Other Canadian cities celebrate Pride over the summer, but we Calgarians wait until the Labour Day weekend. That way, Pride festivities in major cities aren’t competing for attendance. Some years, it’s a lovely, hot summer day, and others it feels like fall. Yesterday was firmly in the fall camp.
Nevertheless, people of all gender and sexual identities, straight people, and families, were out for the largest ever Pride celebration this weekend. Even the Shriners marched this year, donning their funny hats. Maybe they’ll bring their little red cars next year. One step at a time. One Shriner said, to explain his group’s attendance: “There will be gay parents of children in our hospitals.” Way to go, fellows.
I spent the week preparing for a lovely day of hanging with the homos (phrasing courtesy of J.). I’ve taken the past two weeks to get in the spirit by listening to the Indigo Girls on repeat (those two lezzies make beautiful music together), watching Ellen every afternoon, and deciding which comfortable shoes to wear.
It was a great day, except for two minor glitches. First, I was having a leukemia day, my first in as long as I can remember, so all I wanted to do was sleep. After a morning nap, I was semi-conscious, but the day was a hard slog. I was even too tired to cry during the parade, although I did tear up with all those emergency services folk and all the young marchers, including the families with kids. There were many brave and LBGTQ-supportive people there. I wish I’d been in a better space to appreciate the festivities, but I was still glad I went.
The other glitch related to J.’s work husband. You know what I mean–the person J. spends more time with than me every day at work, the one who loves the Oilers as much as she does, the one she shares her candy drawer with, the one who joins her for lunch when she needs a burger.
She has a work wife too, but I’m less threatened by her. I can’t say why, since they’re even closer. Maybe it’s because she’s not an Oilers’ fan.
To understand my dismay, you need to know that J. is in her element at the parade, not because she’s gayer than me but because she’s always at the front of the crowd interacting with the marchers and procuring the greatest swag. Yesterday she scored some rainbow sunglasses, a rainbow boa, a mini rainbow hat, perfect size for a dog (see below), not to mention a good haul of rainbow-coloured candy (Skittles, anyone?). Then, she gave all the candy to her work husband, when in the past, she would have given it to me. Ahem, those are my Skittles. Yes, I’ll admit I felt a bit threatened. I don’t know if his wife felt the same way. I should have asked her.
The work wife? J. gave her all the condoms, and there were many. No threat there.
P.S. The annual Light the Night walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma is Saturday, October 15. Please let me know if you’d like to join us. The more the merrier.