I celebrate my Pride all year round, but sometimes I get to go HAM. Take October, for instance. Orlando Pride, Jacksonville (Rivercity) Pride, and Atlanta Pride - back to back like some triple-decker rainbow sandwich from the unicorn-owned deli around the corner.
I know Pride can be overwhelming for some queers - hundreds of gay people, coming out of the woodwork [I’m looking at you, all you nesting lesbians!], wearing bright colors, throwing beads, dancing in the streets; getting
day drunk, staying drunk, hitting the clubs at night; flaunting our fabulosity, ignoring the haters, and walking, hand-in-hand, with our partners IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. It’s A LOT to take in if you’re not used to it. I can just see you all now, blinking and squinting into the sun that is a gay pride parade.
It can be totally overwhelming! But I think it’s a beautiful thing. I LOVE walking around my neighborhood downtown and seeing rainbow flags waving THE WHOLE MONTH long. I LOVE seeing old veteran gay men, PFLAG families, dykes on bikes, open and accepting church ministries, trans* support groups, and Starbucks employees all marching together in the parade amidst go-go dancers and drag queens. I adore the fact that we get to dance in the streets, for all the world to see, unafraid and unapologetic about the fact that WE LOVE WHO WE LOVE! And why SHOULDN’T we get to throw a big ass parade and party at LEAST once a year to celebrate how far we’ve come, to honor all the people who sacrificed to get us here, and to not hide? Or at least that’s how I look at it. Then again, my whole life is a gay pride parade, so maybe I’m biased. ::shrug::
ANYWAY! I was all up in Orlando Pride with my girl Tia on the Revolution float:
This was my 7th year (!!!) in the Orlando Pride parade, and we had a mo’fuggin FERRIS WHEEL AND CAROUSEL [of drag queens] on our float. Who does that?! WE DO! It was SO fun!
And, naturally, the party went from the streets to Revolution that night to keep the O-town pride party going strong!
Yes, I was a sweaty mess. What else is new? But girl gotta get down!
The following week was just as wild! Even though I was missing the Rivercity Pride parade because I was going to be in Atlanta, I still got to perform for Rivercity Pride in Jacksonville at the Norm with these fierce babes.
Debauchery, dancing, and decadence - and that was just what went on backstage! Oh, meow!
After the show and a lovely stay in Jacksonville with Jordan and Kacee [thanks, babes! MISS AND LOVE YOU BOTH!], I got back on the road for Atlanta Pride!
You guys, that trip was BANANAS and awesome, even though it was one helluva lot of driving - I drove from Orlando, to the show in Jacksonville, all the way to Atlanta to perform at Atlanta Pride, then from Atlanta all the way down to do a benefit show in St. Pete, and then back to Orlando to do another benefit show. By myself. Back-to-back-to-back.
That’s A LOT of driving to do in just one weekend. But I’m a trooper and powered through it! I also now know every single Starbucks from St. Pete to Atlanta. I guess life teaches you things college never will. Cheers!
After my show in Jax, I drove on up to the ATL, where Pandora Events put me up in the W. As in, the hotel. As in, the swanky-ass, fancy soap, “I grew up poor so this shit is bananas!” Julia Roberts-in-awe type of hotel. Woohoo! But I only had about 4 minutes to enjoy it once I arrived in Atlanta because it was time to DANCE!
I love that DYKE shirt! I made it specifically for the evening - I don’t know if any of you other femmes have to deal with this (just kidding. I know you do!), but 8 times out of 10, girls think I’m straight. I might have long hair, but I’ve got short nails, ladies. ;) So I figured maybe I should just be super literal and see what happens.
It was just me and Baby Blue, who doesn’t go-go dance anymore. So basically it was just ME, go-go dancing for like, 9 bajillion little peaches!
And loving [and sweating!] every minute of it!
The beautiful and talented Mary Lambert performed, and meeting her sweet ass was one of the highlights of the trip. She’s such a doll!
I danced the night to death and shut that ‘ish down. Atlanta, you were all kinds of babeliciousness and peachy fun! I made it back to the W, enjoyed a luxurious shower, and then headed down to the bar to hang out with our DJ for the night, Tatiana, and a few other night owls. I brought my water bottle. Because I’m a wild child. Obvi.
But soon I was really ready to wind down, and made it back to my room and the fluffy white dreamland that was the bed at the W. [can you tell I REALLY love fancy hotel stays??]
The next morning I found some breakfast and more Starbucks [of course], and hit the road! [what a weird word choice. “Found some breakfast.” It sounds like I was walking to my car and found someone’s lost wallet that was actually a basket of breakfast things.] Anyway, 8 hours of driving later and I arrived at the Broken Tusk in St. Pete to perform for my sister Vixen, Franki’s, benefit show, along with myriad beautiful entertainers and friends. It was a lovely little shindig, and even though I was deliriously tired by this point, I’m so glad I made it!
After the show, I drove home to Orlando [yay, home! finally!] (But I think I’m pretty sure I should never, ever do that much driving by myself ever again. By the end of it, I was having intense conversations with myself over the merits of Martha Stewart craft glitter versus regular glitter…it got pretty heated, ya’ll.)
The next day we held ANOTHER (well-deserved) benefit show for mah sistah.
It was so very fun! And, like the night before, we raised some really good money to help my girl get her doctor’s billzzz paid. Woo!
Plus getting to use Kiley in my number and making her WILDLY uncomfortable was basically the bees knees.
What a beautiful bunch of women, donating their time and talents for such a worthy cause! And in the middle of that pile of gorgeousness was the woman of the hour, Franki J. Markstone! Blonde (at least for that night) bisexual (for every night) bombshell!
I love her so!
And I love this wild, crazy,
exhausting, beautiful gay old life I have! Thanks for taking another little peek into aforementioned life - hope you enjoyed the shenanigans!
Till next time, babes!