Monday, February 02, 2004

Pride March, Melbourne

With personal, rather than political blogs taking the lion’s share of the recent Australian Blog Awards* (to the understandable bemusement of some Ozploggers), I thought I’d turn off my bile fire-hose for the day (or at least turn it inwards – I’ve never been good at locating the OFF button on anything I’ve touched or did).

And what cheerier event to colourfully place myself in than yesterday’s Pride March in Melbourne. That’s Pride March as in Gay and Lesbian Pride March, in case you are wondering. For some reason, Melbourne poofs do these things very differently from our Sydney cousins – if you call it the “Mardi Gras” up there, and not The GAY AND LESBIAN Mardi Gras, woe betide you.

In fact, everything about Pride March is different from the Mardi Gras Parade. For starters, there are few, if any, scantily dressed prancing boys – certainly if you exclude those over 50 (this Cardinal would therefore surely be impressed with the day's high “real homosexual” quotient). There are lots of boys (and girls) marching – it’s just that they’re all marching for a Cause (gay cops, gay greenies, gay teachers); all the causes in the world, it would seem, other than the inalienable right to look fabulous (which is the only cause in Sydney, if you exclude the charity cases).

Marching for a Cause also produces – surprise surprise – a much lower spectator turnout than Sydney’s titillating flesh-fest equivalent. Being able to get a good viewing spot, despite arriving on the knocker of 5pm starting-time, doesn’t help the perceptions of jaded, post-Cause** poofs such as myself – there seem to be more Mums and miscellaneous Friends of poofs than poofs themselves, whatever the colour of the placard they are carrying.

Definitely catching my eye, though, was the Minus-18 contingent – dozens and dozens of suburban schoolboys, all done up in their best, going-to-the-mall-with-their-fat-friend-Mandy style. They all looked so dreadfully young; “dreadfully” because they gave me an acute pang of that sense of growing-old. Unlike the pervy Germaine, the older I get, the less appealing teenage boys’ bodies seem, in terms of carnal possibilities. The crew marching yesterday looked like such fragile things, not fully-formed enough to be even of ornamental use.

* Thanks to those who nominated me, BTW; even including Yobbo, who put me up for the “NSW” category (Memo to Yobbo: I’ll take being thought to be a Sydney queen as a compliment this time, although not everyone would be as generous).

** I don’t mean to suggest I don’t CARE. On the contrary – if I may end here by semi-reverting to political rant mode (if indeed I left it) – my list of gripes is so extensive that, were I to join the march, the sheer size of my placard would almost certainly obscure my leather-chaps-with-the-bum-hanging-out-of-them, which all rather defeats the purpose, don’t you think?

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