We had a blast during our first Pride weekend in Chicago. Here we are at the Dyke March on Saturday, courtesy of TheFemGeek (thank you!), sitting on the sidelines watching the dykes go by. By San Francisco standards, this was a much smaller event than what we’re used to. We were laughing at the “tiny Dyke March,” but make no mistake, it was charming and fun. We do have to adjust our expectations when we say things like “if boys were here, there would be a DJ and a disco ball suspended from a crane.” I love the grass-rootsyness of this event, the drumming on plastic bins, the hand painted signs, all of the women just amazed by the large crowd…it’s all so fun.
The next day we went to the parade, and it was pretty crazy. I forgot how ferklemt I can get at Gay Pride, and I really almost lost it when the veterans marched by. There was another contingent that was fantastic, though I don’t know who they were. It was and all African-American group clad in brightly colored clothing, many twirling enormous bright flags and rifles. There must have been over one hundred of them, and they were so amazing. I also loved the two-steppers and the cheer leaders.
The parade stopped for a long time at one point. After about half an hour, folks in the crowd started talking and getting a little impatient. It was all fine for a while. Boys on top of the building across the street from us were entertaining the crowd by throwing Mardi Gras beads. Gillian caught a strand of each color for me. When a couple of cops walked by, Gillian stopped them (beer in a paper bag in hand — that’s how they do it in Chicago) and asked what the hold-up was. They told her someone’s foot got run over. It was all good, but I was just starting to get a little nervous by the time the parade got going again. People were starting to get agitated. I don’t know why they would think that it would be safer to hold up the parade for 45 minutes to an hour as opposed to getting the injured person out of there as fast as possible. This just tells me that the safety monitors don’t have it together for this event yet.
We then somehow made our way up the street (salmon swimming upstream — it was a little stressful for a moment) to the Anne Sather’s parking lot for the Girl Blast, which we heard was the place to be after the parade. The moment we got there, it started to pour. We held out, made some new friends huddled under our umbrellas, and got soaked anyway. It didn’t matter. We knew it would blow over, and sure enough, it did and more people showed up.
After a while, our new friends got a little too friendly, so we decided it was time to move on. We then hit the dance floor. The music was great, but for some reason we were the only people dancing. We didn’t care. We were having so much fun, and it had been so long since we’d been out and about, we just let go our inhibitions and cut a rug in the parking lot. Eventually others joined us.
At the height of the party, it was time to go home. It was about 5:00 and we were exhausted. For the rest of the evening I was pasted to the couch. All in all, a very satisfying weekend.