Okay, I’m way late on this. But the Washington DC’s Pride parade was so fun, then scary, that I let weeks slide by. Spoiler: one pix has naked male buns. You are warned.
If you watched the poor television coverage of the Parade on June 8th (I’m a former journalist so I can bitch about them), you’d think the fear spread by the semi-accurate rumor about a gun was all that happened. I can tell you, that’s not true. Whether you were gay or straight as I am, the march was joyful.
It was a parade full of friendly folks, armed with ear-splitting whistles (honestly, who thought that was a good idea?), glitter, and wings. The participants were big on throwing beads, a la Mardi Gras and stickers The corporate participants handed out ice water (thank you, Giant Food).
Churches came with their floats. The Gay Mens Chorus of D.C. marched by.
I did what I usually do – wander through the set-up areas, then try to find a place along the route. Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the long linked fencing, so I ended up with the photo journalists, staying out of their way while taking pictures.
The Parade started with military flags. Local politicians went by. Then international: Costa Rica, the EU, the South Asian community, Ireland, Nordic countries. The UK had a stunning float. They also had military officers leading their group.
Good will abounded. I caught the eye of one of the Aussie contingent who bounded over and gave me a big hug.
Float after float went by. A magnificent ‘woman’ with rainbow hair. The Caribbean man, full of joy. The watchers held out their hands for beads. The story is more in the pictures so I’ll let the images tell it.
I ran out of power in two camera batteries, so I headed for the Metro to go home. All was fine. I was exhausted, dehydrated, sore back, sore feet. I took the escalator down to the platform.
Then came the gun scare. I held on to the handrail with a death grip because a flash flood of panicked Pride watchers tore past us at a fast run down the stairs. I thought the escalator might break and stop. I knew that if I let go and was swept along, I’d end up hurt. It was not as if you could be prepared for this. You could smell the fear. Longest ride to the platform that I’ve ever taken.
Got home safely, drank lots of water and watched the repetitive coverage of the parade which was all about the panic, and nothing about the joy.
What a pity.