Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« I Need a New Phone | Trash Contributions »

Monday, June 25, 2007

Some Notes About the Pride Parade

posted by on June 25 at 14:49 PM

Before I announce the winners of the Pride Parade Awards on Slog—the winners were already announced, in point of fact, at Seattle Center right after the Pride Parade—a few general thoughts about the parade:

Dykes on Bikes: We love you, everybody loves you, but by the ninth or tenth time you circled the block, well, even beloved dykes on bikes get tedious. You’re supposed to start the parade, not stop it. Take a couple of spins, move on to the next block, leave us wanting more.

Politicians: We love you, each and every one of you. But… there are so many of you. Why can’t the politicians in the Pride Parade all march together, at the front of the parade, a la politicians at the front of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City? Dykes on Bikes, followed by a show political strength—all the politicians that have come to kiss our big gay asses—then the real parade starts. Every year Ed Murray hires a marching bagpipe band. It’s great—why don’t you all go in on the bagpipes with Ed and march with together?

Cars: You know, it’s not every day that you get to see an actual automobile drive down 4th Avenue—no wait, you do get to see that every day. Every damn day. There were far too many entries in the parade that were just… cars… driving down the street. Either create something entertaining—a float, some puppets, group costumes—or go park it elsewhere.

Gaps: Nothing can be done about them, so there’s no use complaining. But… it would be nice if there were fewer gaps.

Volume: If you look out from your flat bed truck and see everyone lined up along the sidewalk putting their fingers in their ears as you pass by, maybe you need to lower the volume a bit?

People With Kids: Lots of people bring their kids to the Pride Parade, so sexually suggestive floats, signs, costumes, t-shirts are just no appropriate—no, wait! It’s the freakin’ GAY PRIDE PARADE. If you don’t want your kids to see sexually suggestive floats, signs, costumes, and t-shirts, stay the hell away.

RSS icon Comments


I'm confused. How can you say keep kids away because of the sexual imagery on one hand and then cry from the mountain top everytime some conservative bigot equates being gay with one giant bathhouse orgy?

Wouldn't a more welcoming environment to all people of all ages be a more progressive stance to take? Especially when looking to expand your base of supporters both gay and straight.

Posted by Huh? | June 25, 2007 3:46 PM

I don't have anything to add. Just ditto.

Posted by elswinger | June 25, 2007 3:52 PM

Gaps. The Fremont Solstice Parade deals with them a lot better - why not Pride?

Mind you, this year I was in the Pyramid troupe, and when we actually stopped to build the pyramid (surrounded by belly dancers), it probably created a bit of a gap.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 25, 2007 3:54 PM

Was my gap comment offensive?

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 25, 2007 3:54 PM

I brought my kid and would not attend unless I can bring my kid. Fremont Parade is far worse then anything at Pride and people are really looking for the "shock" factor in parades these days or there would not have been 200,000 people there.

Posted by Touring | June 25, 2007 3:55 PM

Because, Huh?, kids can take it. Kids too young don't care, kids old enough to have an idea about sex just blush. And do you think kids aren't exposed to sexually suggestive imagery on the TV? Or on billboards? Or in magazines their parents leave around the house--and I'm talking People, not Hustler.

Kids have a sense of humor about sex--they really do, and not just mine. I know that my kid watched the entire Pride Parade--when the fetish groups went by, he laughed. He wasn't harmed. But if I wanted to protect him from the shirtless ladies and leather-clad daddies at the parade, I'd keep him home. But he doesn't need to be protected from adults "acting like goofs," in his words.

Posted by Dan Savage | June 25, 2007 3:58 PM

Schmader, I'm with you on all counts except Dykes on Bikes. If anything, the parade needs more dykes riding more bikes wearing less clothes doing more laps.

As someone who brought my kids to the parade, where can I file a formal complaint about the LACK OF SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE DISPLAYS in the parade this year? I didn't see a single tit, let alone a pair. I know it was kind of cold, but WTF?

Oh well. Maybe it's a sign of progress that the not-specifically-gay solstice parade is freakier than the pride parade these days.

Posted by Sean | June 25, 2007 4:00 PM

Schmader did not write the post, Sean.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 25, 2007 4:02 PM

Great you brought up the Dykes on Bikes thing. I don't think they get it but they were being paced by someone in the front and back. I think they need to not go so fast so the walkers can keep up.
Cars are boring particularly the Infiniti or Kirkland whose corporation (along with Nissan) has the worst record on GLBT issues according to HRC.
You may have been at a different parade because the floats were way too QUIET by the time they got to the Seattle Center.

Posted by Touring | June 25, 2007 4:03 PM

@7: Thanks, Dan, I was about to say something similar but chickened out.

@8: Oops.

Posted by Sean | June 25, 2007 4:13 PM

You wrote #7.

Posted by Sean's on Drugs | June 25, 2007 4:24 PM

@11: I wish that was my excuse.

Posted by Sean | June 25, 2007 4:32 PM

Dykes on Bikes need to start every parade, no matter what the occasion. Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, whatever, all of them.

#7: There was some nakedness during the Capitol Hill march. Maybe having the two events can help to accommodate the different styles. The CH event can be more risqué, being, ya know, in Seattle's "gay ghetto" (Christ, I hate that phrase. Really insulting). And the Sunday event can be more PG-13. Shrug.

There should also be a rule that there needs to be a Latino float every 20 minutes or so. The Latinos don't do anything half-assed. Every time I see one approaching, I'm like "Finally! We're gonna see some F'in energy here!" Some carnivale action. Always welcome.

Also, there needs to be a bit of crowd control with keeping the crowd out of the middle of the street. The section that I was in started off with everyone on the sidewalk, but by the end of the parade, the crowds from both sides of the street had surged so far ahead that there was only about two lanes of room on the actual street for the participants. People marching in the parade actually had to move around the crowd in the street. Really annoying.

Posted by JC | June 25, 2007 4:33 PM

@4, @5 - well, then stick to the International District Seafair Parade or the Greenwood parade.

But stop whining.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 25, 2007 4:53 PM

The GLSEN entry was boring... They had a ton of youth dancing, which was the best part. The hybrid flexcar was also a nice touch. Shows they are modern and forward thinking. But, magnetic signs on a car, still boring.

Posted by Scott | June 25, 2007 7:34 PM

@14: I was not complaining merely pointed out I brought my kid and people expect something shocking or they will stop coming.

Posted by Touring | June 25, 2007 7:36 PM

@6 I'm with your kid, Dan. I'm 28, and when I see leather daddies walking around, particularly when they wear the little leather hats, I laugh my ass off too.

Posted by Gitai | June 25, 2007 10:17 PM

Why are you not giving Metro a hard time? Their entry was... seriously... one bus driver driving his bus. No contingent, no special bus decorations, just one dude driving his bus... It was saaaaaaaad.

Also, was there a rule against handing out condoms this year? Usually I come away from Pride with a few months' supply of condoms, but NO ONE was handing them out this year... not Gay City, not the Sisters... what was up with that?

Posted by L | June 25, 2007 10:34 PM

I can't speak for the Seattle pride parade, but here in Toronto there was a tonne of nakedness and sexually suggestive floats/posters/costumes--and it still wasn't as blatantly sexual as any Calvin Klein ad on Yonge street. And you know what? The sexed-up content in the pride parade is 1) appropriate for an event that celebrates freedom of expression/sexuality/thought and 2) refreshingly positive (i.e. demonstrating acceptance, diversity, etc.). I would sooner have my five year old daughter see a thousand pride floats than one more ad using gratuitous sex to sell perfume. At least at Pride sex is relevant. Sheesh.

Posted by Jaime-Leigh | June 26, 2007 8:52 AM

I agree a thousand times over with what dan said...which is what I've been saying for years...

Posted by michael strangeways | June 26, 2007 9:00 AM

your parades are stupid,outdated,corny, and plain silly. you have no idea or concept of what is even going on. there are gays who are products of juvenile detention centers, former gang members, and others who have from an early age decided to fight back and have had somewhat rocky lives. do you really think that we take your stupid parades seriously. I mean what the fuck does a giant pink poodle have to do with me. your corny weak silliness makes me and others like me look bad, and worse it makes us look weak.

Posted by ...... | June 27, 2007 12:28 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).