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| Jun 25, 2008
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middle_page_2.jpgThe Sunday before Cincinnati’s Pride festival sees a sort of warm-up to the main event. There’s a much smaller street fair dubbed the “Drag Races”. And it’s much like it sounds. Gay men must compete in a foot race en femme. There’s also an event for lesbians as well: Dykes on Trikes. In that competition, the ladies race on slightly oversized three-wheeled pedal cars.

This year I was actually free from any other engagement, so I hoofed it, in boy-mode, to see what the buzz was about.

I found a sparsely attended festival.

There were a few booths by local artists. A couple of food vendors. The local SPCA had a small RV where one could look over their small selection of dogs and cats for adoption. And there was a beer wagon.

I’m told attendence varies from year to year. Sometimes, it’s jam packed, other times, like this year, it was rather empty.

But crowd size aside, there wasn’t much to differentiate it from one’s basic small town “Krazy Dayz”, the highpoint of which is typically a sidewalk sale. For a supposed “gay event”, it was rather bland. I was so bored, I didn’t even stick around for the races.

And I thought, “So, this is it? This is what it comes down to? The rebellious spirit of Stonewall has been co-opted by the Downtown Merchants Association?” Or is it that gay has become accepted to the point of becoming almost mainstream?

My hopes were up for the larger Pride festival the following weekend. And it was definitely gayer: rainbows were everywhere. There were a few drag queens, a couple of guys in leather harnesses, and gorgeous lesbians holding hands.

But, there were also a large number of non-GLBT booths and displays. There were representatives from the Methodist Church, the Unitarians, and the Buddhists. There was a booth providing animal adoptions, and another promoting the virtues of vegetarianism. A large regional bank was promoting itself, and two very large Cincinnati-based corporations were recruiting. Barack Obama’s campaign had a table, as did several artisans and crafts-people.

Yes, there were support groups, including one for the bears, and another for the gay seniors. And Crossport, the local TG support group had a table as well.

On stage, there were drag queens, and drag kings. The Queen City Marching band played, as did the Rainbow Jazz Ensemble, and my friend Vicki D’Salle. But, there were also several bands that weren’t gay. Matter of fact, I tried flirting with the lead singer of one, before he introduced me to his wife.

But, all in all, it too was a pretty tame event. Fun, but not much different than any other arts festival. Discounting the same-sex couples holding hands.

My point in all of this is as follows: there are GLBT Pride events across the globe. And there are gay GLBT Pride events as well. They differ from city to city, and from neighborhood to neighborhood. If the sexualized aspects of a Pride-related event don’t appeal to you, check around; There’s certain to be something not-so-heavy on the man-on-man action.

I, and others, have gone on and on about the importance of a TG presence at Pride. We need better visibility if we are ever to gain any kind of acceptance from the mainstream. I won’t belabor the point, because if we haven’t convinced you yet, I doubt we ever will.

But, beyond the implications for society at large, there’s a personal benefit from going to a Pride festival. It feels good.

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Category: Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

Ronnie Rho has been writing for Transgender Forum since May of 1999. One of these days, she'll get it right. She's been described as the "world's most famous recluse," but only by people who don't know her very well. She is unmarried, and lives in Cincinnati.

Comments (2)

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  1. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    Thank you, Carolyn! But lets think positively, ‘kay? No self-defeatist attitudes allowed!

  2. says:

    Hi Ronnie, your article was great, the follow-up video was awesome. You really hit it on the head when you said it would be great just to be US without looking over our shoulders. Perhaps in the near future, but I don’t think I will see it in my lifetime. Until then it’s peek-a-boo time from the closet. Keep up the good work and enjoy life.

    Carolyn Kay

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