Pouring rain couldn't dampen the celebratory spirit at Saturday's Pride Parade in Boston.
I was pretty impressed by the drag queens marching gracefully down the slick streets in platform heels and stilts, the skantily clad dancing girls twirling batons, and the shirtless, pant-less guys shaking it for the entertainment of the masses from atop a few of the floats, where the chilly winds must have been even more uncomfortable than they were for us on the street. Now that's commitment!
The parade, which is organized by the Boston Pride committee, kicked off around noon. Led by Mayor Menino and Gov. Patrick, the parade started in the South End and ended at City Hall Plaza. I watched from the South End, where buildings were draped in rainbow flags and a healthy crowd gathered to watch.
Because of the rain, I left my camera at home, which is why the photos in this post show only my schwag. Highlights included a rainbow pencil, Google-branded SPF15 chapstick, and — my favorite — a Batman pin from Comicopia.
I actually didn't discover my Batman pin until this morning; it was clipped to a Comicopia card and stuck in a pile of literature on things like the South Boston Yoga studio and the upcoming Trans Equal Rights Lobby Day (also valuable schwag, of course!).
But even before finding the bat signal, I had already decided that Comicopia had my favorite presentation in the parade, with its contingent of people dressed as a comic characters, including a short-short wearing, green-body-makeup-covered She-Hulk. Another good one was the Greater Boston GLBT Partner and Line Dancing group, whose members dosey-doed their way through the parade. (At least, it looked like a dosey-doe to me!)
Among the more thought-provoking participants were those that catered to the community in ways I don't often think about — these were marchers promoting things like delivering meals to homebound HIV victims, providing services to elderly GLBT people, and working to prevent domestic abuse. I was also surprised by the number of churches promoting inclusion.
Other highlights included signs deriding gay-rights antagonists, notably Sarah Palin and the Boy Scouts of America.
However, my favorite signs included one reading "Standing on the side of love," and one in an Episcopal church float reading "Blessed are the fabulous."
Another effective sign was carried by a man who seemed to be marching alone, or at least not obviously with any group. It read, "Marching for all the people in the world who can't march in a Pride parade of their own." That one made me sad, reminding me of the open hatred toward gay people that's been in Middle East news lately, and of incidents closer to home as well. In a few weeks, I'm going on vacation in St. Lucia, and I was horrified to learn recently of a home invasion and assault on three gay men there. Perhaps that incident doesn't reflect the attitudes of most St. Lucian people, but it is pretty alarming and definitely makes me glad to live a part of the world where equality is celebrated.