INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Monday, July 01, 2002

Pride, Fun, and Facades

Jill and I have continued to keep our focus on doing fun things--which was our New Year's resolution this year. In keeping with that, we hauled our butts over to the City yesterday to see something that we've put off for years--the Gay Pride parade.

The San Francisco parade is the granddaddy of all such events. It was truly spectacular, moving, and loads of fun. There must have been at least a quarter of a million people downtown and tens of thousands of marchers. I was overwhelmed by the scale of it.

It's very moving to see so many people openly celebrating their sexuality. Ian McKellen was the Grand Marshal. He's one of the very few male film personalities to have come out of the closet. In fact, off the top of my head, I can't think of another one.

Nancy Sinatra was one of the Marshals. Don't know if she was coming out or just lending her name to the cause. She may be laughable as an alleged rock-and-roll personality, but, hey, give the gal credit for taking a high profile at this event. Wonder what Daddy would think? Probably something along the order of
"what the hell is she doing with all these fruits?"

My enjoyment of the event was enhanced by being next to some tourists from a small town in Washington who were absolutely bug-eyed at the ongoing display of tits, butts, phalluses, and complete gender scrambling.

My favorite sign in the parade was in the Asian male contingent: "Good at Math and Blowjobs." My favorite moment was the gay members of the SF Police marching with their domestic partners. San Francisco is indeed a very special place.

Or is it? SF Chronicle columnist, Rob Morse, cautions readers, in a scathing column, not to be fooled by the façade of the allegedly homo-friendly city:

"San Francisco isn't what you think it is. Before you do the calculations on how you can afford to live here, pull back the curtain…. . .. This is a very conservative town, a town run by a small cabal shamelessly pursuing happiness through money and power. San Francisco is easily as corrupt as Chicago, but instead of cleaning the streets, the politicians hang out more rainbow flags. This is a town overrun by blatant heterosexuals who perform whatever acts they want, from City Hall to the mansions of Pacific Heights."

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