Jun 262012

Just as we stepped out of the train station in downtown Seattle, vroooom, vrooooom, vrooooom. Kari ran, I couldn’t because my ankle still isn’t quite right from being cooped up in plaster for a few months. I grinned – Dykes on Bikes, still leading the parade.

The street was packed, lined both sides with cheering flag waving happy Seattlites. There was Starbucks, damn near leading the parade; the biggest roar for a big black car containing Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire.

For a while there I was thinkin’ it was all a rather mild and delightful corporate event – phone companies, insurance companies, my favourite food heaven Whole Food Market, Budd Light, local Chambers of Commerce; then came an old laugh out loud fave, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Like waaaaaay too many Americans, they are seriously, waddlingly wobbly in the flesh.

After that it was on! Superheroes, local libraries, cheerleaders, hula hoopers, rollerbladers, hospitals, children and dogs. Americans take their dogs everywhere, even into change rooms in their local clothing store, it’s one of the many things I love about them.

Pride, pride, pride. Gay, gay, gay. And that got me thinking . . . what happened to the word ‘lesbian’ on all those banners? It’s still visible in the acronym – GLBTG . . . so when, and more perversely why, did women disappear from the public politics of sexuality? I can only imaaaaagine the back room conversations as the visionaries watched something precious fade once again into the mists.

Thud – uh-oh – please don’t trawl out the argument ‘gay’ represents everybody, that would be far far far far far too much like telling me the word ‘man’ really does include me as a woman.

I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation . . .

For three hours, all the shades of a rainbow gendered world paraded by. The Latinos were wild in white and, uh-oh, that got me thinking again . . . gay marriage (fancy that, not gay and lesbian marriage). Gay marriage, the current political sport setting the social politics agenda in the West.

Really folks, can’t we do better than ‘marriage equality’? Why set the bar so low? Look deeper, this is a civil rights issue. An equal rights issue. All that bloody breath us feminists wasted for three decades shining a light on the realities of institutionalized marriage.(sparing a thought for the decades and probably millennia before that)  . . . I think we need to admit it’s not gay marriage we want, it’s normalization. The right to the same fantasy.

Legalize Gay Cupcakes put the humour back in my day. So did a long slick white car inscribed (in pink of course) Barbie’s Dream Hearse. And the scary leather lot cracking their whips. And the kid in a stroller sporting this sign: ‘With a lesbian mom, trans dad and gay donor – I’m bound to fabulous!’

There was the lewd and lascivious, the exhibitionists who seem to think the whole world is interested in their penis, turning & posing for each and every camera that flashed their way (I’m surprised the parade moved on at all) – fascinating that in Seattle a man can walk stark naked down the street and a woman cannot show her nipples, hence the ‘patchies’ on the breasts of the pretty painted women.

And OMG there’s the Australian rugby team. True story, there they are in their green and gold kicking a bloody ball down the street. Then came the politicians, shaking hands all the way up the street. By the time the GLBTG for Obamas turned up, Kari and I decided to join the parade. We walked along waving. I borrowed an American flag to wave and paired it with a rainbow flag in the other hand. Wave, wave, wave. Smile. Smile. Smile. High fives with the crowd. All the way to the park, where thousands and thousands and thousands of people gloried in the rare sunshine and soaked themselves in Seattle’s famous fountain, the space needle watching over a city in love with itself.

And here, friends, are the photos:

Raise it up for Starbucks!

May we present the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence


Doctors from Seattle Children’s Hospital

Pride of the Latino float




 June 26, 2012  Tagged with:  Add comments

  3 Responses to “Pilgrim Heart Whistlestop Book Tour: GAY PRIDE, SEATTLE . . . just sayin’”

  1. the parade wouldn’t have been the same without you Ms. Dale, thanks for sharing the day in Seattle!

  2. I loooooove the pic of the baby in the pram!

    • GLBTG? The G on the end? what does that say?

      And yeah, that is what the marriage equality campaign IS saying… civil rights, equal rights, I want my family to have the same right as any other family who have people in them who want to be married, they would celebrate just as well. … this campaign has been saying these messages all of the way through. I’m not sure what you think it isn’t saying? There are many debates recorded all saying the same thing. Have a listen to Kerryn Phelps, she is an awesome speaker.

      Why do you think the bar is “so low”? Sure, not everyone wants to be married and we know for certain so many heterosexuals have trashed what marriage is meant to be.
      We just want the choice and I don’t mean the choice to trash or not! Maybe the hets have been spoiled? Often when hard work is put into getting something it’s valued more.
      Many relationships I know are like marriages but without legal standing or celebration. If my partner fell ill and was hospitalised, I would not be seen as anyone special and the door would be firmly shut in my face if I tried to get information.

      You must have noticed the differences on how you’re treated yourself through experience? We want the rights that it does offer and we absolutely want homophobia gone.

      Equal marriage rights is a huge platform for all that isn’t civilly right. It will take time to change it all, homophobia won’t just be gone pffft in a puff of smoke if the laws change and marriage is allowed. I wish it would though! Big change happens slowly, because people are slow to grasp it, I guess?

      As for lesbians … check out Women Say Something on youtube and acquaint yourself with the work of many over the last few decades. They’re very busy, and they’re mostly just the Sydney women.

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