Season and I went tonight as representatives of NW PA Pride Alliance, Inc. to the Perry 200 Grand Patriotic Parade meeting that happens May 26, 2013 as part of the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie that was part of the War of 1812. I was scrambling to get out of work before the meeting (a few crises decided to bunch up, but I think that I have them under control now.)
The organizers are making a wonderful effort to include as many different parts of the Erie community as possible, and it looks like it is going to be a terrific event. Season and I got a little silly privately, as is our wont. At one point, the organizers referred to getting some of the giant helium balloons seen in other parades. My mind went from Rocky and Bullwinkle to giant balloons in the form of the Village People. The organizers were referring to ethnic diversity and I whispered to Season (“Drag Queens of Every Nation? Se Habla Queer?”) Yes, we were bad and giggled to ourselves.
Seriously though, we are not interested in being edgy at all. 17 1/2 years ago was the Erie Bicentennial float, and there were some right wing types who were freaking out that the LGBT float was going to be some over the top outrageous thing. it was just a truck with a rainbow arc of helium balloons. The float was vandalized a day and half before the parade and folks joined it to rebuild it, which was very moving and a testament to triumphing over nastiness and ill will. Read the article here.
That’s one of the reasons that I really want to do this. Since that float, we have been in 7 years worth of the Millcreek Parades, 2 years of the Edinboro Parade and held our on Pride Parades. We have always been quite tame, and it means a lot that the LGBT community can be part of the greater community and folks understand that we are just like everyone else. The folks who apparently have videos of Folsom Street Fair running in their head should be aware that the local community is nothing like that.