"We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!" the marchers shout as the Springfield Gay Pride Parade rolls past the Simpson house in an episode of The Simpsons. And little liberal Lisa Simpson shouts back, "You do this every year! We are used to it." If only everyone could be as accepting -- to simply let boys be boys, and girls be grrrls. Until that day comes, extravagant celebrations promoting tolerance and equality will be thrown all over the nation. Wait, who are we kidding? Even when we do see the day when gay marriage is legal, the rainbow flag-waving community will still have fabulous parties and march in colorful parades.
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Key West kicks off PrideFest Key West 2005 on Saturday, June 4, with local talent performing in the Pride Follies at the Tennessee Williams Theatre (5901 W. College Rd., Key West; 305-295-7676) at 8:00 p.m. Tickets cost $25 to $100.
If home decorating and gardening make you squeal with delight, you must not miss the Pride in Paradise Home & Garden Tour Sunday, June 5, from 1:00 to 5:30. For a $20 ticket, you can take a gander at some of Key West's finest abodes.
The festival continues throughout the week with the Mr., Ms., and Miss PrideFest contests and culminates with the Fairvilla MegaLights for Pride celebration at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11, when giant searchlights will fill the sky with the eight colors of the original rainbow flag. Eight? Oh, yes. When San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker designed the first rainbow flag in 1978, he dyed and sewed the material himself. The eight stripes (pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) representing sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony, and spirit, respectively, would be a symbol of community pride. Alas, the flag-making company couldn't replicate Baker's design because hot pink was not an available color, so the flag was reduced to seven stripes.