June 12th, 2006

galaxy

My Pride Parade impressions

Folks,

For those who weren't there Saturday, here's my personal report on what happened: Despite the wind and rain, I had a truly wonderful time marching in the Pride Parade with about a dozen people from PolyBoston. It was great to meet people I had only "seen" online; folks here are even nicer in real life. I found it totally surreal to walk down the middle of crowd-lined city streets with our polyamory signs and being cheered by crowds. (Some signs: "Polyamory: Life Full of Love"; "PolyBoston: My Heart Is Big Enough"; "Sharing is a Family Value".) Bunches of spectators started whooping and clapping and bouncing when they saw who we were. (We had runners passing out flyers to people who showed that much appreciation.) Of course this was in and around the South End....

The Pride festival on the Common was pretty well washed out. The rainstorm blew away the canopy over the PolyBoston table, and we packed up the wreckage in the storm after the parade contingent arrived. Bummer. But the parade itself was a huge up.

Wait till next year!

Alan
buckaroo

Pride, the after action report

So, there was, despite the weather, a Pride Parade this Saturday. Speaking for myself, it was entirely worth waiting in the rain, marching in the rain, and picking up the remains...but I'm getting ahead of myself :-)

beowabbit, cathijosephine and I were up way too early to get to the Common by 8am (our assigned setup time - we had it good, other groups had to set up *earlier*), to claim our space and table, and set up our (much needed) shelter and make a sign for it. We also waterproofed some of the marching signs (which were going to be important, as we had misplaced the banner we usually march with, so the signs were all that would identify our group). That got done by around 9:30 or so, and rather than walk to Copley (which I've done in previous years, and it's a lovely walk when it's not *pouring buckets*), beowabbit and I took the T to Copley. Picked up our marshal tags and ran into lilbjorn, who was doing the same for the BRC. beowabbit rowed off to the BBWN brunch Edit:went back to the Common to get the rest of the signs, and I went to stake our claim in Section E, where the group was supposed to meet to march.

I won't detail all of the wait; Deval Patrick had a nice Cooper Mini with his name and lots of schwag in it quite near us, but tragically neither he or any of his staff were there, and I thought just picking through it would be tacky :-). Chatted with one of the Parade volunteers, who had almost no rain protection at all, poor guy, but who stuck to his corner like glue. Around 11:30 or so, people started to show up, and we eventually had quite a significant group of marchers (I'm pretty sure we broke 10, although I am certain I will forget someone when I get to enumerating them). People I remember being there: mud_puppy, of course, my lovely co-marshal; mattlistener, beowabbit, zzbottom, alan7388, and lifecollage, library_sexy and coorr, and liamstliam, and hmark42 and emp42ress; I think that's everybody, although I could be wrong. We also ran into tikva halfway through, and she and her guide dog joined us for the rest of the march, drawing the attention of the crowd.

And promptly at 1pm, we marched. Which is to say that we waited while the march started ahead of us; we knew stuff was starting because the East Coast Biker Chicks started up. One of the bikes had straight pipes, which I usually abhor, but they made such a nice grin on lifecollage's face that I forgive them this time. And we did eventually get moving. This year, by utter coincidence, we ended up behind the BRC group; we were slightly larger than their group for a change (indicating that bisexuals melt in the rain, unless they are covered by poly, I guess). There was an entirely respectable crowd on the streets, and they were noticeably enthused; rain hadn't dampened their spirits at all. The Pride Committee had given out little rainbow flags this year to all the marching groups; I had estimated around twenty marchers for PolyBoston, and we got that number of flags; I amused myself (and sometimes the crowd) by giving them out to 'deserving' people along the route, most of them kids. Other folks marching had cards to give out, both ours (with the PolyBoston URL) and those from Family Tree. In short, I had loads of fun during the march itself.

Got to the Common, and squelched through the mud to our booth, to find it had been Utterly Blown Away not 10 minutes previously by a gust of wind, and only quick thinking by the kind folks from the Utilikilts booth, right across from ours, had allowed the intrepid cathijosephine, weegoddess, and eustaciavye to escape; they carried the tent back and allowed it to collapse behind the table, rather than on it. The shelter was hosed, and consequently our tabling for this year was also hosed, as we had no backup shelter, and it was completely unreasonable to try to continue without one. So we packed it in for the day, tossed the shelter in a convenient trash barrel, and went our separate ways.

My personal thanks to everyone who made the parade and our part in it possible this year. Everyone mentioned by name above gets a big hug; if you were there and I did not mention you (or got your name wrong, or forgot your LJ name), *please* let me know; I will edit this post to add people until I have them all, if I can. Special thanks to everyone who helped fund this year's march, including alan7388, mizarchivist, quiet_elegance, and fubar, Gladys Almestica, the fine folks at Family Tree, drwex and sweetmmeblue, beowabbit, mattlistener and mud_puppy, zzbottom and everyone who dropped money on me as the march was beginning (apologies, as I didn't note who was giving me money as carefully as I should have; feel free to claim credit in comments and I will add you in!). Thanks also to the Bisexual Resource Center for allowing us under the umbrella of their 501(c)3 certificate. We were safely in the black for this march when it started, and I suspect we're still there even counting the loss of the shelter.

See you next year!!