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Seattle Pride March - The Literary Exhibitionist
Seattle Pride March

-- चार हजार एक सौ --

Ivan apparently did walk briefly over to check things out at the Seattle Pride March rally yesterday, before the actual march, but Shobhit and I never saw him -- so, no extra point on the next Social Review for Ivan. He won't likely get another before I post the Spring Social Review on the 21st, given that Shobhit and I are out of town this coming weekend and Ivan works swing shift on weekdays -- at least through the end of this month. He's still got his record eight points coming on that one, though, so it's all good.

Shobhit did join me for part of the rally and all of the march, though, which I really appreciated. This makes five marches so far this year, four of which I actually marched in (the third, the March for Science, I got photos of at the rally while walking through it, but did not march in that one because I had other Birth Week plans). The only time Shobhit has not marched with me -- for the March for Truth on June 3rd -- was because he had to work. This is significant to me, because he once told me how he thought a big reason his relationship with his first boyfriend (who he only dated for a month, but, whatever) did not last was because he had no interest in joining him for the many anti-Bush protests he participated in. This year, though, Shobhit seems to recognize the importance of something as simple as adding to the numbers at these things, which is by far the biggest reason I always participate when I can.

There are several things that made yesterday's Pride March unique, though. Shall we go through them?

1. It doubled as one of this month's many Pride events, and as the year's fifth specifically anti-Trump protest.

2. In contrast to other Pride events and celebrations, this was a protest march, with no separate contingents or visible sponsorships by corporations or organizations. This makes it particularly different from what the Pride Parade became many years ago, and almost curiously similar to what the annual Pride Parade was when it began as the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. This was just a march of one large group of people, all with their own creative signs, just as all the other protest marches this year have been. There were no banners advertising businesses or nonprofits, which is now specific to the Pride Parade.

3. What did make this more similar to the Pride Parade, though (generally speaking; this year's has not yet occurred), and less similar to the other protest marches, was its large element of unbridled joy -- people pointedly having fun with it. I would say the first and largest protest of the year, the Women's March in January, came closest to this -- probably because of how many women, as well as LGBY people, participated. But I still maintain that queer people are the best at making things fun, even when the issues at stake are very serious. I love that about the queer community.

4. And now for the underside of Seattle's involvement in the Pride March -- which, thankfully, there was no indication of anyone even being aware of in the march I participated in. When I was collecting information for this year's many Pride Marches, Rallies, Parades and Festivals, I was thinking the Seattle Pride March was being supported jointly by the Seattle Pride Organizers and the Capitol Hill Pride organizers -- but no, they were organizing competing and concurrent marches -- which I did not realize just this past Friday. The Seattle Pride organizers' march was to leave from Cal Anderson Park and go down Pine to Fourth Avenue and then up to Seattle Center. The Capitol Hill Pride Festival organizers' march was to leave from East Pike, go up 12th Avenue, and turn back around and end on North Broadway. They even had their own separate Facebook event pages. It wasn't until I found that Capitol Hill Blog post from April, though -- and I can't find any more recent coverage about it -- that I realized they were truly two separate events.

One thing that only just occurred to me is that the Capitol Hill route planned by the organizers of the Capitol Hill Pride Festival was posted on May 6 -- quite a while longer ago than I realized. Since I actually went to the published step-off point of 11th and Pike at 11 a.m. yesterday and no one was over there, and I can still find no evidence that their separate march even happened, I suspect it just fizzled and all that happened yesterday was the one organized by the Seattle Pride people.

Still, it cannot be understated how dumb this whole thing was. It all goes back to the Broadway businesses who are still bent out of shape that Seattle Pride was taken off Broadway and moved downtown in 2006. (Something I always felt was a sensible move, as the parade far outgrew Broadway and fits much more comfortably downtown now.) The Broadway businesses responded by putting on their own Capitol Hill Pride Festival on the Saturday before Pride Sunday, which is fine -- I don't see why they can't understand we can easily have lots of Pride events on both Capitol Hill and downtown, which is actually what happens every year now -- this year with more such large events than ever before (with the Volunteer Park Pride Festival and the Pride March taking up both days this past weekend). But their insistence on putting on their own, separate match is just an extension of this stupid rivalry that has now lasted literally more than a decade.

5. Washington, D.C.'s Capital Pride was also this past weekend, and yesterday's Seattle March was done in solitary with their parade (and theirs was likely more like a typical parade, but presumably with a more political bent than usual) -- much like the Women's March on Washington, and a lot of the other marches, were concentrated in D.C. with sister marches around the country. Seattle was not the only city to do an additional Pride March as a solidarity march with D.C. And you know what? On the national Equality March website where they list all participating cities, Seattle is one of only three cities with two marches listed. I don't know what the story is behind Denver or Forth Worth, but the story behind Seattle being listed is objectively stupid. It was a "march for unity and Pride," after all, and Seattle certainly made that concept a tad ironic. On the plus side, though, as I said, there was no real rivalry evident at the march itself, which was a lot of fun.

-- चार हजार एक सौ --


-- चार हजार एक सौ --

And since I had gone down to see the other march that apparently did not exist at 11 a.m., I was at the rally at Cal Anderson Park for a while before Shobhit arrived. In contrast to Ivan, who wanted to check out the rally briefly but had no interest in marching ("I don't really do that," he said yesterday, of marching -- kind of strange since I once saw an old-ish photo of him on Facebook at a protest of animal cruelty but whatever), Shobhit always has less interest in the rally speeches than in just marching.

In contrast to all the other political marches, by the way, the Seattle Pride March really kept things on schedule. They must have learned from impatient crowds at other marches -- that was especially evident at the Tax March on April 15, when the speeches went on and on past the published step-off time and the crowd at the end of the block just took it upon themselves to start marching without waiting for the speeches to end. That was after people -- including Shobhit, who is ridiculously impatient by nature -- in that area kept chanting "March! March! March!" I don't know how this played out at the March for Science, but the Tax March going over schedule must have been on the minds of organizers at the March for Truth on June 3, because the MC at that rally specifically asked the crowd to be patient and let everyone speak who was scheduled to speak.

Hmm. It just occurred to me that there have been so many marches this year, why don't I list all of them briefly?

Women's March: January 21
Tax March: April 15
March for Science [the only one I did not march in but I did attend the rally briefly]: April 22
March for Truth: June 3
Seattle Pride March: June 11

And this is all just within the first five months after President Fuckwit took office. It's kind of extraordinary. I have no idea how many of these marches will happen but I will continue attending all that I can.

Anyway! You would read this also in the captions to all the photos, the full set of which can be accessed by clicking any of the three photos in this entry, but I was over at the rally at Cal Anderson Park by just after 11:00, since there was nothing over on Pike Street. I was surprised by how many people were already there, given how much fewer there were in the park an hour before step-off time at the March for Truth. The Pride March seemed to have gained more traction. This is the third march in a row, actually, that has started at Cal Anderson Park. Only the Women's March (from Judkins Park south of downtown) and the Tax March (from the Federal Building downtown) have stepped off from different places. I don't know what the route was from the March for Science since I didn't march in that one, but the March for Truth and the Seattle Pride March had identical routes, going down Pine to Fourth and then up to Seattle Center.

I suppose I'll be fair and say the speakers at the rally before yesterday's march were honestly not as rousing as the speakers at the March for Truth. The queers know how to have fun, but they don't present the better speakers. But, whatever. The march itself is what gets the most attention.

I had originally been planning to meet with Laney for the Pride March, but she had to bail because her back is still fucked up and walking was too difficult. I was glad, then, that Shobhit still was able to come -- unlike the March for Truth, which I attended by myself, this time I had him with me. And he had no complaints at all -- mostly because he came near the end of the rally to meet up with me, and we were filing into the street on Pine within minutes.

For much of the route, we were behind the one small brass band that was playing instruments the whole way. So even though we did have the requisite political chants (call: "If a trans person is under a attack, what do we do!" response: "Stand up, fight back!"), where we were there was festive music and even a person dressed vaguely like a belly dancer dancing along with them. That said, I'd say even a lot of the signs were more fun and positive, alongside the typical RESIST TRUMP messaging. The queer community is pretty deliberate and pointed in celebration of self-identity, though, so it kind of makes sense.

Once we reached Seattle Center, they had only four booths set up, none of which were anything unusual or exciting per se. The most interesting thing about that area was that a graduation was just letting out of Key Arena, so our LGBT crowd suddenly kind of infiltrated this much larger crowd of caps and gowns and family members of those wearing them.

I was rather hungry and had some time to kill, and so Shobhit looked to see if any recently purchased Groupon could be applied anywhere nearby. As it happened, he had recently bought a Groupon for Chutney's, and so we went to the Chutney's on Lower Queen Anne to split a dish of shahi paneer and garlic naan for lunch. Shobhit declared it bland, as per usual; I found it delicious, and even a bit spicy -- enough to make my nose run, so clearly the spiciness Shobhit could not detect was not just in my imagination. But Shobhit had impressed that guy from Grimm Brothers Foods at the Volunteer Park Pride Festival on Saturday when he took a droplet of "Incendiary Potion #73, after all, so that just lends evidence to my theory that he has simply seered off all his taste buds over the years.

Shobhit and I parted ways after lunch and I went to get in line for my sixth and last SIFF screening, the first one not gay themed in any way: a supposed documentary called The Landing that very much impressed me. You should read my review.

After all the walking I had done already, I opted to catch the #8 bus up Denny once I had walked that far. I was home around 6:00, wrote my review, and then edited, uploaded and captioned the day's photos. After that I ate the dinner Shobhit generously prepared while we watched two episodes of House of Cards -- which Ivan came out of his room to hang out with us during, although he hardly paid attention and just looked at his phone the whole time. I got the sense he just enjoyed the company, though; other than hanging out with us or going to the movie with me on Friday evening, he appeared not to have any other plans all weekend. And next weekend Shobhit and I are out of town, so I actually hope he has someone over to keep him company for a while.

Shobhit and I then worked on the crossword puzzle, and soon after that I was in bed. I don't know how or why I've managed it, but the last several nights in a row -- maybe even for the past week or so -- I've stayed asleep all night until awaking in the morning, not waking up either when Ivan has come home from work or when Shobhit has come to bed. I have averaged a good seven solid hours of sleep a night since June 3, according to the Sleep Cycle app, and it's been rather nice. I hope this trend continues. I always function better when I've gotten quality sleep.

-- चार हजार एक सौ --



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positive energy please