PR IDE/from page 19
Rainbow Aplenty in
KaANSAS CITY — Although il hadn't
rained, rainbows abounded June 6 in
Kansas City as hundreds turned out for
Pridefest '98, the city's parade and festival promoting gay and lesbian pride.
Traveling from the Liberty Memorial
to 16th and Central' streets, the
parade had about 100 entries from
businesses, organizations and groups
in the gay and lesbian community.
Sequined, shiny mermaids on the
Pearl's Bar float waved from their
watery, neoclassical surroundings.
Some of the city's drag queens, such as
Belle Slarr and China Collins, smiled
from shining sports ears. Olher groups
such as thc Heartland Men's Chorus,
SkillPath Seminars. KC Altitude Pride
Apparel and the American Civil Liberties
Union held posters high and threw oul
candy, flying discs and plaslic bead
necklaces to the cheering crowd.
"This is incredibly empowering."
Lisa Rasor, 32, of Lawrence told Ihe
Kansas Citij Star. "You see partners
nol being afraid to hold hands or show
affection. It's jusi a really sale place."
Polite confrontation: Dave Jones, left, of Milwaukee talks with Operation Rescue
members Vatyrie Parks and Jamie Ammerman at the Magic Kingdom on June 6. —
Photo by Alicia J. Wagner
Weather Doesn't Stop
Parade in Fresno
FRESNO. Calif. — In what has
become an annual event, floats, cheerleaders, politicians, motorcycles, vintage cars and health officials paraded
along Olive Avenue Ihrough the Tower
District In Fresno. California.
Thc crowd and the parade ilself
were smaller than usual, apparently
because of the threatening weather,
but officials still estimated that 2.000
spectators were on hand. They heartily cheered the fioals and jeered the
small Ku Klux Klan contingent mak-
I H H I'll IIH '"*[
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0 WAS BoiQne labonjtonas.lnc
ing its annual protest appearance.
This year, the Klan members shied
away from the crowd.
This is great. especially because
they weren't going to have il because
of the weather," Toni Mendicino told
the Fresno Bee. One of Mendicino's
friends carried a sign that read: "KKK
The crowd hooted as parade participants danced, pranced, posed and
threw them candy and condoms.
Some of lhe loudest applause along
lhe route went to lhe Fresno Gay Pride
Cheerleaders, an idea and name created by Rob Langevin.
Picnic, Festival to Follow
San Antonio Parade
SAN ANTONIO — Organizers of
Saturday's Gay Pride parade in San
Antonio and picnic are being viewed
as events to help lesbian and gay
groups work together lo heal wounds
in Iheir community.
Volunteers eager lo make (he city's
first Gay Pride parade a success after
a long absence packed lhe Lesbian
and Gay Community Center last
week lo pledge their support. "Word
of mouth is our besi advertising.
We're citizens of San Antonio and
deserve to be heard and recognized
just like everyone else." Elizabeth
Butler told lhe San Antonio Express
Parade coordinator Dan Castor
said the lesbian and gay community
is a microcosm of a much larger San
Antonio. "We're doctors, lawyers.
nurses, fathers, mothers, neighbors.
We have our differences jusi like
everyone else does." he told the
Lasl week. Corpus Chrisli held Us
first Gav Pride parade. Hours earlier,
hymn ■ singing fundamentalist
Christians participated in a "March
for Jesus." No clashes between the
Iwo groups were reported.
3,000 March in N.C.
ASHEVILLE —Three thousand gay
men. lesbians and others marched
Ihrough downtown Ashevtlle .June 6
as pari of the North Carolina Pride
"98 festival. The gay-pride event was
capped by a downtown rally and a
speech by activist Candace Gingrich,
a lesbian and half-sister of U.S.
House Speaker Newl Gingrich. R-Ga.
Gingrich urged the cheering crowd
to become politically and personally
active In lighting for equal rights for
people ol all sexual orientations.
"I'm often asked by people how long
I'm going to be doing Ihis." she said.
"I tell them that I'm going to stand
here and in other places all ovi
country like I've got tar on my heels,
until we have the equality we're enti
Pride '98 organizers say thev chose
Asheville for the event because they
believe homosexuals arc well
ed in the region. Bul members of the
gay community who participated in
the march said intolerance remains
There was no formal proles! lo lhe
gay-pride event, although some
demonstrators carrying signs lined
sheets along lhe march route.
Some local chureh groups plan a
rally next weekend in response to
ihis weekend's even I. The
Community Council for Biblical
Values. • comprising 33 Southern
Bap list churches in lhe Asheville
area, will present a "positive,
redemptive response to the gay pride
march," said Larry Madden, associate pastor of Trinity Baptist Church
in west Asheville.