My sympathy for Kalon. Ouch!

On this date:

The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade was from 8-11 Saturday night, and it was scheduled to launch at the Elizabeth and Liverpool Street intersection before heading down Liverpool and Oxford. Our apartment building is on Elizabeth St., very close to Liverpool St., and right behind the staging area of roughly half of the 175 floats.

We headed back from the office around 7, and saw that people were setting up, so we went out the front, walked halfway down the block to check things out, and were escorted to the end, because only parade officials and participants were allowed. Fine. We went in at the back, passing middle-aged men in provacative black leather ensembles, and went back to the lobby and on the street. This time we just sat on the metal rails next to the doors (of our building). We watched them put on makeup and set up their floats, and photographed most of it.

The parade didn't seem to start until 8, but there were three separate line-ups of floats, on Elizabeth St., Liverpool St., and the other side of Elizabeth. Those down Liverpool went first, and that included a large group of guys in American flag micro-shorts and red sequined hats who did a choreographed dance to Madonna's Music (a song second in popularity to Kylie Minogue's A Night Like This. Behind them were a large group of lesbians, who were also dancing to Music - if you call swaying with your thumbs in your front pockets dancing. The infamous Dykes on Bikes egressed from the other side of Elizabeth, but to see this we had to stand behind five layers of people at the corner.

We saw the delayed telecast of the parade on Sunday night, from 8-11. It was like a different parade from what we saw in the staging area. Most of the floats on our side of Elizabeth were at the tail of the parade, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show float and the 'petrol queens' in the Plymouth Fury convertible, who looked a lot like Poison. Some of it was half-assed and random-looking, like South Beach on a weekday, but a good part of it was fabulous, with the most far-out costumes I've ever seen.

My point of contention with the parade is that their theme was the family, but gay and lesbian parents seemed to be using their children as a media tool. Between 8-9pm, parents were pushing strollers down the street, and there were a number of children around eight or so walking as well. Parents said that their (older) children wanted to show their support for their parents and for the gay community. I don't care who you are - you shouldn't have your children outside, after dark, that late. Do you think those babies were showing their support for the gay community? Get a babysitter. Damn.

People involved with the parade have been complaining that it's becoming too clean, too family-oriented. But then their theme this year was the family (there's family as in the gay community, but they really meant rights as a family). They want to have their children with them in a stressful environment out way past their bedtime, and have simulated ass-munching and blow jobs. Um, okay.