this was really my first time going to pride.
as i approached i noticed how many of the homeless were displaced by the proceedings. in salt lake city, many of the homeless spend a lot of their days and nights on the grounds of our picturesque city/county building. but the pride festival took up that whole block. many homeless took up positions very close by. a few laid awkwardly on the sidewalk in the shade, almost in seeming protest of being displaced. this was just what i thought as i walked by.
the ‘festival’ part of pride was typical festival nonsense. some music being played and a bunch of gazebos of people wanting to sell you stuff. lgbt-themed art or things of interest, and a bunch of companies whose presence seemed to say ‘we don’t care if you are gay or whatever, we just want your money’. i am bored by gazebos and whatever is discussed or sold in them. i walked around but did not enter many.
it was 10 bucks to get in. and no outside food or drink. bags were searched. par for the course.
really the main draw is the ‘pride parade’. no one was calling it gay pride parade that often, which seems weird. just ‘pride’ seems to bury the real reason we were gathering, i thought. maybe i just didn’t talk to enough people.
the parade was fun and nice, though a little long. is there anything worse than a parade that’s about 25 minutes too long? the summer heat bore down and i sat close to the ground, snapping photos. it felt like it was too much after a while.
the entries in the parade were a mix of lgbt-themed stuff and out and out corporatism. it feels weird to me to see corporations holding out their token gays, as if to say ‘do business with us’.
i also wondered, as i watched the parade: where does all the money go?
how much does it cost to put on a parade? and how much did they bring in? most of the parade ‘entries’ were just advertisements, which wore on me. this and that store, this company or that. whatever. i like the idea of a wild, gay pride parade but i felt like a little bit of an ass sitting in the sun taking pictures of what amounted to advertisements, rolling by at an idling speed.
i don’t mean to be cynical and i don’t know if ‘pride festival’ is a business model for certain folks or if it all is a bust and goes towards the fact that the festivities are held – but the cost of it and the corporate nature of a lot of it seemed to wear thin.
when i saw a float that i knew wasn’t an ad, was just about fun and excitement – that was obviously invited to the parade and not a buy-in proposition, those are the few, fleeting moments when i felt good about everything.
pics of the days events i took will be posted here, as i get to them.