Occurring just after the Naked Bike Ride and the Creole Tomato Fest, the Gay Pride Parade seems to be growing each year. In addition to the many LGBT groups, there were representatives from rugby, track club and kickball teams, the teachers union, Planned Parenthood and community organizations like churches and a suicide prevention center. And of course there were drag queens and walking groups from Big Easy Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Mystic Krewe of the Lords of Leather and the New Orleans Girls of Leather.
There were also many inclusive dance and walking krewes including Roux La La, Sirens, Krewe des Fleur, Krewe of Goddesses, Mystic Krewe of P.U.E.W.C., NOLA Cherry Bombs, Krewe of the Rolling Elvi. Music was provided by booming stereos, One Shot Brass Band and Pink Slip.
The parade’s sponsors also got bigger this year including such corporate giants as GE, Hyatt, JCPenney, Absolut and Microsoft. Normally, I object to corporate sponsorship creeping into our culture. It seems enough that we have to cheer on our Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome (as if an average Who Dat would choose a Benz to navigate our potholed streets and survive our car theft stats). That said, I was kinda thrilled to see these giant corporations emblazoning their names and logos on flashy floats and banners carried alongside rainbow flags. We vote with our dollars and those corporations voted for love-is-love and inclusion. I’ll remember that.