Soooooo children. Gather ye round once again for another installment of Himbly’s Hiccups. ‘cept, this time I had a partner who seduced me into this caper with those sweet words, ‘It’ll be hilarious!’ I am talking to you, platypusattack! Siren!
Scene: Calgary gay pride parade
Actually, it was interesting times. As Platypus put it, ‘it was good and weird.’ A few weeks ago, Plat (a veteran of pride parades), asked me if I would like to join her in attending. I said, ‘yes’. She then said that she wanted to counter-protest. For as the worde of God as he spake the solemn wordes of Teh Lorde he spaketh unto thee teh Leviticus 9-12 that there is no love for those thinges of the sea without scales nor fins. Teh Lorde detests all shellfish. Amen. Oh, and Teh Gaye. He hateth the gay.
What to do but make posters that reveal such truth? If we can’t have bumsex or any other things with people of our gender, then, for the love of christ! we can’t have shellfish, neither! Bitches. Nor blended fiber..but that’s another story.
We made signs that said (well..I guess they still say) “GOD HATES SHRIMP” “NO FINS! NO SCALES! ABOMINATION!” “NO! (picture of a shrimp)” and “THE LORD DETESTS SHELLFISH” and marched down to the pride parade and lifted them high.
Okay…we sorta lifted them low…but we were at the start of the route with very few people around and as the pride parade went past us…well…they LOVED US. We got pictures taken, hugs, free t-shirts and more condoms than you can shake a stick at! People asked us what it meant if they didn’t understand and then laughed afterwards. The people in the parade were screaming, ‘best signs ever!’ and ‘never touch the stuff!’ It was really fun times.
We were elated. They understood us..they understood our support for them…we were totally hetro for homo and homo for hetero and having good times. We decided to take it to the end of the route…following the parade down 8th ave to meet up with our happy new friends at the end. Due to time constraints (my fault) we weren’t able to spend much time, but we wanted to check it out.
As the crowd got thicker…uh…the approval got thinner. We were told to fuck off. We were sneered at. It was a weird scene. We knew we had the approval of the parade…we got asked to join upon several occassions (too shy) but the spectators…they didn’t get it and they didn’t like it.
One fellow took a picture and after he did so, I asked him if he got it. ‘Everyone’s entitled to their opinion’, he replied. But did you GET IT? It’s a joke. He got his back up and said, ‘I sure HOPE it is!’ We said, ‘it says we’re against SHELLFISH’….oh! OH!! ahahahahahahaha…ohhhh….now it was funny. Then he took a ‘happy’ picture of us. Weird, hey, that he hadn’t even read it before he got jerky with us.
My fave was the ‘fuck you’ guys because we spun around and while I half pleaded with them, ‘but it’s a joke!’, Platypus told them straight out that they didn’t get it…that they didn’t catch the irony in what we were saying. Nice. I liked her answer because it was far less apologetic than mine. I still don’t think they got it…but that’s beside the point.
Anyway, at about that point we decided to duck down a side street and go back to the car. We both felt weird. I think I can at least partially speak for platypus when I say that I think it bothered us more than either of us would admit at the time that people clearly thought we really were against the homosexual lifestyle. Having been firmly in the camp of ‘what consenting adults do is none of my business’ and therefore advocating gay rights for as long as I can remember, it was a strange feeling to be looked at as if we actually were protesting. Especially since that was the first time I actively went out to do so. I’m glad she convinced me to go, though, and it was a really interesting social experiment. Next year I may just wear rainbows instead.