The idea of going to a Gay Pride Parade had terrified me for a very, very long time. Having gone to only one last year, I assumed that overly feminine men and overly masculine women would tromp around in heavy costumery or almost nothing at all. I assumed that everyone who participated in the parade must have been absolutely out of their mind. After all, who would ever walk for 6 plus kilometers in incredibly hot weather and body glitter?
So, of course, when the opportunity to perform in Paris' Pride Parade this year came around, I threw caution to the wind [such was the nature of this year] and agreed to be part of Aquahomo's dance float. Doing so would prove my assumptions wrong [another assumption in itself], or at least attempt to, and embrace everything the gay culture had to offer.
Instead of articulately describing what and who I saw, I present to you several handfuls of snapshots. You'll find realizations at the very end.
"Do we know yet why the group's called AquaHomo?"
Sounds like some friends back home. Natalia.
No butts about it.
A tolerant people, the Gays are.
"Oh, crap. We're following the Amnesty International float?"
Bonjour, Les Gais Musette! Avec José!
Putt-ing themselves out there: gay golfers.
God Save the Gays: Surprisingly Supportive Christian Group?
Our float was between Les Gais Musette and the Queer Biking group...
... and the Queer Rugby team, accompanied by a mime nun.
I WONDER what these CATs were up to.
Happened in the middle of the parade,
for those who committed suicide in struggling with their identity.
Jam sesh, whilst not doing choreography.
Ye olde queeres!
The sun won't set. It's FRUITless to hope or to fret.
Even my cookie was happily proud!
What's a queen to do when her float stops playing music?
Start singing herself.
Ah, c'est le fin! A la Bastille!
One major highlight: Watching Kazaky perform LIVE.
... Sadly, without heels, oversized scarves, or onion heads.
Reunited with a tango professor from Buenos Aires at his workshop in Paris!
Here's what I've learned from performing in the Pride Parade:
In a world laced with criticism and disapproval, only the brave love partaking in the occasional demonstration/protest to piss off some a**holes. The Pride Parade doesn't focus solely on being gay, or lesbian, or trans, etc. It's all about taking the time to realize the many facets that make up the jewel you are, and embracing them. You might focus on one, two, or twenty things that you identify with, and spend an entire day parading around in a caricature of that/those facets. And in doing so, you own who you've become.
Yes, there might be 60,000 people oggling you and taking pictures and making videos like you're the albino giraffe at the zoo, but you'd be surprised how much you don't notice them, or even care. Not when you're doing the things and showing off the person you most love.