The yetzer harah didn’t let me get up for shacharis like I had planned, but he couldn’t stop me from attending the San Francisco gay pride parade no matter how many times he told me to hit the snooze button. I hopped in my car and drove 40 miles up to the city (I never thought I would be able to call it that, but I now call SF the city) I got me a good spot and headed up to market street to check out the action.
I knew what I was in for, friends of mine told me to expect a lot of naked dudes and there were more naked dudes than I had ever seen outside of the Ari’s mikvah or the Rochester JCC locker rooms. Just like the JCC locker rooms, it wasn’t necessarily good looking dudes who were naked, it was a random assortment of folks who wanted to let it all hang out, literally.
I saw my first public penis about 15 minutes into arriving at the Parade. I was walking through this carnival like area where there were rows of porto-poddies right next to grilled sausage and fried dough booths, when I saw these two naked dudes just hanging out, minding their own business. I looked down and lo and behold, a sun baked penis with a rainbow ring on it stared back at me, it was strange seeing some dudes penis on the street in the middle of downtown San Francisco right in front of the Civic Center. I wondered if other people were having a similar reaction. I looked around, but everyone seemed to think it was normal. After a few minutes, I realized that naked dudes were just one part of the freak-show going at the pride parade.
There were men dressed like women, women dressed like men, hot women that I stared at only to realize that they were men. After a few minutes, I realized that I was laughing out loud and everyone else was too, everyone was happy, I assume because they were amongst friends and pretty high based on the amount of folks selling ganja food. I wished that I would round a corner and see some Bresslover guys dancing to techno and handing out kosher ganja brownies, that would have made my day. Those nanachs are so the type to show up at an event like this.
Rainbow was the theme and everyone was wearing rainbow stuff, rainbow fairies, rainbow blankets, stockings, shoes, hats, tattoos, thongs and the other color was black leather. I saw quite a few dudes who were going for the Rob Halford look with the black leather chaps that have no cover for the butt, those are quite odd to see.
Sure, I did my staring, I kind of felt like I was back in Meah Shearim taking pictures of everything chassidic, so to here I couldn’t get enough pictures. Even Gap Kids had their window set up in a rainbow flag made of t-shirts. I watched the parade and saw the gay policemen and women walk by holding hands with their loved one’s. I watched floats of men wearing pink and leather dancing to blaring techno. I saw a float full of gay senior citizens (I had always wondered if older folks were coming out, now that they wouldn’t be labeled as diseased) Then there were floats of gay families with two same sex parents and loads of kids, I did notice that there weren’t many kids present and the crowd was mostly in their 20’s and 30’s.
I wondered if there were any other orthodox Jews in the crowd. I also wondered if there were any other non-liberals in the crowd (contrary to popular belief amongst the rabid right wingers reading this, by most standards I am pretty moderate and focus on issues rather than party platform) I wondered if I was the only person in the crowd that voted for Bush twice and didn’t vote for Obama. I kind of wanted to get one of those shirts that say Legalize Gay and wear it with a yechi yarmulke to really push some buttons.
There were several protesters, but they are the folks that are always in their spot with signs that said Sodomy is Sin, I longed for niturei karta to be there, but I don’t think gay parades are their priority. Overall, a really fun event, I was smiling the whole time, probably because besides for being a very happy time – there were so many freaks to look at.
Check out my photo album on Facebook from the event