Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicago Gay Pride Parade - Post 1 - 6.24.12

So today was Chicago's Gay Pride Parade.  It's the second largest parade we have all year.  Due to that (850,000 people watching!) they rearranged the route this year, starting it out in Uptown.  More or less just up the block from me.  So, of course, I grabbed my camera, packed a cooler and headed out. :)

Now like the Zombie March, I feel I should give a mild 'warning' to the regular readers of my blog.  The Chicago Gay Pride Parade celebrates all forms of sexuality, all forms of sex and embraces all body types.  To that end there are very frank signs about sex/sexuality, sexually explicit gestures and posters and many of the parade participants are not at all ashamed of their bodies and wear very little.  This can include topless women.

So if you or someone likely to look over your shoulder is sensitive to this sort of thing, you may wish to look away.  I'll try to make sure that at least the first image in each post would make it past the U.S. censors for network prime time, but after that...   That said, this is a family event.  People bring their kids of all ages and the event is broadcast on t.v. so it isn't *that* 'adult'.

The first set of images I've pulled are pretty random, but a lot of fun.  Starting tomorrow, things will get grouped in their regular collections for each post.

 With all the millions of rainbow flags I saw today, these balloon flags were probably my favorite.  They were part of (I think) the Office Max group.  I just love the density of the color and the not perfect straightness of the lines.
Speaking of flags, I really wish this had come out a little sharper.  The two flags and the tons of bubbles?  Very, very fun image.

 And, of course, there had to be a few characters we'd recognize.  For the non-locals, this is Benny the Bull.  He's the mascot for Chicago's NBA Basketball Team.  He was dancing in that outfit, on top of the bus, in the 91 degree heat.  Ouch.  He was really working the rainbow flag cape, though. :)
The little androgynous Android dudes holding hands is always adorable.  Google's been there every year I have, but the little Android guys have only been there the last few.  I love that they're okay with people possibly thinking their little character might be gay.

 This is hard to see, unfortunately.  This is a middle aged woman, twirling a baton as part of one of the (many, many) politicians' groups.  If you make the shot bigger (or squint), you'll see the baton in midair.
 This is one of my favorite groups every year.  The Chicago Cowboys.  They always seem to be having such an amazingly good time!
 Now, we all know I'm not one for portraits, but I really do love this shot.  She was (if I recall correctly) part of one of the first ACTIVE duty military gay/lesbian groups.  I think she's adorable and seems to be having such a good time.
There will be a whole post on the amazing costumes of the samba group, but I really loved the surprised expression on this girl's face.

... And now for a couple of shots that those with certain sensitivities might want to pass by...

 This girl was with a vegetarian protest group.  She has on no shirt.  She is painted.  Someone painted an elephant right on her skin.  It takes looking at her for a second (or from the back) to realize that it's not a bodice or corset, that it's just body paint.
And then this last one gets the award for the most 'head-scratchy' costume.

Look carefully.  His 'skirt' doesn't wrap all the way around him.  There's a gap on his left leg (right side of the picture).  Which means it has to be held up with something like strong tape or spirit gum.  I've used spirit gum in theater.  It is *never* fun to pull off your skin. 

Let me just say, I hope that manscaping goes at least a few more inches south or pulling off that gum is going to take hair and *that* would be really, really, really unpleasant!

Okay, so there's ten to start us off with.  Tomorrow we'll start with things in proper groups. :)

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