Okay, I promise that this is my last post about Sunday's Gay Pride Parade, mostly because I'm leaving on a road trip to New England tomorrow and will have all new things to write about after the big Independence Day weekend. You can read Part I and Part II of Pride Day if you missed them.
Here are a few random bits of fun and sexytime I experienced after the parade ended.
Brian and I would have liked to go home after gold-starring it down Fifth Avenue (players of NC-64 Mario Kart know what I'm talking about), but instead, we had to work the Voice booths at the Pride Festival on Hudson Street until 7 that evening. Just us. Everyone else, including the Teamsters who didn't march in the parade, got to go home.
I went braless for the rest of the day because my boob sweat was out of control and I figured that Pride Day was the one day of the year where I could hang around without a bra and not be the most inappropriately dressed person on the street.
Brian just hung around shirtless all day, which made him a popular little cookie. I mentioned the cop that hit on him, but neglected to tell the world about the young man who actually came into Brian's tent to hug him and tweak his nipples for a while. Brian was too shocked to do or say anything, which I can understand; that's pretty much how I feel when a stranger gets lewd with me on the street or the subway. When the young man finally left, I went to Brian's booth and said, "You know he already signed up for the newsletter at my booth, right? You didn't have to let him touch you. Just say no!"
Straight men. Their mothers don't teach them anything.
My two main regrets of the day: I didn't get the opportunity to visit the tent that was showing 3-D pornography, nor did I get my hands on a dick-shaped thermos.
My two best lesbian moments: the woman wearing an "I [heart] female orgasms" tshirt and the woman wearing an "I [heart] my vagina pin." Bonus on that second one, I said that I loved mine, too, and she gushed, "I love vaginas!" Yes, madam, I'm sure you do.
My best couple moment: at the end of the day, when I was packing up the booth and about to leave, two leather daddies in their 50s (if you don't know what a leather daddy is, DON'T Google it, trust me) asked if they could use my table to spread their map. Not a euphemism.
"Where are you trying to go?" I asked.
"Walk up Hudson"--I waved my hands like an air traffic controller, boobs swinging every whichway--"until you get to 14th Street. Take a right on 14th and go to 8th Avenue, then take the A or the C, that's the blue line, uptown to 42nd Street."
One leather daddy looked at the other and said, "Aren't you gonna right that down?"
"I got it!" the other replied bitchily. "Hudson to 14th, right to 8th Avenue, blue line uptown to 42nd, geez!"
Long term monogamy. Gotta love it. I regret I didn't ask them if they were going to change first or if they planned to ride the bus in their kilts and harnesses.
And finally, my best celebrity moment: meeting Lieutenant Daniel Choi. For those who don't know, Lieutenant Choi is an Iraq War veteran, a West Point graduate, and an Arabic linguist who came out as gay on the Rachel Maddow show about a year ago to protest Don't Ask Don't Tell. He hasn't yet been discharged from the military, despite his public role as a gay rights activist.
When he first came up to my booth, wearing camouflage and a beret, I thought that it was someone dressed in a Lieutenant Choi costume. He picked up one of the cardboard mustaches we give out at events and it suddenly hit me that this dude was actually Lieutenant Choi.
"Oh my gosh, you're Lieutenant Choi!" I squealed.
"No I'm not!" he said, holding the mustache up to his face. "I'm in disguise! Shh! Don't tell!"
I couldn't help myself. I gushed, I'm not ashamed to admit it. "It's such an honor to meet you, you've done so much for the movement, it's so great to see you out here," things to that effect.
He shook my hand. "Thank you, what's your name?"
He mock-grimaced, "Oh, I don't like people named Rachel, they blow my cover!"
My first thought after the encounter, and I mean this with all due respect for a war veteran and a civil rights activist, but how could anyone NOT know that this guy was gay? And my second thought was, If that's what he's like on Pride Day, when he's in his community and has nothing to fear, how difficult is his day-to-day life? Does he have to act differently, act straight as it were? Does he always feel like he's playing a role, that he can never just be himself? That's got to suck on so many levels. It actually hurts me a little bit when I think about it.
It's a bit of a downer to end the post on that note, I know. But full civil rights are still denied the LGBT community in this country, and that's just plain wrong. It's an election year. Research your representatives and ballot initiatives. Cast your vote for justice and dignity. This has been a public service announcement from BigIslandRachel.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.