Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spent the day at Phoenix Pride

At least a couple of hours of it. I was at Atlas Shrugged with The Conservative New Ager last night and then we found ourselves embroiled in an epic discussion about politics at a diner afterward. I napped part of the morning, because I got so little sleep last night. I'm only 20, I should be better at going several days with little sleep, but I'm not.

I need to mention that sometime between the movie and the diner, TCNA and I saw a group of homophobic protestors outside of a club in Tempe. This sounds like a nonsequitur, but you'll understand why I brought it up eventually. Suffice to say, we both decided that we did not have the money for bail that either of us would need if we actually confronted the morons and went on to get dinner.

Anyway, by the time I got up and got ready I only had about 3 hours before I had to go to an eye exam. I got off the light rail and joined the happy crowds of people heading toward the park. It was hot outside, very hot, I'm considering petitioning to have the Pride Festival moved back to March next year. This is Phoenix, April is too late in the year for big festivals be held outdoors. You would think our community would realize this.'s was actually only about 90 degrees. If I'm bitching now, just wait until I have to commute to work in 115 degree weather. I may actually attack someone...if the heat hasn't slowed me down too much.

Uh..sorry, back on topic.

Anyway, just as I was about to turn into to the park we saw...guess who.

That's right, the protestor's from the club the night before. I guess the night before was a warm-up for the real deal today? They were behind barricades, to protect them or us is anyone's guess. I found they amused me more than they enraged me. There we were, a long sidewalk full of GLBT people headed for Pride and these protestors (who were not nearly as annoying, frustrating or infuriating as Westboro Baptist. Clearly they need more practice.) are shouting about how we will have to pay a price for our sins and how we needed to find Jesus.
There was the moment, where I wasn't clearly planning to be a smartass, but somehow it worked out that way. We are shuffling past the group and I open my mouth as we are passing one protester and I say "I did find Jesus. He was in a closet with 12 other guys...they were wearing dresses."
I couldn't have found a better comeback if I'd been planning it. I don't know who was more shocked, me, the protester, or the woman walking next to me. She started laughing, the protester got mad and we walked on.

I didn't get her number because I'm a failure at social cues.

I wondered around for a while, talked to my ex, who is now a friend, who was volunteering and saw a few people I knew from my community college GSA day and then I wandered off to explore the rest of the event.

I seem to have a compass, much like gaydar, that points me toward any political booth at a festival. I ended up at, not one, but two booths for Phoenix Mayoral candidates. I spoke to both of them briefly, I'm becoming much more interested in local politics this days...probably a good thing since my internships getting my Journalism Bachelors will probably not be dealing with national news. Though I do have a little fantasy of getting an internship at Fox News...'cause I'm a nerd like that.

I need to do far more research before I make any decisions on who I will be voting for. For once I'm in complete agreement with my mother...the current Democratic Mayor can go talk a long walk off a short pier. I know I won't be voting for him.
I'll do a more in-depth discussion of each candidate at a later time, when I've done more research. For now I'll leave you with their names and my general impressions of them from talking to them.

First, the Libertarian candidate. Mr. Thane Eichenauer.
Besides having a last name that escapes my ability to easily pronounce (at least while I'm tired) he is also, clearly, a people person. Of all of the political figures I had a chance to talk to today he was the most gregarious and talkative. I'm not so certain that his political views agree with mine on much though, aside from gay issues. I think many candidates for any elected office believe that everyone in the GLBT community are a kind of one-trick pony as far as issues go and we're not...well I'm not at least. I do know a few people in the community who seem to care about only one issue and they forget about the economy, terrorism, the budget and elected officials respond by only addressing the issues that they think GLBT people care about. They seem a bit shocked when a lesbian starts asking about other issues.

*shrug* oh well, not their fault. More research is needed before I could even consider voting for Mr. Eicenauer.

Secondly, the Republican Candidate. Mr. Wes Gullet.
That link will take you to an "about" page on his website that details his experience in government, which is extensive. As for my initial impression...he did not seem comfortable talking to me at all. That could have been the heat of course, even I was feeling too tired to really engage in meaningful conversation at that point in the day. However, it could be that he was there to make a show of being comfortable with the GLBT community when he really isn't. My only real problem with that would be that it prevented him from really telling me much about his ideas and policies. If a majority of his political policies are in line with mine and he is simply neutral on the subject of the GLBT community (I can disregard the possibility of him being anti-gay...he did have a booth at Pride after all.) the I would not have a problem voting for him.
However, he was wearing a cowboy hat and has family from Arkansas and family with the same last name as me. I feel a kinship already.

Of course...I could be completely off base in my assumption that he was uncomfortable at all. *shrug* More research is needed.

But tonight is not the time for that. Tonight I sleep, because tomorrow my mother is taking my sister and I shopping after they go to church. I also nearly got heat stroke today and had my eyes dilated and ate nothing but See's Candy for supper...

For my last thought...I have an editorial in a magazine next month about whether Pride festivals are bad for the GLBT community politically. I was a bit conflicted about what I wrote, but after today I can confidently say that our community maybe cuts loose a little bit too much at Pride. That's all for me. Goodnight.

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