When I lived in Chicago, I never missed a Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade, from 1982 right up to 1995. Nigel and I also saw two while on visits to Chicago.
Here in New Zealand, there really are no GLBT Pride celebrations as such, though this year there was at least one commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, in Dunedin. The absence kind of makes sense, both because it’s basically a US-based event, but especially because it’s winter here. New Zealand used to have a nighttime parade in February, the week before Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney. The parade’s gone, but the festival continues.
So participating in Pride 48, as Nigel and I did this past weekend, was a way to be part of the Pride celebrations. It turned out to be a really great weekend, and as Nigel put it in my favourite quip of the weekend, “How modern! We get to celebrate Pride and stay home!”
The weekend was successful: First, people who took part enjoyed themselves. But people also clicked on the Google ads and donated to the PayPal account—enough that the host for the livecasts is secured for the year, which means that many of who took part in Pride 48 will be doing live shows in the months ahead. Also, we’re planning another extravaganza, probably in January, which my American Pride 48 colleagues have already dubbed “Winter Pride”, in acknowledgement of their seasons (maybe we can just turn up the cooling in our house at the time…).
I learned a lot from the experience, stuff I expect to put to good use. More importantly, Nigel and I had a great time. That’s reason enough to do it again.