Sunday, June 11, 2006
The parade was supposed to have begun at noon but was put off for an hour in the hope that the weather would clear. That was not to be--the rain got heavier, the wind wilder and colder, as the parade progressed. B, who was wearing a kilt in the full traditional manner with nothing underneath, almost literally froze his balls off, so we took refuge in a Starbucks and used the $5 gift cards we'd been given by the company back in Copley Square. And there in Starbucks was Bryan, so we saw each other after all, although I never managed to catch up with any of the other guys.
The parade has changed over the years, and the weather this year affected some other changes. Drag queens in feathers were in short supply as was the usual crowd of half naked leather boys representing the Ramrod. Only three or four hardy guys (one stunning one with an absolutely world class chest) braved the cold and lashing rain (the guys on the left are from a pride parade in warmer times). There were no gay dads marching in an organized group, but lots of gay marriage and marriage equality groups.
And there was only one candidate for governor. Neither Mr. Reilly nor Mr. Gabrielli showed up--and of course Republican candidate Kerry Healey, no matter how hard she's running toward the party's center and away from some of Mitt Romney's toxic philosophy, would ever show upat a gay event. But Deval Patrick, African-American, veteran of the Clinton administration, and Democratic front-runner, marched with a sizeable and jubilant crowd of supporters.
There were the usual large church groups from denominations that welcome and accept gays into their congregations and ministries. And there was Dignity, from the Catholic Church that does neither. There was a Jewish contingent. My favorite religious group was led by two guys carrying an impressive banner that read, Independent Pagans of New England. I'm very pro-Pagan. I may even be proto-Pagan so I was very enthusiastic. These guys were done up in high Druidic style with earthy brown robes held together with rope, and one of them carried a long steer horn that I was hoping he'd blow but it never seemed to happen. As they walked by I realized just how independently Pagan they were--there were no others. All other New England Pagans are apparently allied or associated or amalgamated somehow.
Fritz thought there were more give-aways than previously--not just the ubiquitous beads, but safe[r] sex kits of condoms and lube, candies in various packages, lots of refrigerator magnets, and even one truck that tossed the occasional folding umbrella to people who had come out without one.
We left Starbucks when the combined New Hampshire groups, Capitol Gay Men and Seacoast Gay Men, came into view and we jumped in with them to march the final blocks to the Boston Common. I caught sight of the two Independent Pagans on the sidelines, cheering on the rest of us after they'd finished their march, and gave them a big thumbs up sign. They broke into big smiles and waved back, but still didn't blow their own horn.
The Commom was spongy, muddy and completely saturated, so I don't think anyone was going to be sprawled out on the ground for the post-parade show. But B wanted to hit the Utilikilt tent to see the latest cuts and fabrics--he already has a wardrobe of them and a great set of legs to go with--but didn't find anything that struck his fancy.
We got back to my place for a rest, afternoon tea and a couple of games of cribbage before heading out again to a big pot luck supper with friends in Jamaica Plain. At the height of the party there were about forty men, a combination of old friends, guys who'd been to Fritz's for the Body Electric events or our own Sweat Lodge gatherings, and men we were meeting for the first time some of whom turned out to be boyfriends of the others. Much fun, good food and good talk.
Today we're going up to Fritz's in southern New Hampshire where my elder daughter and son-in-law, back briefly on the east coast for a school reunion of hers, will join us for a couple of days.
Oh--and the sun is shining brightly AT LAST!!
Moe and I can host too - if we just stay outside around the pool and patio since the house still isn't really unpacked.
It's been a while since I thought of Pride as a BIG deal. But that's only because of what it is currently, not what it was or could be.
But with friends, it can always be fun!
Perhaps we should try this whole getting the group together again thing?
Yes, we should work on getting us all together again. And there are a good deal more QBBs out there than we've been including, by the way. I keep coming across more all the time.
John, you've hit it, I think--it's really about the friends and the ones we love. I'm blessed to know some truly unique and wonderful men.
Just wanted you to know that, though I am happy for you to use it, the photograph from "Angels..." that you have used is ©2006 Clive Grainger (not the Boston Globe) . Please be so kind as to credit me.