This weekend was DC pride, and it was a rather busy weekend, but totally worth it.
Saturday morning I dropped by CT and RE's house to pick up the postcards that we were going to use for the booth on Sunday, and also helped them get some things set up for the parade later that afternoon. The beads were strung up and loaded into the truck and such, and we were good to go.
I rode to Dupont Circle on Metro to meet up with other folks at St. Thomas. Of all the weekends that Metro could have chosen to do track work at Dupont Circle, they picked the worst possible one with the pride parade on Saturday. I am sure I was not the only one who got stuck having to get off at Farragut North and then waiting for another train to get to Dupont Circle. Not smart on the part of Metro.
The picnic was fun, got to meet a number of new people along with hang out with a few folks from church while having some yummy food. Later in the afternoon we walked over to the parade area to get the truck set up and wait to get ready to go. Bishop Chane was there since he was riding in the parade with us (isn't it awesome to have supportive folks at the higher levels?).
Eventually the parade kicked off, and there was a great crowd of folks there all along the route to cheer us on. We were waving flags, carrying banners, and of course, throwing free swag. The popular item...bouncy balls. It is a bit of a pleasure to bounce them towards the crowd and watch folks scramble for them. I also handed out a number of postcards advertising St. Georges. Perhaps some folks will see them and decide to drop in for a service.
We all got to the end of the parade, and a few of us dropped into Thai Tanic for a drink (Chang (sp?) Beer is awesome BTW) and the big discussion was how much we enjoy being in the parade because of seeing all the people who do come out and watch and cheer us on. You tend to forget just how far the distance is or that you've walked a long way holding a banner to the point where you should be hurting, but for some reason, it just isn't there as you see everyone yell and scream as you go by, especially when you also see familiar faces. I think it's why most of us keep on doing the parade year after year, even if we don't participate in other pride activities.
After Thai Tanic, I decided to head home. I was tempted to head to another bar where I knew there was an event going on, but by that point I was tired and sore, so it would have just not been my thing that night. I might have also considered taking a nap and doing Blowoff later, but doctors orders have said no dancing yet. Oh well.
Sunday morning my plan was to go to 8 AM service and then head down to Pride, but it didn't work out that way. My front door of my apartment jammed, and so basically it was the landlord and I working first to get the door open, and then get the doorknob replaced because it turned out the latch had frozen so the doorknob was not pulling it back anymore. At least I was able to get out eventually the morning.
Went over to the festival, got the booth set up with a few other churches, and started working and chatting up folks as the festival got underway. Eventually RS and GS stopped by to bring water, and I brought GS over to the booth while RS parked the car (GS had broken her foot so she was using a wheelchair to get around) and I talked with one of my friends from college. It's kind of funny how our lives have mirrored one another. She came out, I came out, I converted to being Episcopalian from UU, and she did the same about a year after I did. So she's like my female doppelganger.
After being at the booth for an hour and a half, it was time to wander the festival. JS had arrived with Aiko so I was hanging with him before TB and his friend JX arrived. We all wandered the festival for a while before JS took off and TB and I explored the booths and chatted with folks we knew who were there. Later on we got lunch with CT and RE, but not before making a bit of a scene with one of the folks at my booth because I was walking around shirtless by then. It was pretty funny for various reasons.
After lunch it was getting close to 4 PM and I was beat and TB had to head back, so I decided to head home anyway and put my feet up. It was when I got back to Greenbelt that I realized my phone was missing, but at least I got it back later, as I explained in my last entry. I decided to break out the foot spa and soak my feet because between walking 2 miles of the parade and then several laps of the festival, I think they were ready to secede from the rest of my body.
So another year of Pride down, my fifth one actually. I definitely had a good time and I am thankful for all of those who came out to walk or ride in the parade, and who came to cheer us on at the parade as well. I was also glad to see folks at the festival that I knew and could chat with. Plus I'm grateful someone who knew me found my phone :-D