Friday, June 11, 2010

Utah Pride, 2010

"Won't explain, or say I'm sorry.
I'm unashamed, I'm gonna show my scar.
Give a cheer, for all the broken,
Listen here, because it's only..."
 -- My Chemical Romance, Welcome to the Black Parade

This last weekend was the Utah Pride Festival.

This was only my second year attending Pride. Last year, I watched the parade and wandered the festival with friends; this year I was much more active and involved.

On Saturday, Erin and I attended Utah's first ever Transgender March, which was awesome. Apparently we had around 100 people, which is much more than most of the people I talked to had predicted. Hopefully they'll do it again next year, as I'm sure it will only grow from here. They held the Dyke rally and Trans rally at the same time, which made me sad, but I have to go first and foremost with the T. The great part about the way it was done is that the two marches were able to join forces at a mid-point, along with the Interfaith Pride March, and then head down State Street in droves. George also met up with us at the mid-point, and was even sweet enough to hold a sign that said "Trans Fabulous" high and proud for me.

I wish I'd planned a little better, but by the time the marches ended, I only had about half an hour until my shift in the eBay booth, and I was 9 city blocks away from my car, which had the eBay shirt I needed to wear in it. I took off towards my car while George and Erin headed for Trax to get home. I only ended up being about 10 minutes late, but the heat and the huge hill our capitol building is on just about killed me.

I'm very much a nighttime person, and I've never done well with the heat. Add to this that hormones have killed my internal temperature regulation, and that I haven't had my hair this long in years, and it isn't hard to conclude that I probably shouldn't even leave the house on a hot summer day.

On Sunday, Erin and I marched with the eBay folks in the Pride Parade, which was a hoot. We blasted Weird Al's "eBay", and handed out eBay temporary tattoos to everyone and anyone.

Erin and I, waiting for the Parade to start.

The eBay parade crew.
The back of the "I AM" shirts say "eBay", but the front seems to imply other meanings on its own. ;) 

Handing out free stuff to the crowd.

Fortunately, I gave myself plenty of time before my booth shift this time, so after we were done with the parade, Wifey and I wandered over to Beans and Brews and zoned out on their comfy air-conditioned chairs while sipping iced mocha and iced chai for about an hour.

Next, we decided to wander the festival. The festival is great fun, and it's so nice to be in a place with so many people who don't care who you're holding hands with, but it's also pretty commercialized. Half the booths are selling jewelry or shirts or potpourri or who knows what, and most of the others are promoting a cause. We ended up skimming past most of the booths, and only lingered at a few of the more interesting ones, such as the "Gender Zone", where they had a great timeline of the history of gender variance.

This time, the Erinkins decided to just hang out with me while I helped out at the booth. We had silent auctions, with the proceeds going to charity, and for the most part I just helped people who wanted to bid and kept an eye on the goods, which at least kept me out of the sun. Unfortunately, I think it also kept me out of the occasional breeze. Even though my shift was only a couple of hours, by the end of it, I was zapped.

George met up with us again, and we went out to dinner, where I got to feel sweaty, gross, and stupid at a nice Japanese restaurant.

I'm very grateful to my love for tagging along and supporting me. Overall, I had a lot of fun, met some great people, and had a lot of good experiences where people were surprised to find out that I'm not a genetic female, but I ended up very emotionally and physically drained. Next year, I will definitely pick my battles more carefully, and try to hit up more shows, parties, celebrations, and other things I can passively enjoy. ;)


  1. You forgot to mention that we won a cake, which was pretty much the most important thing that happened that day.

    I hope it is a good cake.

  2. You gotta take a big wide-brimmed hat with a flower on it :-)