Sunday, July 17, 2011

Victoria's Pride Parade

As Canadians we love to celebrate our friends and family who identify as gay, bisexual, transgendered or anything else. A few years ago when I moved into the city I realized I was only a few blocks from the Pride Parade. I'm not a fan of parades and avoid them whenever possible but when I walked up to Pride I was overjoyed to see all manner of people, dressed in wigs, glitter, rollerskates and not wearing much else.

Music pumps as thousands of smiling parade participants and onlookers line the streets. I'm a huge fan of creativity and there is something special about Pride that allows people to be themselves, even if that is wearing a blue wig and body glitter.

That day 2 years ago I found myself with my camera, dancing down the street behind the last float with the best sound system. One of my dreams has always been to dance in the streets of Brazil, Victoria filled the bill for me. As the parade passes, the parade watchers follow behind and end up at a large field where there is food, a beer garden and lots of entertainment for all ages.

This particular year I managed to get one of my best friends to come with me and she had a blast. The float was traveling extra fast this year and I'm so tired from work that I could barely keep up to it's blasting speakers. She, on the other hand, managed to be pirouetting down the street. I joked to her that there was probably already video of us online as we were at the head of literally thousands of people. Glancing at the street behind us was a real trip. Anyway, the second she could, she checked and found this footage. I come into view at 32 seconds. I'm in black with orange flowers in my hair and she is the one spinning. Man do I look tired. The world famous Empress is in the background.

The really cool thing about it is two of my Adventure List items are right in front of us. I want to try burlesque with the Cheescake Burlesque troupe, which are the women in pink and red with the parasoles. I also want to roll with the Eves of Destruction, a roller derby team which are in the purple shirts and on roller skates.

We then hit the beer garden which has always been off limits to me as I have always been with a gaggle of small boys. Not this year! I was kid free except for my friends newly minted gay son. He found his friends and disappeared into the crowd leaving us to misbehave without him. As our children become older it feels like our roles are reversing. They get more responsible and give us heck for having fun, or that's how it feels. It's just weird when they give the "tsk tsk, there she goes again".

Tangent #1, I biked to a friend's get together a few weeks ago and called to check in with my youngest son before I headed home. He had a fit when he found out I was biking home on the trail in the dark. He refused to let me ride home. He had such a fit that I promised him I wouldn't ride, put the bike in the back of a friend's truck and sulked as they gave me a ride home.

So we danced through the streets to the beer garden where we had a few drinks sitting on the grass watching the hilarity of the stage shows. My favourite was, Miss Vicky, singing, "I'm just a White Trash Drag Queen". Actually the best, best part of all was the security guard who didn't want to let me in without ID. I said in exasperation, "I'm 38 years old!" and my friend said, "Can our wrinkles please let us in?" BINGO! He reluctantly let us in.

Tangent #2 Last year I went to the beer garden with friends and didn't have my ID. When I got to the security guard and told him that I didn't bring my ID he said, "No problem, you definitely look old". If that wasn't embarrassing enough everyone in the loooong line behind me heard what he said and there was a collective ,"Ooooooooh," from the audience as they felt my pain and embarrassment. 'Burn', as my kids would say.

The revelry ended when her we found her son on the other side of the chain link fence giving us his "lets' go" face. We motioned that we'd be 15 more minutes, so he stood there staring at us for 15 more minutes willing us to leave. We could feel the weight of his scowl so we left. He was our gay muse after all.

In his hand were a pair of pink fairy wings so we know he had some fun when we weren't looking. My story would have ended there if I hadn't done a face plant on the concrete on the way home. My fall was one part exhaustion (I tend to trip when I'm tired nowadays), one part a new pair of shoes that were a bit trippy, and 2 parts alcohol. My friend's poor son not only was mad that his mom was too intoxicated to drive him home but had the job of pulling me off the pavement. "tsk, tsk".

I left Pride with fond memories, a free T-shirt and huge scrapes and bruises on my leg. Like I said to another friend's 5 year old daughter the other day who was showing me her bruised knees, 'when you have bruises it means your having fun.'


Jill said...

So glad you had a good time. I missed it this year but did take it in last year.I find it is one of the liveliest and most colorful parade and everyone has a good time.

Dawny said...

Haha looked and sounded like you had a cracking time...nice one :O)

hockeychic said...

Looks like so much fun! Loved seeing you in the video!