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MARCHING WITH PRIDE

1 July 2002

I didn't hear a thing once my head touched the pillow and I don't think I moved until 5 a.m. this morning. Even my perennial "bed-back" didn't start stabbing me until it began to get light out. I tentatively got out of bed and instantly wondered how I was going to walk at all, let alone the mile and a half of the parade route. I began to wonder if I'd been wise doing all that walking yesterday.

But I was there. And I was determined I was going to participate in the day, pain or no pain.

By the time I had a shower, got dressed, and had been walking around for awhile, I started to feel better. The feet never felt good, mind you, but I knew I could make it through the day.

We walked to Starbucks to get something to eat. Walt, who had come to San Francisco to go to the opera, called me on my new cell phone and I let him know where we were, so he joined us briefly, long enough to get some breakfast for himself before he took off back to the opera house.

dqueens.JPG (41030 bytes)Then we headed down to join the crowds on Market St. We had a little bit of time before we had to meet the PFLAG group, so we stood and watched the fabulous dykes on bikes, who start the parade. This endless parade of women on motorcycles (a lot of them bare breasted, which tickled the older gentleman standing in front of me--he and his wife had just arrived in town for vacation). We were able to catch a glimpse of Grand Marshall Ian McKellen and co-marshall Sharon Gless, and a fleeting glimpse of mayor Willie Brown. We heard the gay garbage men and their marching routine, though we didn't really see them, we passed drag queens on their way to meet up with their own groups to march. We hurried to Beale St. to meet up with the PFLAG contingent.

ellenshel.JPG (57962 bytes)PFLAG marched in front of the MECA (Marriage Equality-California) float, on which Shelly and Ellen were riding, representing a gay couple who had been together for a long time (28+ years for them). The float called again for equality for gay couples, who are denied so many rights that are given to straight couples.

I love the PFLAG group. There is so much love and acceptance, watching parents and gay offspring loving and supporting each other. It tears your heart out when people lining the parade route call out, as one woman did, "Thank you for doing what my mom can't do."

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(the shirts say "All Familes Have Value")

After standing around in the sun for awhile, we were finally on our way, turning the corner on Beale St. onto Market St., to the cheers of the crowds. It's a very energizing thing, the reception that PFLAG gets all long the route. There are cheers and whistles and people making love signs with their hands. Even if you're tired, or your feet hurt, or it's hot and you'd give your right arm for a drink of water, the cheering of the crowd keeps you moving.

However, that doesn't mean you aren't thrilled to see those beautiful words "End of Parade" as you round Market St. onto 8th.

Of course then you have to GET somewhere, so the walking isn't over. We were meeting Kathleen's son Ian and his partner Tony and while we waited we watched the other groups arriving--the MECA float, gay Native Americans dancing Indian dances, Drag Queens who had done the whole mile and a half in platform shoes with at least 4-inch heels, members of PAWS (animal rescue) and a group called "Bad Rap," which consisted of lots of people with pit bulls, more glitter and feathers and sequins and leather. You name it, it was there.

When Ian and Tony arrived, we walked yet another half mile down to Mel's Diner, where we sank into the vinyl seats of a corner booth, listend to 50s rock and roll music, and had lunch (everyone had hamburgers; I had a salad. Good Bev!)

The last leg (literally) was the walk back to the hotel, along the streets, now deserted of parade watchers, and covered with debris. In the street, homeless people with shopping carts were rummaging through garbage cans to retrieve treasures, doorways were once again occupied by men sleeping on ragged blankets, and off in the distance, our hotel loomed, with the car waiting to transport us back to the valley.

Another Pride Festival is now history and I'm not sure how long it will take my feet to recover.

I don't think I'll plan to do the treadmill tomorrow.

Quote of the Day

Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

--Mother Teresa

Picture of the Day

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One Year Ago
My Dinner Is On Fire!

Two Years Ago
On the Road Again


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Pounds Lost:  63
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

Total miles biked since February:  298


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Created 6/24/02