Sunday, June 28, 2009

"It's like Gay threw up all over the neighborhood!" My day at the Gay Pride Parade, Part One

From my shaded patio seat, iced coffee in hand, I waited amongst the thousands of Chicagoans participating in the 40th Chicago Gay Pride Parade. I say participating because there was no way you could simply be a spectator at the event. The parading men and women enticed you to stand, sing, and dance like a fool to the sounds of the recently deceased king of pop. This was a celebration, pure and simple. Afterwords, exchanging stories of the day with a friend, she described the event "like St. Patrick's day but instead of bagpipes, there were hot pants".

I was privileged enough to be seated at the end of the parades route, where forty or more police officers stood next to a 20 by 10 square where civil protest was allowed. And protest they did. The area spewed over with conservative christians whom were there to have their opinions hear against the noises of the carnival. A rotund man stood on a latter, his megaphone next to him on a stand, and regaled the crowd with his thoughts on their lifestyles, their place in the world, and the wrong doings they we were all consciously committing. After four hours of non stop talking and yelling I doubt the man walked away with any new friends, let alone his voice. For the sake of this article I'll call the man with the megaphone Barry, most cause "Barry the Bigot" has a nice alliteration to it.

My role in the parade was of documentarian. I sat through the parade, at the cross roads of Pine Grove and Diversy, and observed the thoughts, actions, and images of the celebration. What I gathered are quotes, personal musings, a few silly jokes I wrote, and later, my utter shock and reaction to the new of the dead of television personality Billy Mays.

{while MJ plays in the background}
Barry "Michael Jackson is not singing 'Beat It' where he is! He can't fool God! There are no lawyers in Heaven. There are no loop holes in Gods kingdom! Once you are dead, like MJ, then there are no opportunities to begin a relationship with God. "

{i'm denoting my thoughts with a little ~ mark)
~No loop holes in Gods kingdom? What about Limbo? What about accepting God on your death bed? I think there are plenty of loop holes in any millennia old monotheistic religion based on the dogmatic practices of multiple religious sects. But what do I know?

Barry "I'm a man in love with a man. I'm allowed to love one man. That one man is Jesus Christ!. He's the only man I let come inside me."

~I really thought the joke was on me when I was listening to Barry say this. I couldn't believe he was saying this with a straight face, and not with a wink and a nod. This is a classic routine, and I just don't think he was aware of what he was saying.

Barry "You need to be born again! You must! If not, then you will be an illegal alien in the Kingdom of God."

~Do people sneak into heaven and work the shitty jobs that Angels don't want to do? If so, are Angels doing anything so that these aliens (in this case, non born-again christians; a Lutheran for example) can be stopped from entering heaven illegally? Are Angels who live along the boarder of heaven forming militia's because God doesn't want to build a fence? A gate, a big book and St. Peter are not enough to keep illegal aliens out of heaven!

Barry "There sure are a lot of dogs in this neighborhood. God said do not lie with a man. The next verse is about lying with a animal. I guess you all lie with your dogs. Sick Perverts"

~There are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood. But a lot of these dogs miniature or even toy sized and are owned by all the rich L.P.C.'s (Lincoln Park Cougars). He later pointed out that a dog was wearing a dress ( Barry "A DRESS HE CHOSE TO PUT ON!") and stated in all seriousness "That dog is a homosexual!"

Barry "Will you get this parade going? You aren't the only people we need to save today."

~Barry wasn't a patient man the entire day. I guess he missed the day the priest talked about Jesus's teachings in Thessalonians 5:14 'And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.' Again, what do I know, it's his book, not mine.

Barry "No one should have a parade for sin. Cry about your homosexuality. Cry about your venereal disease. Why can't you be normal like us? He can give you a new mind. He can give you a whole new out look on life. Yu need to be born again. See bible for details!"

~' "See the Bible for details" This reminded me of a informercial' I wrote, which would scare me when I would learn of Billy May's sudden death later on that day.

Barry "God did not create you a homosexual. You are a homosexual because you like it! You enjoy homosexuality! Shame on you.You need to get serious about God. Stop being a homo. Stop being a homitte...homoete."

~Homo is the masculine, and Homoete is the feminine. I actually laughed out loud when he stuttered and corrected himself.

Barry "Hell is going to be filled with people that god loves and people who love god. How many people end up in hell who commit there life to god? Many! Why? Because they are homosexuals! "

~I think the sun was beating down on Barry's fat bald head and got his ideas a little confused. I litterally looked over at a guy who had heard what he had said and he looked back and said "Um, I think I understand what he meant?"


A enormous American flag begins passing where I'm sitting, carried by at least two dozen people. They are all chanting "U.S.A.". Barry responded by stating that he lived in the "United STRAIGHTS of America". I had to give him props for coming up with that on the spot.

A float passes with the phrase "Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame" and I think 'That must be a had club to get into What sort of voting process goes on for you to get inducted? Do you get voted in by the press and members of the gay and lesbian community? Or is it like the rock and roll hall of fame where you just put together another "Best Of..." compilation to get a lot of press before a world reunion tour?'

Barry "No one wants a parking ticket from a homosexual! " As the Chicago Police Dept. walk by with a banner, family members, and smiling faces. The boys in blue who are protecting the protester all cheer proudly for their fellow police. It's a really nice sight.

Barry "John Lennon was a homosexual! " as a young woman plays 'give peace a chance' on a guitar. Wow!

Barry "Hockey is a homosexual sport!" as Chicago's Gay Hockey team practices drills in roller blades, and multicolored briefs.

There begins to be a rumbling in the distance. And with a sudden BANG! a gang of gay female bikers is ontop of us. I am suddenly thrown back to my childhood, as my mother and brother and I travel to Sturgis, South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore. Little did we know that at the same time the annual Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally was taking place (as I write this, I check the Strugis web site,, and see that there is a little more than a month until the 69th rally commences). The sounds of the booming engines alone bring me back to an awkward stage in my development towards adulthood. Seeing these leather clad women stratal the gas powered rockets certainly caused an emotional reaction of nostalgia. And when one particular woman looked over at me, raised her fist high into the air, opened her mouth to let out a cry of passion, it caused a very different emotional reaction; one of desire to get on the back of that beast and have it fly off to cloud city. Nerdgasm.


  1. That's where I sat last year and watched the protesters/parade... Oh, Chicago. it might have been the year before that when i ate at chipotle and there were dildos stuck to the window.

  2. Reading a blog when i should be sleeping is a homosexual use of time...SLEEPING IS HOMOSEXUAL!!! My goodness. Did Barry actually say hockey is a homosexual sport?


    Kellen, was he just looking around and calling things homosexual?

  3. How could you or Barry or anyone pass up all the jokes surrounding any sentence that combines "69" and "Sturgis?"