Hooray for the city by the Bay

Today, San Francisco, the most gay friendly city in the world, celebrated the 38th annual Gay Pride Day with a traditional parade and festivities. Amen.  The parade, which was led by the mayor and other top politicians, was the first since gay marriages were successfully legalized in California. Its about time.

And while there is no other place in the world like San Francisco, and it is the home of Gay Pride Day, it is certainly not the only place where this festive event is held. Although elsewhere, the event may not have been quite so festive.

Many other cities celebrated pride on Sunday as well, including Paris and New York, where Gov. David Paterson recently told state agencies to provide full marriage benefits to same-sex couples legally married elsewhere.

Some overseas events were decidedly different. In the Bulgarian capital of Sofia and the Czech Republic city of Brno, protesters threw rocks and eggs at parade participants. And in India, hundreds chanted for gay rights just days before the Delhi High Court is expected to hear arguments on overturning the law against homosexual sex that dates to the British colonial era.

As is traditional, leading the parade was Dykes on Bikes. Is that the coolest name for a motorcycle club or what? But in addition to their normal leather and steel, some wore white and pink wedding dresses and veils, much to the delight of the crowd. That crowd was made up of people, gay and straight, from all over the US.

Some visitors expressed surprise at the sheer size and diversity of San Francisco’s event. River Byrd, 48, and his partner, 41-year-old Mark Duncan, watched the parade before catching a plane back to Tennessee, where they live in a small, conservative town called Paris.

“It’s so incredible to see this many gay people,” Byrd said. “We’re the buckle of the Bible Belt. If we held hands in public, we’d be beat up.”

At the risk of sounding regionally racist, I’m not surprised to hear that remark considering the area. In any case, it was a great day for equality and justice. It’s just a shame that it only occurs in small pockets within a country that was founded on those two principles.

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14 Comments on “Hooray for the city by the Bay”

  1. Buffalo Says:

    Dykes on Bikes have been around for a long, long time. I ran into them in the very late 60s or early 70s. They had/have chapters all over the country. Don’t know about now, but in the day they were some pretty tough broads.

  2. Mockingbird Says:

    Gay men have anal sex and lesbian couples do scissor sisters. Is that natural?

  3. expatbrian Says:

    If you want to have any chance of understanding this issue, you have to be willing to give up this homophobic myth that eing gay is all about sex. It’s not. Being in a gay relationship, like being in a straight relationship, is about love. The sexual union, the intimacy takes different forms because it has to.

    But since you brought it up, straight couple also have anal sex. And oral sex. And play bondage and discipline games. And play Sado Masochistic games. And masturbate each other. And of course, some straight men beat up their wives, and their kids. Is that all natural?

    I’m wondering if there will ever be a time when the religious conservatives stop judging everyone as if they have that right. As I recall, judgment is supposed to be the sole realm of someone else.

  4. Robert Says:

    Brian, thankyou for your clear, reasonable and above all restrained replies to the less enlightened comments you receive. Inspirational.

  5. expatbrian Says:

    Robert, your welcome. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a gay brother, and because of that I learned about the archaic, ignorant and uncivilized way that some otherwise very beautiful people are treated. I’m just entering the winter of my years, and I hope that I live to see a world where those who treat each other with respect, dignity and love are at the top of the social food chain, no matter who their love is directed towards.

    Is that possible? Yes, but not likely in my lifetime. Its no more likely than the actual intigration and acceptance of blacks and other people of “color” into American society.

    Racism and homophobia are not unique in America. But you would think that a country that spouts off so much about freedom and tolerance, that calls itself the “leader of the free world”, that considers all men “equal”, would have come just a little further in its 232 years than still allowing rallies where people wear “Death to Fags” tshirts and still smirks as it treat it black citizens as a troublesome scum.

  6. Mockingbird Says:

    i don’t judge homosexuals having anal sex as being un-natural. i just don’t condone it, that’s all.

    i just stand firm by my belief that God made Adam and Eve. He didn’t make Adam and Steve.

    i don’t judge homosexuals for their sexual orientation. Afterall, i even have a good friend who’s a gay. And he practices abstinence.

  7. Mockingbird Says:

    Yes. Even if gays do anal sex, i’m in no position to judge them either. Only God alone is in a position suitable to judge.

  8. expatbrian Says:

    Your right, Michael, you are in no position to judge, nor is anyone else, at least until you or they have walked in their shoes.

  9. Mockingbird Says:

    Nonetheless, you do seem to be extremely critical of and judgemental against George W. Bush for ordering the war in Iraq, are you not? 🙂 Have you walked in his shoes?

  10. expatbrian Says:

    I’m not critical of Bush for just the Iraqi war. I am critical because he has violated our constitution, repeatedly and that is a violation of law and his oath of office. He has also stripped away freedoms that are guaranteed to the American people and have been since the country was formed. He has also violated international law by invading a sovereign nation, and admitedly lied about his reason to do so. He has violated the most important rules of war ever enacted, the Geneva Conventions, which the US signed, by permitting and encouraging torture of prisoners of war.

    These are not fabrications or minor infractions. These are not getting a blowjob in the White House. These illegal actions have had a tremendous impact on the entire world and depressed the entire worlds economy. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands who have died or been displaced.

    Walked in his shoes? He walks in the shoes of Hitler, Stalin, Mugabe and Amin. NO, I do not walk in his shoes.

  11. Mockingbird Says:

    Wow, you do sound very justified in your reasons for your hatred against Bush. You have almost convinced and persuaded me to be a Bush-whacker too.

  12. expatbrian Says:

    All you gotta do is read the news, Michael, like I do every morning. Although I would recommend the BBC news or ASIAN news. They are not biased in this matter as is the US press.

  13. Mockingbird Says:

    i thought the US press is blatantly and openly critical of its politicians. Afterall, the press in US is among the freest in the world. Unlike Stinkapore, where the government holds a tight controlling rein over what can be and what cannot be published.

  14. expatbrian Says:

    The US press, which is now owned by basically 3 huge corporations, is blatantly critical of the political party that is not currently in the White House. Bush’s regime is extremely pro business and anti individual and the news agencies are among his supporters. He has given them huge tax cuts and other incentives while our war veterans have to wait years sometimes to get hospital care.

    The press in the US is indeed free. But that only matters if the press chooses to print the hard facts instead of slanting the news with propoganda which supports the administration. The US press does exactly that. This is why the good news blogs are so important, as is the foreign news agencies. I don’t even read the US news anymore. I get my news from the BBC and Asian sources. It’s much less biased as far as the US news is concerned.


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