On Sunday, June 7th, Utah TNG returned to the Pride Parade to march as its own entity within the larger Kink/Leather contingent for the first time in several years. While the turnout wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for, we made a hell of a lot of noise and got our message out to many, many people – hundreds of pass-along cards were handed out, and thousands saw our banner, our protest signs, and most importantly our people.. The crowds seemed to really enjoy the kink community’s presence in the parade; they expressed it with cheers and statements of support.
75 kinky people from a dozen different organizations marched with us this year. We really hammered home the message of liberation and protest; the spirit of Stonewall was alive and well, and it was infectious.
Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the media coverage, or from the official photos released by the Pride organization. I’ve been watching lots of news footage, digging through photosets on Flickr, on Advocate.com, and based on those sources it’d be entirely acceptable to conclude that the kink community just didn’t march this year.
I don’t know whether to ascribe that to coincidence or deliberate exclusion, but I have my suspicions. Regardless of the reason: Fuck. That. Shit. Our community deserves more visibility than we received.
So. On to next year:
- We’re getting our own goddamn photographer(s). If you’re interested in being part of that, inbox me – the sooner we get ideas together, the better prepared we’ll be to make sure we aren’t conveniently ignored.
- I want to see more marchers from TNG – I understand schedules are tough and marching three miles sucks, but this is about our freedom to love (or fuck) as we will without worrying about Officer Bigotsworth and Judge Puritan getting involved in our bedroom activities (unless we’re into that sort of thing.) If you care about your right to be kinky without persecution, isn’t it worth getting up at 7am on ONE Sunday?
- I will be exploring options for our own interaction with the media either before or after Pride (perhaps City Weekly) – I’d like to see us at *least* be an interesting footnote, rather than mysteriously absent from the narrative.
Thanks again to everyone who marched; you represented your community, and our little corner of it, with aplomb. I’m proud of you all, and pleased to call you my friends and family.
Looking forward to next year.