The Goal: To make life better for generations that follow us.
We do this by marching together, in gear if possible, in ever-larger Pride Parade contingents in many cities, and showing lots of love for everyone around us. It's time to do this in a conscious, intentional way. It's going to make a big difference.
Let's spread the news virally - Please help enroll our friends, club members and rarely-seen community-members, because we want as many good-hearted folks on board as possible.
It's not about ego, or size for the sake of size, or fundraising, or any of that. It's about arriving in the public's eyes and in the media as a cohesive, affectionate and numerous Tribe, that can leave our differences aside for a real Family Reunion. WE get to have ongoing explosions of joy, community and cooperation, and the folks outside of our Tribe get to see us at our very best, in person, and in the media. Minds will change.
The news media headlined all San Diego Pride Parade coverage with the Leather Contingent in 2013. Now, can you imagine how much coverage we will get with at least five times as many folks than ever before at EVERY Pride parade, in every city? How fun, and how easy.
On Saturday, July 13, 2013, we had an enormous amount of folks marching in the 2013 San Diego Pride Parade's Leather/Fetish Contingent. The 150,000 folks along the parade-route showered our brothers and sisters with love as we passed.
On Sunday, November 3, 2013, we were part of the largest Leather/Fetish Contingent in Palm Springs Pride's history. It goes all of the way back to the orange balloons in the photo above, and the photo doesn't include what is behind the camera. The crowd loved us.
This is new. This is important. I've been in every San Diego Pride Parade since 1977, and we USED to be scorned, and discouraged from even showing up. Kinky folks have had centuries of bigotry and misunderstanding working against our acceptance. The fact of the matter is, kinky play is just "extreme intimacy." In 2013 and beyond, our status as society's lowest-class outcasts is fading FAST, thanks to the Internet, which is removing the stereotypes with accurate, real information.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a huge worldwide bestseller for a REASON, now. It is still the fastest-selling paperback of all time.
Our current status is exactly equivalent to the transformation of people' understandings of gay people within our lifetimes. Nowadays, trans folks, people who are demanding the freedom to marry, and so many more people have been saying "This is who I am, and this is my truth."
Let's do that too.
Our younger folks are already there ahead of most of us older folks. They are proudly, openly and unashamedly living their lives in full view.
I'm not requesting that. I'm just asking that we all march together in a really, REALLY big crowd, and keep doing it more and more, in every city, as a new tradition that can build and build:
2014 Parade Schedules
(if there are additions or suggestions, please pass them along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you only join in with ONE of these, you're making a difference.
April 5-6: Phoenix Pride, with the parade on SATURDAY, April 5th.
May 17-18: Long Beach Pride, with the parade on SUNDAY May 18.
June 6-8: Los Angeles Pride, with the parade on SUNDAY, June 8.
June 28-29: San Francisco Pride, with the parade on SUNDAY, June 29.
July 18-20: San Diego Pride, with the parade on SATURDAY, July 19.
September 5-6: Las Vegas Pride, with the parade at NIGHT, from 7-10PM, on SATURDAY, Sep. 5.
November 7-9: Palm Springs Pride, with the parade on SUNDAY, Nov. 9.
Saving MoneyIn an economy where too many of us can barely make ends meet, we need to find ways to make life easier for each other.
If you would like to come to San Diego to march with us in our Pride Parade, and you don't mind sleeping on somebody's couch or air-mattress, just send an email to SignMeUpForEvent@gmail.com and a team of fine folks will get you set up.
If folks in other cities are willing to help find lodging, or ride-sharing, or whatever will make the parades better while saving money, please let me know what we can do together.
ConclusionThis is not just a one-year thing. Each time we have done this in a less-conscious way, it has been wonderful. The only difference NOW is that we are doing it intentionally, with the goal of creating a new, ongoing tradition. Folsom Street Fair and IML didn't start out big - they started with a wonderful plan that just locked-in to the public's mind as something that we can all depend upon, year after year.
We deserve more reasons to rejoice in our community. Let's be playful, joyful, light-hearted and affectionate in BIG crowds. Better days have arrived, and it's time to let everybody know the good news!