Monday, November 16, 2009

Boldly Going.......

I was going into unknown territory that day and I had to be prepared. I quickly drafted a quick itinerary of my trip and left it somewhere that family members could find in case I went missing, I made sure I could run in the shoes I was wearing, and packed some snacks and water (couldn't take the risk of being drugged or worse). I gave myself the once over and made sure that what I was wearing was enough for me not to stand out but at the same time not to fit in. I did not know what I was going to encounter so I had to be 100% aware.

What unknown territory was Acolyte stepping into? Acolyte had decided to be see what goes on at Gay Pride Atlanta Parade.

The parade was held on a Sunday afternoon, and in true African fashion I got there over half an hour late so by the time I got there a good number of floats and processions had gone by. The crowd was very diverse, all colors and genders were represented, and there is no standard gay look; alot of gay people go against given stereotypes and look and act like everyday straight people. The different groups and floats were also interesting, you see the parade was held a few weeks before council and mayoral elections so some of the candidates did roll by with their gay friends, there was even one openly gay candidate who ran for mayor but did not make it to the final run off. Some religous organizations were represented ie the episcopal church, smaller pro gay churches, I also recall seeing some regional groups ie South Asian Gays. There were some amusing floats such as the Lesbian manned multiple orgasm mobile (stereotypically pink in color) and another truck that had some buff boys in white underwear covered in soap suds and blowing bubbles to the crowd, oh and they were blaring techno music (if love for dance music/techno made one gay then I would be one by association). The Atlanta Police had one of their own as Grand Marshall despite a contentious raid of a gay bar a few weeks back that raised the hackles of the local lgbt community. Plus of course different mainstream social organizations like the Atlanta Rollergirls (I need to go see one of their matches soon).

I left the parade and ventured into the nearby park which since it was in a gay friendly neighborhood is often the venue of what I would say illicit activities that have resulted in cameras being installed there. The park itself is beautiful and rather large, there were different companies exhibiting their products and services in addition to showing how tolerant they are (in America most Fortune 500 companies court the gay dollar as many gay households have higher incomes due to no kids). There were also different lgbt social and awareness organisations out in force ie the bears club of atlanta, Atlanta Outworlders (lgbt sci-fi and fantasy fans) and others that I can't recall (note to self, carry note book!).

I did not get to view or partake in night time events like those seen (nsfw) here, here and here. My day time adventure was more than enough for me, those venues I shall leave for those who choose to explore them; if you do please blog and let us know.

On a more serious note, I did not see any anti-gay protesters there; I guess that would be like jumping into the lion's mouth given the sheer number of lgbt people and supporters that were there. My take on the whole gay marriage issue? I think alot of the problem stems from the fact that marriage was principally a religious institution which was also then turned into a legal union recognized and enforced by the law. In an ideal world we know that religion and the state should be separate, I think even Christ said something to that effect. So what happens when a group of people who decide to demand their rights to a legal union which the law (at that point and in certain states did not have a definite opinion as regards the gender of both parties)? Chaos, since the religious definition of marriage is between a man and a woman (at least in Christianity). So what's happening is that most people are looking at the gay marriage issue from a Christian view point where it's wrong while the gays see it as their legal secular right. What some states have done is gone ahead to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman (Prop 8 etc), while some states have given them the go ahead; which has made things tricky because you can be a legally married couple in one state but not in another state (there was a NY times article about that). My take on the issue is that marriage needs to be made a completely secular institution so if you want to marry a man, woman, transgender or your bicycle; you can go ahead and do so. But as long as we have the current situation, little progress will be made as each group will feel that their rights and beliefs are being violated. I think the law and the world are big enough to accommodate both sides, but as long as everyone tries to set the other side straight and to enforce tolerance and acceptance; it's going to be chaos for a long time to come. Now that all that is said and done, take your picket signs off my lawn; I'm going back to the land of Apathy. (I know there are meant to be paragraph breaks somewhere but its been a while since I blogged so mea culpa)

Oh and I know some of you are wondering, did I see any girl on girl action? I did but it took hours upon hours of hiding in the brush, you see when you have a full head of locs you fit in rather well with some bushes. Sadly though the two girls in question were not video vixen hot, nor did they beckon me from my hiding place to participate; damn those adult movies! Have a productive week!