yeah, these bears holding hands looked like wrestlers or power lifters, big burly, hulking characters. Beware of stereotypes, even within our own community! Seeing those guys holding hands makes me not only smile, but think to myself: "That's great!" icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 14, 2011 8:32 PM GMT
    I neglected to include a link to The SMART Ride, that we were promoting at the South Florida Pridefest. Here it is:

    http://thesmartride.org/8/
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    Mar 14, 2011 9:16 PM GMT
    I wish I coulda been there, but I did fly a "will you marry me" banner for two guys. icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 14, 2011 9:41 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidI wish I coulda been there, but I did fly a "will you marry me" banner for two guys. icon_wink.gif

    Did you really??? I didn't see it, but then I was in under a canopy most of the 2 days. Was it Saturday or Sunday? I gotta ask around about it.
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    Mar 14, 2011 9:53 PM GMT
    aww that sounds amazing, i hope to one day take part of the pride parades in florida! the ones here suck =/, still though theyre nice.
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    Mar 14, 2011 10:03 PM GMT
    sublstyley saidaww that sounds amazing, i hope to one day take part of the pride parades in florida! the ones here suck =/, still though theyre nice.

    There are ones elsewhere that are even more amazing. Like in Minneapolis (which I've led on my motorcycle), or Seattle, or New York City, and others. I even led the first gay pride parade in Fargo, North Dakota, on my motorcycle.

    But I should note, this event did not include a parade, strictly an outdoor festival. The parade, if we have it, takes place in June to coincide with the Stonewall riots in 1969.

    The problem is that the weather here is brutal for a parade in late June. Last I heard we aren't having one. I'll post here if there is one.
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    Mar 14, 2011 10:10 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    sublstyley saidaww that sounds amazing, i hope to one day take part of the pride parades in florida! the ones here suck =/, still though theyre nice.

    There are ones elsewhere that are even more amazing. Like in Minneapolis (which I've led on my motorcycle), or Seattle, or New York City, and others. I even led the first gay pride parade in Fargo, North Dakota, on my motorcycle.

    But I should note, this event did not include a parade, strictly an outdoor festival. The parade, if we have it, takes place in June to coincide with the Stonewall riots in 1969.

    The problem is that the weather here is brutal for a parade in late June. Last I heard we aren't having one. I'll post here if there is one.


    right i was a tad confused at first but i went with it, either way i bet theyre fun, i just want to be where theyres hot weather, sunny days, friendly people and great music to dance to and enjoy the atmosphere icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 14, 2011 10:15 PM GMT
    sublstyley saidright i was a tad confused at first but i went with it, either way i bet theyre fun, i just want to be where theyres hot weather, sunny days, friendly people and great music to dance to and enjoy the atmosphere icon_smile.gif

    Then you should have been here, we had all the things you wanted. BTW, I attended the University of Oklahoma at Norman, just south of you, so I know your area. Ever go to the Habana Inn? I've stayed there a number of times, along with my late gay partner.
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    Mar 14, 2011 11:50 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    paulflexes saidI wish I coulda been there, but I did fly a "will you marry me" banner for two guys. icon_wink.gif

    Did you really??? I didn't see it, but then I was in under a canopy most of the 2 days. Was it Saturday or Sunday? I gotta ask around about it.
    Yep, it was Saturday. If I remember correctly, the guys' names were Tim and Doug...tried to get a picture of it, but nobody had a camera.
    It was the first proposal for gay marriage ever done via aerial banner. I flew history. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 15, 2011 12:46 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Art_Deco said
    paulflexes saidI wish I coulda been there, but I did fly a "will you marry me" banner for two guys. icon_wink.gif

    Did you really??? I didn't see it, but then I was in under a canopy most of the 2 days. Was it Saturday or Sunday? I gotta ask around about it.
    Yep, it was Saturday. If I remember correctly, the guys' names were Tim and Doug...tried to get a picture of it, but nobody had a camera.
    It was the first proposal for gay marriage ever done via aerial banner. I flew history. icon_biggrin.gif

    We know a Jim & Doug, but not a Tim & Doug. And those other guys are already married, and were there Sunday. Wish we had known, we would have taken pics.
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    Mar 15, 2011 12:49 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    paulflexes said
    Art_Deco said
    paulflexes saidI wish I coulda been there, but I did fly a "will you marry me" banner for two guys. icon_wink.gif

    Did you really??? I didn't see it, but then I was in under a canopy most of the 2 days. Was it Saturday or Sunday? I gotta ask around about it.
    Yep, it was Saturday. If I remember correctly, the guys' names were Tim and Doug...tried to get a picture of it, but nobody had a camera.
    It was the first proposal for gay marriage ever done via aerial banner. I flew history. icon_biggrin.gif

    We know a Jim & Doug, but not a Tim & Doug. And those other guys are already married, and were there Sunday. Wish we had known, we would have taken pics.
    We were supposed to get pics for the company's records (as with every banner), but the camera batteries died. I radioed ATC to see if anyone in the tower had their camera - no luck. I radioed other pilots flying around the airport - no luck. It was really really weird that the one day we REALLY needed a camera, nobody had one. icon_sad.gif
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    Mar 15, 2011 12:51 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidIt was really really weird that the one day we REALLY needed a camera, nobody had one. icon_sad.gif

    Well next time, fucking TELL us, OK? We were right down there, but being under a booth canopy, never saw you. icon_sad.gif
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    Mar 15, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    paulflexes saidIt was really really weird that the one day we REALLY needed a camera, nobody had one. icon_sad.gif

    Well next time, fucking TELL us, OK? We were right down there, but being under a booth canopy, never saw you. icon_sad.gif
    I was just north of Sunrise Blvd; and didn't know what the banner said till I got to work...no time to notify anyone.
    If I'd known in advance, I woulda posted a thread here so all the Ft Laud guys could get pics. icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 15, 2011 12:57 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Art_Deco said
    paulflexes saidIt was really really weird that the one day we REALLY needed a camera, nobody had one. icon_sad.gif

    Well next time, fucking TELL us, OK? We were right down there, but being under a booth canopy, never saw you. icon_sad.gif
    I was just north of Sunrise Blvd; and didn't know what the banner said till I got to work...no time to notify anyone.
    If I'd known in advance, I woulda posted a thread here so all the Ft Laud guys could get pics. icon_wink.gif

    Ah, well... Actually the park was north of Oakland Park Blvd, south of Commercial along Dixie Hwy.