Early last week, a friend forwarded me an email request asking for volunteers during the annual Pride Festival. But my kids had basketball and baseball games, and other plans had been made, so the timing of the volunteer slots didn’t work. I had never been to the Pride Festival or watched the Parade, so it got me thinking maybe I should at least go and watch. Then without having mentioned it to her, my friend Lacy asked if I wanted to go to the Parade. I took that as a sign that going to the Pride Parade would be my 50 Weeks activity for Week 33.
As with many of my activities with friends we take the time going to and from the destination catching up on life. Lacy had just returned from her sister’s wedding in Jamaica, so I was getting the scoop. We soon drive into the Hillcrest area and after once around the block we park and walk to the Starbucks.
If Starbucks was an indication of the large crowd to be expected, it’s going to be huge. The line for morning lattes reached the door, and more importantly the bathroom line was just as long (of course I forgot to go before leaving the house and needed to stand in this line). Once getting relief and getting introduced to Kelly and Hank (friends of Lacy’s), we leave to find a spot along the parade route. It is already packed with many people bringing chairs and canopies. Luckily it wasn’t that hot of a day.
We claim a great location at the corner of University and Sixth, where we figured was a spot that Parade participants needed to stop and turn the corner. Already I can tell this is going to be one fun parade. Many spectators themselves were dressed for the occasion, Kelly had on a cute rainbow tutu. Lacy was wearing a colorful blocked dress (later a drag queen commented how she loved Lacy’s dress, and a gay guy said to his boyfriend to look at her great tits).There was a lovely family next to us whose young boy designed a rainbow t-shirt for them to wear, with labels of Dad, Dad, Daughter and Son on the backs. Lots of skimpy clothing too — both men and women. I just had to look at a woman’s ass that was half exposed, you couldn’t miss it.
Once the parade started with a leather clad bike club leading the way, there came lots and lots and lots of participating groups. Pretty much every local politician was there, many legal associations, churches, banks, medical groups, nightclubs, radio stations, and of course, all the LGBT associated groups. I was having fun just being there since I haven’t watched a parade since…I can’t even remember, probably when I was a little girl. (I’ve always wanted to watch the Rose Parade too, but I have been to the Rose Bowl.)
You really have to experience the Parade to truly enjoy it, which is why this blog is mostly pictures because there was so much to see — and there was so much more that I didn’t include, need to edit you know. What was my favorite? So much…all the cute guys (so what if they’re gay, still great eye candy, especially the half naked ones with ripped bodies, is there a gay strip club I can go to?), the foam truck, all the fun giveaways (I was given a bunch of condoms), the Chipotle truck with the giant riding burrito, the costumes, and all the signs expressing love for all (“I love all my children, even the straight ones”, “God loves us all”, and “size matters” — oh wait, well still a great sign).
The vibe of the Parade and the festival is one of acceptance. No matter your sexual preference, race, religion, big or little, how you looked, favorite dog breed or bank affiliation, Pride welcomes all and judges no one. Well, the anti-circumcision group drew a few “not the right place for that, honey” type of comments, but overall it was a fun gathering of people enjoying life and who they are. Always take pride in yourself — you are beautiful, inside and out!
San Diego Pride, https://sdpride.org/. This was the Pride festival’s 40th anniversary, which drew a 300,000 parade attendance (yes, it was really, really crowded), 40,000 music festival attendance, and 940 volunteers. Be prepared, with so many groups participating, the Parade was long, over 3 hours (we had time to eat fish tacos at Oscar’s during the parade, http://www.oscarsmexicanseafood.com). The music festival was only $20 for both Saturday and Sunday, so plan for next year. Lacy and I are trying to figure out how to participate in the parade next year — anyone have a flatbed truck, DJ equipment, and racy costumes we can borrow?