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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 8, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 27
General Gayety: Seattle Pride notes
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General Gayety: Seattle Pride notes

by Leslie Robinson - SGN Contributing Writer

I had a peachy time marching in Seattle's Pride parade. My partner Anne and I, members of a Unitarian Universalist church in Seattle, marched with a host of Unitarians representing churches from all over Puget Sound.

Now it behooves me to make a few notes about this year's experience, just to ensure next year things go downright seamlessly.

Note #1: Our church had a stellar turnout because we began recruiting early. We must repeat this next time. We should start signing people up & next week.

Note #2: I was one of the organizers of our contingent, but I got sick and couldn't help for a couple of weeks. The others carried on beautifully without me.

The takeaway is next year I will again surround myself with over-achievers.

Note #3: Things work best when individuals are doing the jobs they prefer. I'm suited to firing off reminder e-mails. Had I been tasked with designing the temporary tattoos we handed out, they would've looked just like the work of Georgia O'Keeffe - when she was an infant.

Note #4: Unitarians try to do right by the earth, so it was wise to send everybody information on how to get to Pride by bus. It was also wise not to ask who actually took the bus. That's the Unitarian version of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Note #5: Gathering 80 Unitarians for a group photo before the parade began was surprisingly easy. Nobody questioned the backdrop. Nobody lobbied for a different camera. Nobody suggested we form a photo committee.

I suspect this was because we'd all been standing in the sun for a substantial period. So next year we'll make sure Unitarian contrariness gets baked right out of people before we ask them to pose. Or do anything at all.

Note #6: This wasn't the first time I've waited well over an hour after the parade's start for my portion of it to begin. Adrenaline and socializing can keep you going a long while, but there's frequently a lull before you actually step out.

Need to come up with something to fill the time. Perhaps poker with PFLAG. Or we could challenge the Methodists to dodgeball.

Note #7: I felt dandy marching when I held the church banner with one hand and Anne's hand with the other. But when my hands were empty, I remembered I'm not one for waving at the crowd.

Unitarians tend to be introverts. I guess I better organize a class at church this winter. It should be taught by the drag queen who served as a parade emcee and announced when we passed that she considered herself a Unitarian. She could teach us loads about overcoming shyness & and periodic gender-switching.

Note #8: Anne doesn't suffer from parade reservedness. She waved and waved, and when she had to retire to one of our VW Bugs due to a bad knee, she waved like royalty. Must look into a horse and carriage for next year. That would be eco-friendly, wouldn't it?

Note #9: I have wussy forearms. That church banner I carried was lightweight, and I carried it with someone else, and yet two-thirds of the way through the parade I felt like I was carrying a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence.

Clearly I must exercise those forearm muscles. Maybe this winter I'll practice, march up and down the sidewalk outside the church carrying the banner. Scare the Lutherans nearby.

Note #10: Immediately behind us was a small contingent of sex workers. That meant that anybody pondering our signs, our handouts, and our message didn't stay focused on us for long.

Next year I want to be followed by Baptists.

Leslie Robinson has marched on both coasts. Email her at lesarobinson@gmail.com, and visit her blog at www.generalgayety.com to answer the question of the week.

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