A gay (or straight) parade, any
time of the year and in any place
will be very much like a Mardi
Gras celebration. Last year's
Christopher Street Liberation Day
Parade in Hollywood had colorful
floats, clowns, drag queens in
lavish costumes, and even a baton
twiler. There was a float carrying ten beautifully built young
studs, briefly costumed, and with
a sign saying GROOVY GUYS
MAKE GROOVY STARS! There was
a platoon of motorcycle guys in
black leather jackets, heavy chains
and--high heels. There was c well-
built young man (again briefly costumed) carrying an enormous boa
but some of the spectators and
watchers were "turned off" by
what they considered to be vulgar
displays: A sign bearing the words,
SUCKING IS BETTER THAN WAR,
and a 35 foot long red, white,
pink, and blue "surrealistic cock."
(Others felt that if beauty exists j
in the eye of the beholder, then
obscenity must exist there also)
All this led one writer to complain to THE ADVOCATE (the gay
national newspaper) that these
parades defeat their purpose: instead of presenting freaks, we
should march a thousand average,
well-adjusted homosexuals in business suits and ties. To which one
of the parade organizers replied:
"Find us a thousand average, well-
adjusted homosexuals in business
suits and ties willing to march
in the parade, and we'll be glad
to march them. Until then, we
will use what we've got."
This year's parades will be no
different: we will have our critics.
There are many gay people who
have NEVER made a contribution
to the gay movement in any way--
time, money, or effort; but who are
very eager to criticize those who
do. Very much like the Little Red
Hen who could find no help when
planting the corn, harvesting the
corn, grinding the corn, or cooking the corn; but found her table
crowded when the dinner bell rang.
But none-the-less we must go
on. If Walt Whitman saw "all
America singing'' and Isadora
Duncan longed to see "all America
dancing," this writer would rather
see "all America marching."
Marching for the rights of all
There approximately 975,966
gay men and women in Texas,
Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas,
and New Mexico. Most are in their
damn closets, and because of jobs,
families, and social positions can't
afford to come out. And who would
blame them? But they could contribute in some way to the GAY
PRIDE PARADE. They might drive
a float unseen, dance down the street disguised as a clown, make
posters, lick stamps, make
posters, and seal envelopes, contribute a few dollars, or provide
food and shelter for out of town
marchers. The rest of us WILL
(Photo by Woody Keys)
GAY FREEDOM IS
We expected obscenities. Perhaps
even violence, from both the police
and the 14,000 spectators who came
downtown June 24th to see Dallas's
First Gay Pride Parade. But the
police were friendly. As a matter
of fact, they seemed to be having
a ball. And if there were catcalls and half-ass cute remarks
hurled at us from the sidewalks,
we didn't hear them. We were too
busy singing and shouting Gay
slogans. Many in the crowd
applauded and cheered us. Some
even left the walks to join our
ranks. But most stood in stunned silence.
Could this be real? Men and
Women proudly marching down the
street, arms around each other's
shoulders, openly proclaiming to
the world that they were human too?
Where was the shame? The guilt?
And that theme song gaily blair-
ing from the sound truck:
"United we stand: divided we fall.
And if our backs should ever be
against the wall,
We'll be together.
Together, you and I."
And so it was. The early summer air seemed filled with our
strength, love, and warmth. We
gave it and received it from each
other. We cared!
Oh, why can't it be that way
every day? How often have we opened our hearts and homes to those
in need, only to be robbed, sometimes beaten by our own people?
How often have we, who have
enemies enough, heavens known-
cruelly put down one of our own?
Or the many times we've
thoughtlessly hurt our lonely ones
by simply ignoring them. Couldn't
we have invited them into our
lives? Why is it those who need
"Just A Minute'
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