Tag Archives: lesbian

Equality Without Exception at PRIDE in San Francisco

IMG_8973The LGBT community has been fighting for visibility, dignity, and equality for many years. 1970 was the first year of their Pride Celebrations and Parades in the cities of San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village sparked the Stonewall riots in 1969. This year, on June 26th 2015 the US Supreme Court announced that Same-Sex Marriage is legal nationwide. With the 45th Anniversary of San Francisco’s Pride Celebrations and Parades occurring on that following weekend, June 27th & 28th, they couldn’t have had more perfect timing. I had been planning on going all year long and now I was even more thrilled to be a part of these exciting events.

Ready to celebrate, Katie and I awoke on Sunday morning and got a ride to the train station.  From there we bought tickets and jumped on to head downtown to Market Street where the festivities were taking place. Not exactly sure where on Market Street to get off, we followed the crowd dressed in rainbows and brightly colored clothing and exited about the fifth stop with them. We came up to the street level and found ourselves at the end of the parade route. Making our way to the street to where everyone was set to watch.

We caught the beginning of the parade. The first group to pass us was the AIDS Life Cycling Team. They were quickly followed by the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Committee who I must say did an amazing job putting the parade together. In true form they carried signs that read “Equality Without Exception,” their theme for this years’ parade, and rainbow flags. They wore rainbow clothing and behind them was a big float with a balloon made rainbow, rainbow colored globe, and performers riding on it.

The diversity of the groups supporting within the parade was immense. From local community public safety departments to professional companies and even some schools. It seemed like everyone wanted to be a part of the parade. We saw the San Francisco Fire Department, San Francisco Police Department, Irish pipers, marching bands, percussion bands, cheerleaders, and other companies such as animal rescue shelters, Apple, Wells Fargo, Facebook, and even Netflix. There were people in costumes including Tigger, Chip, dogs and clowns, people on stilts waving at the audience, and floats that were magnificent. Everyone was smiles for miles, laughing and having a great time.

One of my favorite groups were the Golden State Warriors. There was some down time before they arrived as a small break in the parade. There percussion band, wearing all yellow, was the perfect pick me up the crowd needed. We could hear them coming down the street and the energy of everyone increased more and more as they got closer. They worked the crowd getting close to us and drumming their own beats when the unison song was ended. They were amazing.

My next favorite groups were Netflix, the animal shelter, and the Recology and PG&E companies. Netflix had characters from a few of their original shows standing on their float with those characters acting exactly how they would act in person. Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black was on point! The animal shelter had dogs walking in the parade wearing rainbow skirts and hats. Recology and PG&E companies had their mascots in toe. These last three were too cute for words.

We had seen the majority of the floats in the parade when it eventually stalled to a halt. It was past the time the parade was supposed to be over by according to the website so rather than wait for the parade to start moving again Katie and I decided to walk the rest of it. Not exactly the way a parade works, but it got us through a few more floats before we decided to call it a day and get some food.

San Francisco PRIDE  was a blast. With all the floats, characters, colors, and spectacles I was pleased with the outcome and the decision to take the trip north to check it out. I might go back next year to see it again. It’s definitely something you should experience once in your lifetime, no matter what age you are.

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Pool Party at The Dinah

IMG_8973My friend and I woke up in Palm Springs after a long night of partying. We prepared to go to The Dinah Sunday Pool Party trying to remember to bring exactly what we would need but careful not to over pack. We decided on bathing suits, towels, credit cards, cash, sunglasses and sunscreen, the bare necessities, and started our short walk to the Hilton Hotel.

We arrived at the hotel and made our way through security. The pool was a lot smaller than anticipated and the party was packed. We walked around a bit taking in the scene. They had a bunch of vendors selling Dinah merchandise all around the outer edge as well as drinks and food. Inside the pool area was DJ MaryMac starting out the day with some music and some dancers on some high posts encouraging the crowd to join in. There were women laying out in the sun soaking up rays, playing in the pool, dancing and walking all around.

We picked a spot along the edge of the wall, far enough away from the pool that our stuff would stay safe and dry. We wanted to go in the water so we sat at the edge of one of the jacuzzis. Luckily it was not turned on. Some other ladies joined us and we enjoyed a little game of beach ball toss to get us all in the party mood.

DJ MaryMac was replaced by DJ Ashton, who did an amazing job! Music played throughout the day and we moved to the bigger pool which was a little cooler and more fun.  From the pool we watched the American soul and R&B group Rose Royce sing a few of their 1970’s hit songs, “Car Wash” and “I Wanna Get Next to You.” We all sang along.

Then the party was given back to DJ Ashton who kept up with some pumping beats for the rest of the afternoon. We danced until the party ended and we were asked to leave the hotel. What a spectacular day! So much fun in the sun. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

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Bebe Rexha at The Black Party

IMG_8973My Palm Springs adventure was The Dinah Shore Weekend 2015. The Dinah is considered the largest lesbian event in the world, created by Mariah Hanson in 1991. It is where entire hotels are booked to capacity with 100% lesbian visitors from all over the world and national sponsors such as Bacardi, Bud Light, Curve, and Orbitz and national recording artists keep the parties going all day and night. All of the events are kept within walking distance and you can be completely immersed in art and music for an entire weekend starting on Wednesday evening and ending Sunday evening.

We had our tickets purchased, our outfits on, and were set to live this once in a lifetime experience starting with The Black Party. We walked the short trek to the Palm Springs Convention Center and stood in an extremely short line at the will call. Turns out most people had gotten there before Saturday night and already received all of their bracelets for the weekend. We quickly got our wrist bracelets, one for The Black Party and one for The Pool Party and headed into the party.

We were very early and there weren’t many people there yet. We got our drink tickets and then headed to the bar, which was super crowded. There were pool tables and foosball tables that women were playing at and a huge couch that others were relaxing on. A few minutes later the doors to the main dance floor opened and people started to disperse from the waiting area.

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DJ MaryMac was in charge of getting people ready to have some fun before Bebe Rexha preformed and not soon enough she was on stage. It seemed like most people didn’t know her music. The crowd was surprisingly quiet and reserved. People were still filing into the room and  as she got further into her set she started to play some songs that everyone knew. She sang Rihanna‘s “The Monster” which she is one of the writers and the original singer of. With a song everyone knew under her belt people finally started to get into it. She finished her set with “Take Me Home” and “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You“. She was really good and sounded amazing. I would definitely go to a different show by her. Hopefully one where more people are into the music than just going to a party that has a name. It’s got to be difficult to play at events like those.

DJ MaryMac took the stage back and played dance music throughout the night. She played all different types from oldies to new songs. She kept the crowd dancing until 3am or later though her constant shout outs to Dinah Shore’s 25th Anniversary and jump cuts of the songs with completely different beats made it difficult to dance uninterrupted. By the end of the night we were quiet comical about it and had made it into a drinking game. Every time she gave a shout out that included Dinah in it we would take a sip of our drinks. We had to stop and just raise our glasses by the end of the night or we would have been completely trashed.

We took a few breaks from dancing throughout the night and finally as the night wore down and many people began to leave we got a chance to play on one of the pool tables. We couldn’t have spent more than 3 minutes there before a security guard came over and told us to hurry up. They were closing. We finished our game within the next 2 minutes, sharking the table. Our neighbors must have been amazed at how quickly we cleared those balls off the table after our very slow start the first 3 minutes.

It was such a great night and I hope to go back next year too. Everyone should experience The Dinah Shore’s Black Party at least once in their life. Or maybe twice.