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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Things Will Be Great When You’re Downtown

posted by on June 29 at 18:32 PM


I’m not as down on today’s parade as Christopher seems to be. It was quicker and tighter this year (fewer looooong gaps between contingents), and the energy was great despite the heat. Yes, it would’ve been nice to see more floats and bigger floats—this is the second year in a row that we’ve offered cash prizes to give people some incentive to pull bigger, better floats together—but we weren’t wanting for potential winners at the end of the parade. (We even had to debate who to give the awards to, so there were more than three possibilities—but there was no “Bear, Bath, and Beyond” this year, no twenty-foot-tall pink poodle.) I rather liked this traditional—and patriotic!—float design…


More of that, please. And a lot of work went into the Julia’s/La Faux float—oh, and check out the boy lifting his leg at the top right.


Much more of that, please.

But here’s what we’d really like to see if we keep the awards going: Some entries pulled together groups of friends—not goo-goo community organizations, not AIDS alliances, not the Committe to Reelect Christine Gregoire. If some creative types got together and created a big, funny, interesting float just for the hell of it—just for pleasure, not to promote their missions or raise awareness or scrounge up votes—they could walk away with the $2,000 first prize.

And here’s something we never, ever want to see in the parade again:


That is a rolling billboard for a condominium—because, uh, gay people, you see, sometimes live in condos, so… uh… here’s our rolling condo billboard in the Pride Parade! No one in our group was rude enough to boo, but we decided that next year and we’re bringing paint guns and we’re going to shoot up any rolling billboards that come down the street.

Oh, and I realize this is heresy and shit, but I’d like to see less of… Dykes on Bikes. You rock, ladies (and gents), your bikes roar, but remember that old show business adage: Always leave ‘em wanting more.


Folks were partying in the fountain at Seattle Center immediately after the parade—hell, they’re probably still partying at the fountain now. Hey, remember how people used to argue that “the community” didn’t want the parade downtown or the rally at Seattle Center? I’m glad that’s all over.


Oh, the parade may be over but our memories will last forever—as will these pride beads, all of which will spend eternity in area landfills.


RSS icon Comments


I did boo the Columbia City Condos float myself actually. Meh to that. And at a point where being green is very much in the public consciousness, driving a big old RV looking thing wasting who knows how much freon and gas, seems to make this entry seem even more unwelcome.


Posted by a kid | June 29, 2008 7:23 PM

I agree! THIS IS A GAY PRIDE PARADE! I want to see fun BIG FLOATS! Bravo to the Sisters and Le Faux for doing some fun floats! Come on folks we are gay we know how to be creative!

Otherwise fun day!

Posted by NikT22 | June 29, 2008 7:40 PM

there was no reason AT ALL to go to gay pride this year. nobody was super creative with their floats that they built themselves, clearly due to copious amounts of meth and semen. my kid didn't even get molested. my wife found her new girlfriend at that dyke shit on friday. i didn't get to suck any dick. what a waste.

Posted by concerned republican | June 29, 2008 7:55 PM

400,000 people can't be wrong - fun parade

Posted by thanks SOaP | June 29, 2008 8:01 PM

Savage said: shoot up any rolling billboards that come down the street

uh, c'mon Dan, what about the radio station contingents? Whole Foods? Starbucks? Those were all just rolling billboards. I'm sure I missed a dozen others or more.

Sorry to say, but Toronto, Vancouver and SanFran (the only other ones I've gone to) all do MUCH better at making their parades more interesting and shorter! Although SoAP did much better this year.

Posted by dkl | June 29, 2008 8:27 PM

Gay people are boring. Glad this is over. Whatever, get married, get divorced - so long as the money keeps rolling in, I don't care where it's from. Mary.

Posted by sit your ass down now, you're done | June 29, 2008 9:37 PM

I'm gay and all, but the Fremont parade last week was 120% more awesome, and almost as gay. But gay pride parades are always lame - we're as boring as the straights now...which is what we were going for???

The Seattle Center Pridefest was awesome, though. Having just moved from Chicago, the parade wasn't as cool - but the Pridefest and the beautiful day was great. And yea, it was hot but there was no humidity, so quit your bitchin.

Posted by Andy | June 29, 2008 10:05 PM

Compared to the previous 10 parades I've been to I thought this was the best; shorter, lots of people, and taking over downtown and the center is always great. Thanks SOaP!

But a few more floats and less church groups, politicians and commercial floats would be nice. Though if they're gonna march they should put on some costumes or something at least.

And I hope SOaP is charging all of those commercial participants and making some money off of them.

Posted by boxofbirds | June 29, 2008 10:13 PM

The fountain was a blast, and thankfully quite chlorinated. My favorite creative touch was the gauntlet of religions that one had to run to get to the entrance of the pavillion beer garden.
Regarding the parade: why are those freaky filipino girls all clad in such a monotonous array of flat white shoes. Imelda would not be pleased.

Posted by kinaidos | June 29, 2008 10:23 PM

I'm sorry you feel there should be even less lesbian visibility than there already is.

I understand that hundreds of scanitly clad men are allowed to parade around in front of me at Pride even though I personally find that unpleasant. I understand that it's part of their expression of freedom in the face of a larger repressive culture. And I also understand that it would be inappropriate, insensitive, sexist, and homophobic of me to say that I really think all those gross dudes should tone it the fuck down next year because I personally don't want to see them or think they are too much. We have some common interests equal rights-wise, those dudes and I - we're a "community," I hear, and just maybe some of the repression they're flaunting is related to mine. Maybe I can appreciate that. Maybe that's part of Pride.

So you'll forgive me, perhaps, for pointing out that women are allowed to take up space and make noise, even when it displeases you.

The Dykes on Bikes should leave them wanting more, huh? You know (but don't care) that women are socialized to do exactly that: to shut the fuck up, look pretty, challenge nothing, and get apologetically back in line when we step out. And the Dykes on Bikes contingent is in part about doing just the opposite on purpose. Yet you feel comfortable snarkily reminding us to operate like nice little girls according to our socialization so you don't have to be distracted from the Pride entertainment you'd rather see.

A not so friendly reminder: You get to pull thoughtless patriarchal bullshit like this countless times a day and it's invisible to you, but it really, really affects other people. You have no idea how much. It grinds down the spritis of half the population in ways that you will never, ever understand, and sometimes we get tired and angry enough to point an example like this out to you.

So go ahead, Sloggers. Rip me several new ones because I wasn't nice and quiet. Maybe someday I'll learn that less is more.

Posted by greendyke | June 29, 2008 10:26 PM

@10- EXACTLY. Well put.

Posted by exactly | June 29, 2008 10:53 PM
The Dykes on Bikes should leave them wanting more, huh? You know (but don't care) that women are socialized to do exactly that: to shut the fuck up, look pretty, challenge nothing, and get apologetically back in line when we step out.

You're overreacting. Which is typical of a woman. Especially a lesbian. Thanks for helping.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 29, 2008 10:59 PM

Heresy to say so, but I'm tired of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Big fat guys with white faces and Divine outfits.

Sorry, it's gotten old.

Next, please!

Posted by Anyone else tired of the Sisters? | June 29, 2008 11:04 PM

@12 -- Gertrude Stein is gonna open a big ol' can o' Whoop-Ass on you in heaven, Mr. Poe.

That said, I agree. Crazy damn dykes...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 29, 2008 11:05 PM

some folks here are so jaded, so cynical, so sadly broken

great day from beginning to end

some of you need to stay home and rent a
movie to prove you are still breathing some form of life energy

going back it was the best Pride in about seven years, and surely, that crowd at the Center would not have fit in V. Park

congrats to all and where the FUCK was the Danger float?

the commercial entries pay upwards of 1,000.00 - of course how the bills get paid by event organizers is of little interest to some of the bright lights who post here

Posted by Adam | June 29, 2008 11:55 PM

Most of the pansies posting here could not handle a Harley for love nor money

Reading these posts .... pussy takes on a new meaning.

Love the Dykes on Bikes, they confound ALL the stereotypes about women and the role of women.

Threaten you a bid do they Poe? Little bit of fear there - don't portray mommie good or sister friendly to you? Too bad.

Posted by Jack | June 30, 2008 12:02 AM

Condos rule.

What more gay-marriage-friendly thing can you think of?

Yup, urban condos.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 30, 2008 12:31 AM

The photos are great! It looks like it was so much fun! I wish I had been in that fountain! You go greendyke! Why don't men, gay or straight, bi or trans EVER understand!? I guess I'm feeling weepy today. Makes me want to cry.

Posted by Kristin Bell | June 30, 2008 12:33 AM

@13 The sisters were way more
interesting than most of the things
in the parade. Same-y or not.
The segway council
members was way higher on the "I
could do without..." list.


p.s. they have way better makeup
than divine, i'd say the divine award
was on another float.

Posted by a kid | June 30, 2008 1:06 AM

According to greendyke, the Dykes on Bikes aren't doing enough to dispel the deeply rooted patriarchal mindset in Dan Savage and the gay community. They ought to be on their bikes 24/7, riding through the city on rolling shifts, reminding everyone that they're going to be noticed whether it displeases people or not. That way, women can be considered equal to men in far shorter time than at the current rate of progress.

Actually, never mind that idea. Dykes on Bikes should just set off a small nuclear bomb somewhere just outside the city. That would make a whole lot of noise all at once, and would forever dispel the notion that women are just going to sit back and listen to men telling them about what they can and cannot do for the rest of time.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | June 30, 2008 3:32 AM

I’m going to start thinking about how to make a better float for next year.

Awesome great job this year and also much improvement is needed. here's a tip of advice for improving the Ghey Parade from a search I did on the good ole innerwebs:

I look forward to the Parade ever year. This year was lacking the pomp, oomph!, and pizzazz of an actual parade. The organizers did make a great effort though to make improvements from previous years though. I didn’t stay for the parade and from the pictures and video’s I’ve found online then it doesn’t look like I missed out. My bf got sick and wanted to go home minutes before the parade started, so I walked the Parade route from 4th and Bell to all the way back to 4th and Columbia the start of the parade. Although things were not in full swing, from what I saw then I was still able to get a glimpse of what was going to be featured in the parade. it wasn't very snazzy or entertaining at all. More like poorly constructed 4th grade science projects at best. the costumes and people however are always top notch for hours of quality people watching time.

. Parades should be grandeur = When I think of parades then I think of the Rose parade, or another prime example is Mardi Gras. Or here’s a cool float in SLC

Also much respect to the dykes on bikes. However, I have to agree that I could do without it, It’s just too noisy and doesn’t help that they circle around several times. Just wish they would drive the entire route of the parade and be done and over with it. I plug my ears when they drive by.

Perhaps an attempt to make the Parade more green next year and encourage less carbon footprints. Also if more effort were put into the floats then it could have, would have, been so much better. i want to see better floats next year and I want to do something about it.

Posted by Iam_not_going_to_teach_your_boyfriend_how_to_dance_with_you | June 30, 2008 5:03 AM

@10: I'm pretty sure Dan was complaining about the Harley noise, not the riders.
Dan: pointless comment. Bikers ride Harleys for the noise. Leave 'em wanting more?! Like they do at Decadence?! Since when is "in your face" out of place at a Gay Pride parade?
@10: Bring your bike home to Milwaukee for a ride. That roar is considered classical music here and all riders are equal.

Posted by Mary F | June 30, 2008 7:09 AM

I don't think Dan was attacking Dykes on Bikes; he just suggested (God Forbid!) that fucking move on a little faster. They take something cool and put it through overkill every damn year.

And did you guys try that shit that Whole Foods was passing out? What was it again, coconut milk water piss in a package? And Starbucks passing out damn TEA?!?!?!?

I am okay with corporate floats in parades as long as they are giving something away that is worth having (like free drink coupons). And besides, the Gay Pride is turning into another corporate run function like every other parade in Seattle.

And yeah, could someone do more floats next year based on a theme that you can design a float to? Maybe something like "1930's Oscar Night" or "Gay Las Vegas: 1955". You know, an actual theme.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | June 30, 2008 7:31 AM

Dan, the parade has been downtown for three years. You are a sore winner. Shut up already.

Posted by fff | June 30, 2008 7:42 AM

Why can't dykes ride their motorcycles for fun instead of some kind of political/gender statement?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 30, 2008 8:06 AM

Don't mind the Dykes, but the fumes (and noise) from the bikes are very unpleasant. We, as gays, need to lead in reducing our carbon footprint. We should have strong guys and gals pulling colorful floats down the parade route. I'd join in!

Posted by Fitz | June 30, 2008 8:17 AM

Mary F @ 22:

I didn't go to the parade, and I don't know Dykes on Bikes, but...

Bikers ride Harleys for the noise... Bring your bike home to Milwaukee for a ride. That roar is considered classical music here and all riders are equal.

Please realize that loud pipes are the single biggest self-inflicted damage we can do as bikers. It creates hatred among non-riders, it leads to legislation that restricts where we can go and what we can do to our bikes, and it DOESN'T MAKE US ANY SAFER on the roads.

When was the last time you saw either a mangled or a loud Goldwing?

Posted by Big Sven | June 30, 2008 8:45 AM

Every parade should start with Dykes on Bikes. Love the big, loud Harleys. That said, they could speed it up a bit. It is hard to muster up an enthusiastic cheer when the same rider passes my by for the eighth or ninth time.

And the corporate participants should be forced to make something interesting for the parade, not just drive their custom-painted RV.

Posted by JC | June 30, 2008 9:10 AM

I like the Dykes on Bikes too (but what was with the biological males in the contingent?). But after 20 minutes... well, it just goes on too long. I'm not against lesbian visibility, for crying out loud. I'm against one contingent in the parade wearing out its welcome by taking 20 loops up and down the street when it could take 10.

The parade is a piece of theater, and the DoB act goes on too long. I didn't suggest that DoB be banned from the parade, or moved to the back, or forced to ride in burkas. Sheesh.

Oh, and ROTC was awesome this year -- and they were half lesbians.

Posted by Dan Savage | June 30, 2008 9:13 AM

not full lesbians?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 30, 2008 9:18 AM


Posted by JC | June 30, 2008 9:28 AM

I agree with #10 in spirit, but erm....she's missing the point of the complaint. I am a dyke and I was thinking the same thing by the end: move along ladies. Besides, having biological males in the Dykes on Bikes dilutes the statement more than shortening the ride would. Although I thought having the guy ride his mom in the sidecar was cute.

Posted by genevieve | June 30, 2008 9:40 AM

Big Sven@27: You assumed I'm a biker. I'm not, never have been, never will be. I was stating a fact: Harley riders like the noise their bikes make, and because Harleys are made in Milwaukee, there is a larger tolerance, indeed appreciation, for that noise in Milwaukee than there are in many other places. Do most people hate the sound of a Harley? Maybe. I don't know. To me it is one of the sounds of spring. And if Greendyke wants to ride without incurring the wrath of people with delicate sensibilites, she is welcome in Milwaukee.

Posted by Mary F | June 30, 2008 10:01 AM

PS to my post @33: I'm not just speaking for myself. A few years ago thousands of people lined the streets of Milwaukee to watch a parade of nothing BUT miles of Harleys, for Harley-Davidson's 100th Anniversary. By all accounts the parade was much longer than Seattle's Gay Pride Parade and there were many more participants and spectators.

Posted by Mary F | June 30, 2008 10:07 AM

Nice pictures, Dan. Did you use your phone? The quality is great.

Posted by Amy Jo | June 30, 2008 10:28 AM

Loved the parade this year but agree that the DoB could speed it up a bit. I did really like Sqream, the scooter group right behind them, though.

Posted by yay parades | June 30, 2008 10:43 AM

It took one hour and nine minutes into the parade for anyone to mention AIDS, and another ten before a safe sex group marched.

Instead of tossing out condoms, I got Starbucks tea and rubber wrist bracelets. (I understand that condom packets were discretely passed out near the end of the parade).

It was a nice party with lots of eye candy and otherwise, but as a statement of where we've come from over the last twenty, thirty years, it was sanitized and sucky.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 30, 2008 11:10 AM

Here's some pics from SF's I've only had time to put 20 or so up. i'll add more later.

Posted by capt. tim | June 30, 2008 11:46 AM
Posted by SeattleBrad | June 30, 2008 12:19 PM

As much as I like them, I agree that the Dykes on Bikes went on a little too long. 15-20 minutes is much too long for any one participant to "perform."

And was anyone else disgusted by that brief military presence in the parade? What part of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is prideful?

Posted by Misty | June 30, 2008 12:34 PM


I spent hours non-discreetly handing out condoms (and lube) during the parade. I was practically harassing people into taking the damned things. ;) For the record, Lifelong told us that we weren't allowed to throw them. Against parade regulations, apparently. I know, totally gay.

It would be SUPER fun if we could have a big safe-sex AIDS-tastic float and shoot rubbers out of cannons or something. Let's get the regulations changed!

I do think that a lube-wrestling float would be cool.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | June 30, 2008 2:30 PM

Big Sven, when was the last time you saw a Goldwing rider doing something really stupid?! I've not seen it. Hence the lack of mangling.

Probably an older/wiser thing. I can't say I've seen many Harley or Japanese V-twin clone riders doing anything stupid, either. It's the rice rocket youngsters who seem hellbent on meeting the Grim Reaper ASAP.

Hey Dan, you know what else will spend eternity in area landfills? Your newspaper. Some folks recycle, but do most? Maybe someday we'll start digging into the landfills to find phone books and newspapers to burn or something.

(Insert joke about ECB & plastic grocery sacks here.)

Posted by CP | June 30, 2008 4:32 PM

Hey, you want more safe sex in the parade?

Here's an idea for a float: get that hyper-realist sculptor dude to help you make some much-larger-than-life infected genitalia floats, say, a big, chancre-sored, urethral-discharge-drooling tallywhacker on wheels, then it can stop, and a squad of safe sex folks in bright coveralls can leap into action and wrap a unfurl a big condom on it.

Posted by CP | June 30, 2008 4:36 PM


Posted by JUST DYKES | July 1, 2008 11:55 PM

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