This past weekend was the Long Beach Pride Festival. It was the first time since I came out that I felt like attending. So, on Sunday D-train and I went to the parade to see what it was all about.
One of the reasons I haven't attended before was that I was scared of it. I was frightened of all the booze, drugs and public sex that was sure to be happening. And me with my puritanical roots couldn't handle such human depravity. But, my curiosity got the better of me this year and I talked D into going to it (although at the mention of the possibility of seeing cute boys, it didn't take much persuasive talk).
The parade was fun. It was harmless. There was no nudity (although quite a few cute, shirtless boys). No drugs. And very few people were drinking (it was at 10:30 in the morning, so it was mostly people cradling their Starbucks). I was surprised at the number of straight families with kids that were there to watch. I was equally surprised at the high number of normal looking people that were there. There were plenty of queeny ones to go around, but I'd say that the majority looked pretty much just like D and myself (although, for the most part not as dashingly handsome as either of us).
We both agreed that the tranny's were our favorite (Miss Lola was gorgeous! And Ongina from RuPaul's Drag Race was there too!). Honestly, years ago I was kind of creeped out by them, but at this point in my life I can look at them with respect at how comfortable with themselves they are. They are some of the few people in the world who are truly comfortable in their own skin.
But perhaps the most surprising thing to both of us was the sheer number of gay latino and black people there were. I'd venture to guess that at the Long Beach parade (at least where we were standing on the route) our latino brothers were the majority.
In a few weeks I get to march in the LA Pride parade. My employer is one of the corporate sponsors, and I'm in the GLBTA club, so I get to participate as a corporate representative. I'm pretty excited about that.