LOCAL News :: Gender and Sexuality

PrideFest 2005

PrideFest 2005 occurred this weekend, June 25th and 26th. The heat was unbearable, the humidity worse. The theme this year was “Come Alive in 2005.? I am not sure where the theme came into play, actually. Efforts were made to encourage a more political mindedness, the PrideFest Committee put together various forums, which were available to attend throughout the weekend about various aspects of the GLBT political gamut, though I did not attend any of these. Like many attendants, I was unbearably warm and moist and craving air conditioning more than political dialogue this weekend.
The turnout for PrideFest was similar to the turnout last year I think. A number of musicians (solo artists and bands) I had not yet heard of took turns on stage to entertain wanderers and blanket sitters, including Radiowave (combining R&B, rock and soul together to create their own style), Julie Schurr (newly transplanted in St. Louis from Detroit), Diane Richardson (original founder of Girls with Guitars), Sensations (a dance band), and Jen Foster (a stunning beauty most known for her song “She,? which is very worth a listen to). Other fantastic musicians and bands played too, all of which can be read about on the official PrideFest St. Louis website at your convenience.

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The annual Commitment Ceremony took place Saturday afternoon. More than 20 couples had to have been there committing their lives to one another. Men, women, gay, and even straight couples stood and professed their love and devotion to one another while a Unitarian minister presided over the ceremony, proclaiming that God was indeed present with them that day. It was, of course, beautiful while at the same time bittersweet – it was this time last year that many of us were fighting to ensure that an anti-gay marriage amendment did not pass through Missouri’s legislature and, well, it did. Still, the annual PrideFest Commitment Ceremony went on and couples pledged their love to each other.

The groups with booths included Glad Rags, Left Bank Books, HRC, Showtime Channel, Cheap Trix, Heffalumps, and various corporate vendors – including tee shirt merchants (some GREAT designs this year), a hot tub booth (what the heck is this, a home and garden fest?!), candle makers, and (this is a merchant at ANY St. Louis gathering – it’s not passion fueling this vendor, it’s profit plain and simple). The food available was the typical fast food and cold drinks – Bud Light always readily available, of course. The smoothie I had tasted terrible – remind me never to choose “peach? again.

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Dogs were welcome and their presence was encouraged throughout PrideFest. Small and large breeds alike were there with their owners. Kiddie pools were set up here and there for canine refreshment. Booths offered dog dishes of water and some groups with booths gave away dog biscuits. My pup, a large breed dog, was not faring well from the heat and exercise by the end of the weekend, so I am sure other dogs attending PrideFest too were goners by the end of the weekend.

Sunday’s parade was filled with fun and fantasy galore. The same groups as in years past had floats this year. Novak’s went with the “Come Alive in 2005? theme, all of its float entourage in nurse or doctor uniforms. Women in medical garb and Doc Martens on motorcycles introduced the float. This was, of course, a great sight for bi and lesbian women and straight men. Food Not Bombs offered spatulas and info to watchers, other floats threw candy and beads as always. Several drag queen pageant winners clad in tiaras came through in their shiny sports cars. The big surprise was Mayor Slay([search]) in a convertible with his lesbian daughter on one side of him and his lesbian daughter’s girlfriend on his other side. Mayor Slay spoke up in support of GLBT rights following the parade. He apparently has several gay family members and so is very supportive of GLBT rights.

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Re: PrideFest 2005

Should be, "Nobody cares you're a lesbian"

come on fellow faggots, wake the fuck up!

come on- why such a positive account of the pride fest? not even a sleazy paper like EXP could avoid taking the pride committe to task for giving an award and even MONEY to a log cabin republican. I heard that numerous tea bags were thrown at him and he left without giving his speech- the tea bags were to represent just one of the glaring problems with the log cabins, beside being republican, pro war, pro corporate, anti life, they don't include trans people (much like HRC until two years ago, but HRC still gives money to LCR and still takes money from corporate nasties). and our local LCR is worse than most! They chose to endorse Bush and Blunt, although the national LCR chose not to!
come on fellow faggots, wake the fuck up!
And pride couldn't turn down budweisers giant cash stream, and ignored the scabs who had to be hired to deliver the beer while Bud proceeds to break unions...
all so we homos and fruit flys and dutch boys and fag hags could party just like we were at our very own VP Fair.

Lefties don't critique lefties or the reason for the glowing Pride review

Totally agree with this comment...I attended Pride last year and for many years before, but not this year. Last year, as in year's past, it seemed to me to be nothing but a giant outdoor mall for things gay. Purchase your gay identity purchase gaydom here!

As for the reason for the glowing review...stlimc is a leftwing site and lefties are loathe to say anything negative about an event put on by a marginalized group for a marginalized group. Didn't you get the memo, a marginalized group can do NO wrong. Everything they touch is for the good. God forbid the left actually critiques itself! That might mean actually challenging all power not just corporate mainstream power and we cannot have that.

Criticism is everywhere. Even for the Leftist cause.

I am more than able to criticize the Left as I am the Right. I simply chose to report not editorialize. As I stated to the person without name above you, I chose to take a more objective viewpoint when I reported on PrideFest. If you chose not to attend, however, you cannot be in a place to take any opinion on this year's PrideFest.

It does seem that the PrideFest Committee has turned PrideFest into a primarily retail-focused event; however, many of the booths provide information on issues important to members of the GLBT community. For those new to the GLBT community and the booths offer a chance to learn ways to become involved, ways to proudly display their "out of the closet" identity.

The 2005 PrideFest was not all retail, though, as I mentioned in my article: forums for more politically-minded GLBT folk were provided as an alternative to sitting out in the heat on a blanket with a cooler of beer and listening to those on stage. Many who attend PrideFest seem contented to find a spot on the lawn and dive into their coolers of beer and sit all weekend without hardly moving at all each year and for them this must have been just as fine a PrideFest as any year's.

The St. Louis IMC is far from a simply Leftist organization. Activists, anarchists, democrats, pro-urban renewal, anti-urban renewal, etc exist in the St. Louis IMC organization. We have differences of opinion as much with each other as we do with the Right and the conservatives; which is how any organization is and ought to be if people are to have minds of their own.
Reply: Comments obviously not read / 02 Jul 2005

It was a report not an editorial.

While I will never understand how someone who is gay can also be Republican (nor can I understand how someone who is poor, black, or a farmer can be Reublican), I chose to take the higher road and report facts not editorialize on the ridiculous group of Log Cabin Republicans present there.

I am not as aware of all that is going on with the boycott of Anheuser Busch as I should be and I will do my best to become more knowledgeable about this and perhaps do a report on this in the future. My feature article, all the same, was a report on the facts and not an editorial on how things ought to have been, could have been, or might be in the future.

I agree wholeheartedly that it was not a great PrideFest, that the Logcabin Republicans are ridiculously blind, and that Anheauser Busch should have been boycotted by the PrideFest Committee; but that is all opinion.

Re: PrideFest 2005

Mayor Slay([search])'s SISTER...not daughter...was by him in the car.

Sorry about that.

Should have fact checked that. Sorry about that error. His sister certainly is young!

Thanks for the correction!

Re: PrideFest 2005

posters displayed in protest of the pride committee's choice to give the scholarship to the president of the local log cabin republicans, chris stadtlander.

Log Cabin Republicans = Gay Shame

This is Gay Shame, not Gay Pride

Republican = Criminal

Furious Fairies, Dangerous Dykes and Tempting Trannies Wouldn't Set Foot in a "Log Cabin"

Queer Liberation not Queer Assimilation

Queer Creativity not Queer Capitalism

Log Cabins: Where's the T in LGBT?

Log Cabin Republicans are not Trans-inclusive

...i can't remember the rest.

if anyone has any photos, please post!!

"totally agree"- with what?

excuse me- what brought this on? pent up rage or a sudden need to be righteous ...huh?

"As for the reason for the glowing review...stlimc is a leftwing site and lefties are loathe to say anything negative about an event put on by a marginalized group for a marginalized group. Didn't you get the memo, a marginalized group can do NO wrong. Everything they touch is for the good. God forbid the left actually critiques itself! That might mean actually challenging all power not just corporate mainstream power and we cannot have that. "

why the need to always be so vitriolic? who is this leftist stlimc that you seem to know so well? have you actively had a dialogue about this with this group you refer to as the stlimc?

while i have seen things reported in not quite the same depth that they could be at times, i don't think that stlimc expects to report everything for you. there is lots to be said about the things going on around us. if you can broaden the conversation with your knowlege of events or your ideas, it would be good to do so.
i would love to hear more about what others experienced at the pride fest. did anyone else reading this go, and what things did they experience? did it represent any of your interests?

Re: PrideFest 2005

Log Cabins at least have the guts to try to change things from within rather than hate-mongering for the benefit of feeling good about their own marginalization. If no one attempts to bring about dialog from within organizations, then they will not change and the polarization between the extremes will continue to increase. Some gay individuals, and dare I say those capitalizing on the "woe is me" gay mentality, would have all gay individuals believe that to be gay you must comport with some homogeneous stereotype. To propogate the belief that to be a "self-respecting" gay person you must be a pro-abortion, Democrat, co-supporter of NOW and Planned Parenthood is to propogate the stereotype of what it is to be gay and propogates self-hatred for a gay person that doesn't comport with that self-proclaimed gay majority. Oftentimes, more hatred comes from within the ranks of gay persons against those who don't fit their image of "gay" than from without. Maybe when this self-appointed gay leadership - and the vocal minority that yearns for what all gay persons seek - opens their own eyes to the full spectrum of gay persons (yes, even those who might not share your personal, social, political or religious views) the rest of society might see that gay isn't just people living up to the far left stereotype they so dearly love to cling onto.

Re: Are Gays any more "progressive" than any other

Just because someone is gay doesn’t make them perfect. Just because they are gay, it doesn’t mean that their head are on "straight".
"How can gays vote Republican???"
My question is "How can any truly progressive person, any person concerned with fellow man/woman, concerned with stopping the was and changing our foreign policy/imperialism, vote Dem. Or Repub.
Both parties voted for and continue to fund the war, the USA Patriot Act, WTO, FTAA, NAFTA, etc.
Hell the Democrats just gave a thumbs up on Guantanimo Bay.
When it comes to world politics or corporate issues, there is no diff. Except when it comes to issues like gay marriage or abortion.
Hell the Dems. ran one of the most anti-abortion state senate campaigners (Kennedy 1st dist.), and NARAL wouldn’t even endorse one of it’s own because he was a Green. go figure

Fellow VETs For Peace members and I canceled leafleting at the Pride Fest because of the cost.

Anheuser-Busch gave money and was one of the "proud" sponsors during the bitter labor A-B fight 1998-2000.

Now the beer drivers are fighting and the "pride" org. supports management. "Drink your Dud-lite slop".

Re: PrideFest 2005

Sadly, this year as in so many with PRIDE in St. Louis it is more about corporate dollars than being a member of the LGBT community.
This year the PRIDE committee is knee (or higher) deep in controvsery over the awarding of their scholarship to the president of Log Cabin Republicans...a group who discriminates via exclusion the transgender and bisexual population and a young man who actually worked for the re-election of the war monger Bush and hate monger Blunt.
PRIDE is all about the mighty dollar, not about being queer.
The only high points during the whole weekend was the action by ShowMe Equality and the Stonewall Dems protesting the actions of the ultra right during the parade with SMEs Hate Monster and the coalition of LGBTA community organizations and individuals who held an inmportant press conference at Mokabes to discuss the issue of queer parenting rights.
Until the so called PRIDE committee truly represents the diversity within the queer community, this lesbian will not support them or the weekend of party.

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