Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

PRIDEFEST STRIKES AGAIN

PRIDEFEST STRIKES AGAIN…
It’s that time of year again. Downtown Denver fills up for two days of partying, with streets blocked off and thousands of party-goers wandering the streets, listening to music, and drinking. Lots and lots of drinking. Whenever there’s a major event downtown, there is a huge contribution of “hot lunches” up and down the streets. Hot lunch is the term transit drivers use when someone throws up on their bus or train. “That jerk left a hot lunch on my bus/train.” Needless to say, I was not necessarily looking forward to my trip home Sunday.
I had worked all day, and preferred to avoid going downtown at all, but desperately needed to check my mail and see if the maintenance guy had installed an air conditioner in my apartment yet. Jess was in Boulder so I intended to pop in, change my clothes, maybe lounge in front of the air conditioner until it cooled down, and listen to the goings-on of the revelers in the alley way. I noticed something was not quite right as I approached my neighborhood. Hundreds of people filled the streets, wandering and looking bewildered. Many of them were thoroughly drunk and jovial, so I navigated through them and into my apartment building.
The problem was obvious. There was no power. Only the emergency exit lights were lit, and the air inside was stifling. Even worse in my apartment, since I have the corner with two windows. The heat was unbearable, and everyone on the street was going from bar to bar, to store, looking for someone who could serve them without power. Apparently everything is run on power, because I heard a lot of complaining from the angry drunks. I quickly changed my clothes, ditched my bike, and headed back toward the bus to work my way to the cooler temperatures of the suburbs.
I made it to Colfax before the inevitable happened. Now I don’t know what it is about gay men, but on several occasions one has stopped me on the street. Today was no exception.
“Oh, hey, pretty lady. You wanna come have a shot with us at X-Bar?” The stranger was a young man, quite attractive, with a young woman with him.
“Oh, you should totally come have a shot with us,” she said. I had never laid eyes on these two, but they were hell-bent on becoming my new friend. As I always do when this happens to me, which, in retrospect, is kind of a lot, I told them I was going to check things out downtown but might catch them later.
“Then look for us at Vinyl. That’s where the party’s going.” They said, disappointed and thinking in their drunk minds that their new friend totally planned on showing up.
I made it to Broadway before I realized the buses would be re-routed because of the road closures. I sat on the edge of the fountain at Colfax and Broadway, sipped my cold water, and pondered my choices. I try to be open-minded when it comes to LGBT communities, but I am always perplexed at Pridefest. The uniform of choice for many young men are simply their underwear and rainbow suspenders. Some get more elaborate, adding boas, chains or harnesses. But its clear that nudity, as much as is allowed by law, is the common theme for many attendees. I also spent a good amount of time trying to figure out the sex of some of the attendees. Not so I could judge them, but just so I could know. Young men look just like young women, young women look like young men, and some I genuinely have no idea what sex they were.
After too much time pondering, I decided to suck it up and use a fresh transit pass, and headed for the train station. It was the path of least resistance, and as the afternoon went on the sound of more hot lunches being deposited increased. The train was full of partyers, dressed in all manner of near-nakedness. Some plump, some thin, all nationalities, all ages. It was definitely sensory overload, especially because I still couldn’t determine the sex of some of them.
Maybe not having a sex is becoming a new breed of person. Why do we need to dress like one or the other? My mind wandered. Then they got on. We all saw them as we pulled up to the station, and we all tried not to state as they boarded our car.
I believe the tall one was a girl, but aside from her long, smooth legs I have no other reason to think that. I decided more he than she, so I’ll call her him/he. He was pencil-think, had multi-colored hair that hung in his face, with piercings in his nose and lip, and tattoos showing on every inch of skin that was exposed. He wore tight pants with tears all over them, and a tight rainbow shirt with buttons, pins and tears in it. In his right hand he held the end of a dog leash. Attached to the end of the least was a slightly plump young woman. The leash was connected to a collar around her neck, and they played up the scenario as they entered the train. She stood still and waited for him to tug the leash before she followed him onto the train and up to the front seat. He sat down, and she stood until he gave her the command to sit. She joined him on the seat, sitting straight and silent. He gave her a compliment and petted her head, and she relaxed into his lap.
There was a suburban family sitting next to me, a mother, father and teenage son. They smiled and whispered to each other, trying to be respectful but curious about the couple. The couple had taken a seat next to two young girls, who wore short shorts and bikini tops, who, until the arrival of the others, had stolen the attention of the car by making out and grinding on each other. As soon as the other couple sat down, the young girls whispered and giggled, then got up and moved to the back of the car, leaving the odd couple alone in the front.
The odd couple cuddled, and since they were facing me, I couldn’t hear what they said, but I could see their eyes. They seemed small and insignificant, at the mercy of the cruel world around them. He laid his head on her shoulder, and he suddenly seemed tired and weary. She held his head gently, bracing him up when he closed his eyes. She was his only shelter and defense from the outside world. They kissed and fondled each other inappropriately for a public place, and I couldn’t decide if they were truly tormented and ignorant of the rest of us, hiding in the dark minds of each other. Or if they were fully aware of the effect they were having on the rest of us, and were enjoying their silent F*** You to the world they hated.

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June 19, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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