FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Happy Pride from Down Under!

Feature image from Animals Australia

Happy Friday – or Saturday if you’re like me and live on the other side of the International Date Line! Right now it’s peak Pride season in my part of the world: Melbourne just wrapped up Midsumma and Sydney is in the midst of Mardi Gras, which has the largest Pride parade in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s particularly celebratory this year as it’s the first bunch of Pride events since Australia legalized marriage equality, so there’s a lot of weddings amongst all the partying.

Me at Midsumma Carnivale!

This year I got to march at Midsumma Pride for the first time! Having marched in Sydney Mardi Gras and SF Pride before – both times with South Asian LGBTQ group Trikone, we have the best music – it’s way more fun to be in the march than watching it from the sidelines. The paparazzi can be a little intense, and my god the 39C/102F weather that day wasn’t helping, but the waiting area for marchers is a big party of really fun queermos all proudly representing various aspects of their identity.

I got to march with Mama Alto‘s Glitterati – and listen, I love this woman to bits. She’s not just a highly talented gender-diverse WOC jazz chanteuse who brings up politics in her performances, she’s also a community organiser and artistic Fairy Godmother who’s pretty much adopted almost all the queer/radical/POC artists and activists around town, many of whom I’ve become good friends with since I moved here and got into her orbit. She’s down to earth and often silly and is prone to sending you links to resources to help what ails you.

Midsumma, Mardi Gras, and most other Prides in Australia aren’t just the marches – they’re multiple weeks of art, community events, performances, parties, and so on, sort of like a really queer Fringe festival. In the last two weeks I’ve seen a queer take on classical Indian dance, a punk rock feminist cabaret, a space-age semi-religious experience that reminds you that you are divine whatever your gender or sexuality is, and so much more that I’ve lost track already. I even co-produced a cabaret of all-disabled super-queer performance art, which went really well! It can be overwhelming, especially when almost everyone you know has a show on, but it’s also heaps of fun.

What does Pride look like where you live? Is it just a one-off march or are there a lot of auxiliary events as well? Have you ever participated in a march? Does your local queer scene also have its own Fairy Godmother figure? Share your stories, pictures, and videos! And if you don’t feel like talking about Pride, just tell me how your week has been!

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Creatrix Tiara's philosophy is to sign up for anything that look interesting, which gets her into some fun adventures. She's passionate about liminality, inclusivity, and intersectionality, especially in arts, media, tech, games, fandom, education, and activism.

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  1. Happy SOT (Saturday Open Thread)! Happy Pride! I went to my first San Francisco Pride just a few days after the US Supreme Court legalized marriage, and it was a BLAST. Enjoy it!!!! <3

  2. I can’t speak to pride events around my area, as those tend to happen around June for me. However, I do have some exciting news this week! Chandra and I recently got engaged! And since we both met solely through interactions with other Autostraddle members, we wanted to make sure you knew too. I think she wanted to post this, but I’m going to beat her to it because I just had to share. Thanks again Autostraddle for providing us a place to meet and interact. We really have you to thank. Now, all I need to figure out is how to immigrate to Canada and have international wedding!

    Me and Chandra

  3. Seattle Pride is like, a full month of events. The big parade is there, of course, but there’s picnics and parties and marches and it’s all glorious.

    • Picnic! Midsumma Carnivale’s like a big picnic too, just with more glitter and possibly more dogs.

  4. I live in SoCal so there is multiple prides within a hour-ish drive from me. The big ones would be LA/WeHo and Long Beach(both in LA county). Those are 3 days(Friday-Sunday) events with multiple stuff like the Dyke March, club nights, music events, park day(LA Pride), & the big Sunday marches. Then there is also pride events on Orange County & Ventura, but are more like a one day street fair type event. With OC at least having a bar at night to party at(though more aimed at gbq men), while not sure what Ventura does. I’ve been to all but Ventura and like LBC the most as it’s closer to the beach and has less of that Hollywood vibe(though I am pretty sure celebs drive down to LBC too).

    How’s everyone doing? It’s been pretty much summer like still here, and I like it, but I also miss light jacket weather. My week has been a bit up and down in some ways. Spent a great Sunday at Cuties Coffee around some great folks in the community just being free and open. Love that place as I always meet new & cool people there, who become FB friends. Then Monday got to spend time with the lady I like and her dog. Still not sure if she’s into me that way or just wants more queer friends(both are good). The rest of the week was bleh as it’s not as lgbtq as my social life can get.

    I need a bit of advice. Made a new lbtq friend on tinder, who wants asked me to bffs, which is good news. However, I told her I’m not a fan of being compared to a gay guy who likes women and doesn’t want to walk on eggshells around me. She apologized and promised to do better(so far she has). I kind of feel like I too old, despite being close to the same age. Like she only uses Snapchat, and not fb, or text. My question is, how do I know I am too old for certain apps/tasks, and what have you? Do I still attempt to make friends with her, despite the initial rough start, and feeling to old? Or do I try to make friends with people who use more traditional methods of communication(like texting).

    Since I spent Sunday drinking tea and eating vegan dounts all day, I don’t have anything too recent to share. So, here is a sunset from a nice summer, I mean winter day the other week.

    • I always appreciate your photos!

      As far as apps go: I tend to be an early adopter (though I was late to Snapchat) and for me it’s just a matter of seeing how long I can go with an app before I tire of it. Sometimes I do feel ‘too old’ for something, but usually it’s more of a ‘am I getting much out of it for the effort I put in’ kinda feeling. I don’t use Snapchat anymore because of this, and I have waves with Twitter.

      As for your possible new friend: maybe spend a little more time together and see how that works out? Maybe she communicates better in person than on the app. Maybe it just fizzles offline anyway but it seems like she’s worth a shot.

      • Thank you for the reply, actually made me feel better. She right now in the middle of a gay divorce & tied up with that, but do have plans to meet up in the near future.

    • Ohh, I feel like snapchat is a super annoying way to communicate because you don’t have the option to look back at old conversations and if you look away for a second, the whole convo is gone! That sounds like a rough start to a conversation, and if you’re not into taking the time to have to explain those types of things (sounds like a little ignorant comment from them) to your new friend on a regular basis, maybe not worth it? Just my two cents!

      • Appreciate the insight. With Snap it seems like one can now pin/save the convo, including the images. On the plus side she has an autostraddle link I sent her pinned. So, that’s good.

  5. I’ve never been to Pride! My closest one is 2+ hours away. Apparently there’s a march, and a booth area where you can get health information, and then there’s a huge dance party after dark.

    I considered going for a meet up/car sharing thing last year, but every single person was a 18-21 year old gay man looking to drink and dance the night away to techno, and I’m a 30 something bi lady who listens to heavy metal and goes to bed early.

    • You have now made me realise that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a heavy metal themed event at any of the Prides I’ve been to, which seems like a huge oversight.

    • The closest thing I’ve seen to a heavy metal pride is Lunden Reign playing at Palm Springs Pride. Check them out if you haven’t!

    • I am not sure if that’s a good thing as in the article she says she’s a Libertarian, which if I remember correctly were against ACA, and are against programs like Social Security & Medicare.

  6. I’m also in SoCal and am spoiled with the options of LA Trans Pride, Long Beach Pride, Orange County Pride, LA Pride, LA Proud Festival, and Palm Springs Pride in addition to year round lesbian-centric events in Long Beach and LA that in my experience have been welcoming to trans and nonbinary folks. All of the aforementioned have their pros and cons and I feel lucky to get to pick and choose which to go to each year based on entertainment lineup, proximity, price, and work/home obligations.

    That said, I met my current partner at OC Pride in 2016 so it is my favorite pride memory despite being unable to attend last June. I hope to change that this year as well as make it to Long Beach Pride this May. Last year we marched in the LB parade with her siblings, the first time I have marched a parade since my first ever Pride Parade 14 years ago in Seattle, where I was covered in blue balloons as part of a human rainbow. I also had the chance to attend New York Pride about 10 years ago.

    Yesterday I celebrated Friends Day and met up with a previously online friend after a queer social group meeting. We had been in touch for 2-3 years on and off on various social media amd texts and finally got our shit together to grab a bite and have a few laughs.

    For the immediate future, my partner and I are planning a family trip to the Grand Canyon, which I’ve never seen, with my partner’s siblings.

    • So much Pride! Do they all happen roundabout the same time or are they more spread out?

      Enjoy the Grand Canyon :)

    • I kind of tried to block out last years Trans Pride because they had Jeffery Tambor getting ally of the Year award, and Margaret Cho, someone who’s work I really love, was making jokes that may not have been appropriate for pride event. Now the Trans Choir was and is a delight to see at Trans Pride. My friend told me last night they are coming out with a music video and it’s going to be great.

      LA pride happens in June, Long Beach is in May, and OC and Ventura are both in August if I remember correctly and Trans Pride is week(or was it two weeks) after Pride in June.

      Hope you have a blast in the Grand Canyon. It’s something else to see in person.

      • I didn’t attend LA Trans Pride last year but the one time I did go it did feature mostly the cast of Transparent although thankfully no Tambor. I do remember Alexandra Billings did a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”

        Here are a few Pride dates I’ve found for So Cal this year so far:

        Dinah Shore March 28-April 2
        Long Beach Pride May 19-20
        LA Pride June 12-14
        OC Pride June 23
        LA Trans Pride – June
        OC Trans Pride – June
        Outfest LA LGBT Filmfest – July
        San Diego July 14-15
        Long Beach QFilm Festival – Sept
        South Bay Pride – Sept 8
        Palm Springs Pride Nov 2-4

  7. Happy pride! My city’s pride isn’t until June, but I like to think I project a small aura of pride ^_^.

    My week has been incredible and I’m so grateful for it. My current bedroom partner and I have been opening up and exploring hitherto unshared interests due to bad histories with previous partners. A gal could get used to this sense of liberation and openness :D

    • Yay for new ventures! Glad to hear that you’re building trust and able to explore more!

  8. Hurrah for this side of the date line and for Pride! My city’s is later in the month and it’s two weeks of events – in previous years I’ve been to the fair and to the same sex Latin and ballroom dance class. (I am one of those dancers who can pick up choreography pretty quickly, and have had enough Latin and ballroom experience that I arrived with shoes, and they were like “you were great, are you a professional, you should teach here” and I was like “whaaaat”.)

    I have had a weird week with an attempt at getting mental health treatment not going how I had hoped and a violent incident at work. But I am getting some solid work done on both of my Fringe Festival theatre performances, so there’s that.

    • hello fellow antipode! Last year’s Midsumma I hung out with the local Latinx group for a bit after the march because their music was hella fun and they were very welcoming of people to dance with them!

      Sorry to hear about your weird week, but good on you for getting your Fringe work going! I just got accepted for a mentorship to put on a show at Melbourne Fringe – it’s my first one and I’ve gone from super excited to super anxious!

      • Congrats on the mentorship! This is actually my first Fringe too (despite being a theatre kid with friends who are producing one of the venues) and whoa I’m acting in a show and putting on a little ten minute cabaret performance (which is kind of a proof of concept for a full show).

  9. It’s actually LGBTQ+ history month here in the UK! I’ve got a QTIPOC event next week, I’m going to see a queer play called Jubilee the week after, and if I’m not too tired I’ll go to an exhibition by one of the LGBT groups I used to go too. Also IM SEEING BLACK PANTHER NEXT WEEK and I found a cloth dress that is perfect for the occasion.

  10. And because I mentioned working on Fringe stuff above: One show I’m in is a devised show about the experiences of ethnic minorities in New Zealand, with an all female cast and mostly female production team; a lot of the cast and our stage manager are queer, and three out of five actors and our director, publicist, and lighting designer are women of color. We’re crowdfunding to help cover our venue hire, props, publicity, etc. A donation would be much appreciated, and for most of you, it’ll look like less on your bank statements because the New Zealand dollar’s lower than the USD and the AUD ?

  11. Pride where I live looks like a lot of hot weather and people doing things outdoors, i.e. it’s totally inconceivable to me right now when it’s been -10 (C) and snowing tons for two weeks. I have been to a lot of marches in several different places, though – I like the more political ones best.

    I started the process of getting screened for a disorder with my doctor this week and the idea of it is hitting me harder than I expected when I first started looking into this a couple months ago. I’ve been job hunting for over a month but I’m also sort of trying to build up freelance work in case I don’t find a job, and neither has really gone anywhere so far, but I’m hoping some of the groundwork I’ve been laying for new freelance work is starting to amount to something. More positively, I got a really nice email from a friend about the manuscript I’m working on, and a day later an agent told me they liked my excerpt and wanted to read the rest, so maybe I’ll just sell my book before I run out of money and not have to worry about a job until later?

    • Midsumma was during an epic heatwave and caused many of us to wonder if it shouldn’t be a Midautumn thing instead!!

      Good luck with everything. Coming to terms with a medical diagnosis can be tricky – it can explain things but bring on a lot of unexpected consequences. Jobhunting suckkkksss. But hey, the manuscript sounds promising! What’s it about?

  12. I didn’t see you at the Carnival or the March!! I had lots of fun at both. My friends and I got heaps of free glitter and food at the carnival. We also marched with the unions at the front in the March! I also went to Queerjoy and that was phenomenal. Below is a pic (hopefully if I can get it to work) of me at the Carnival.

    • I saw you at Carnivale but I was in the middle of a conversation with a friend and when she left I lost you! Also there was like zero reception at the park.

      How was Queerjoy!? I saw Killjoy but not the all-stars cabaret.

      and here’s you:

      • Aww! Sorry! Reception was the worst there. Haha.

        Queerjoy was awesome! Mama Alto was amazing!! It was a great night and there were so many amazing performances. I saw Killjoys during the Fringe Festival.

        TY for the pic. I’ve just made it my FB profile pic now too. Haha. :)

  13. i’m from san francisco, so pride in june is A Big Effing Deal. pre-pride events start on friday and the last parties wind down in the wee hours of monday. the downside of sf pride is that it’s gotten so corporate that civic center is full of toyota and bank of america booths and sloppy-drunk straight girls annoying the drag queens. i mostly stay in dolores park at dyke march where there’s cheap drinks and no rainbow swag from multinational banks.
    y’all, y’all, the sunshine is back! it’s been so beautiful and warm this past week and it’s going to stay like that for a while. (in my heart of hearts i know it’s, climate change-wise, bad that it’s so warm so early in the year, but let me have this happiness.) i feel very happy with the sun on my face and three very good things happened to me this week: i went on a real date with a girl i met at a party and she wants to see me again, i bought tickets with my best friend to see paul simon in may, and, after years of searching, i have finally found the perfect pair of jeans in the levi’s 712. i’m seriously considering buying enough pairs to last me the rest of my life.

  14. My Pride story of the last year was how I completely managed to forget that Silicon Valley Pride was happening last year. It’s been that kind of year. I want to try to make it this year. Or to SF Pride, if I somehow end up moving to SF.

    I’ve been putting a lot of energy into work and career stuff lately, which seems to be paying off, but also leaving me feeling kind of boring. It’s also leaving me with a strong desire for fluffy queer-girl fiction. I’ve been reading a lot of fanfiction because while het paranormal romances and not-really-romances with a female protagonist are a dime a dozen, good queer ones are rare as hen’s teeth. Here, have some fanfic that deserve more attention:

    Against the Tide, Asami and mermaid Korra:

    corpus callosum, Carmilla and Laura from the webseries in Pacific Rim (no seriously, give it a chance):

    Kryptonite is Overrated, Carmilla and Laura in a superhero setting crossed with the Devil Wears Prada (this works better than it has any right to):

    My Immortal, the X-Files, Scully with Reyes’ and Doggett’s daughter:

    The Journal, Carmilla and Laura in a zombie apocalypse (zombie apocalypses aren’t usually my thing, but it makes up for that):

    Long Exposure, Max and Victoria only there are vampires:

      • I have no idea! I just moved here last year. I’m kind of wondering. (Actually, one reason I was hoping to hit Pride was to find out what kinds of things there are here. Everyone talks about SF, but SF is kind of a long ways away.)

  15. this sounds like so much fun!!

    i havent been to pride but i went to capturing fire (the international queer slam) during pride week and that was magical and also honey groove fest which was mostly QTPOC and im pretty sure thats what heaven is like

    • There’s a (possibly mostly queer) WOC performance troupe from here called Hot Brown Honey that are pretty good too!

  16. I just moved to Cali, so haven’t been to pride here yet. But, I always went to the alternative pride and marched in that when I lived in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh pride has been taken over by big corporations, and was sponsored by a fracking company this past year, so I participated in a counter-march against that. It was really great! Here’s an article about it!

    My week has been good, a little hectic. I finished my third rotation this week, which means I presented my work in front of my program and then will start my fourth, and last, rotation on Monday.

    I did get into a little altercation with a friend in my cohort (cishet male) today who asked me how a wedding would work with me and my partner, clothing-wise. I think he was trying to ask in a discreet way what the fashion rules are for two women getting married, and I was kind of mean to him about it and told him I’m not the gay ambassador for our cohort. I felt really bad about it later during the day and apologized to him, and him to me, but I’m not really sure how to approach this issue. I’ve definitely had strangers ask me invasive questions about me and my partner, but he is a friend and is probably just curious, which I misinterpreted. Oh well! I really need to work on reacting to those situations in a more amicable way and not immediately saying something that I will regret.

    Other than that, looking forward to a beautiful weekend outside. <3 love and light!

    • There’s been talk around here about an alternative pride for similar reasons, especially now that there’s been a trans woman who got dragged by police for writing anti-cop messages with chalk as well as someone being arrested for booing the right-wing party float (yeah, they sent a contingent to Pride to brag about how they were responsible for marriage equality, ergh).

      Sorry about your friend! I’m not even sure there are fashion rules, are they? Just…make your own?

      • Oy! that sounds terrible! I hope the woman was okay.

        Yeah, I think he was just coming from a place of ignorance and was like…who gets to wear the dress? I said we are both our own independent people with our own independent styles so we will wear whatever we want. Also, I’m totally wearing a custom made teal and raspberry suit and then a bomb dress (in my dreams, we are not even engaged yet haha).

  17. You know, I was about to write something about the overcommercialisation of the Berlin Pride. About 60+ floats and over a million people looking to get drunk and dance and party on the streets with no more meaning.
    But then I stumbled across this picture, which I took last year, while searching for my friends amid the heat and shouting masses:

  18. Oh WOW this makes me miss Melbourne and miss Midsumma! I volunteered during it in 2016 and it was just the best and queerest time. Big love for Mama Alto.

      • Yeaah! I actually met her first at a Midsumma event! Then whilst interning at Hares at Hyenas (I was on my gap year, it was kinda the dream!). I’m now back in the UK, where I’m from, doing an English Lit degree. But I’m still a lot in love with Melb, so hopefully will end up back there someday…

  19. Pride small, Southern Decadence bigger, Mardi Gras biggest of all.

    Why does not the biggest holiday not simply eat the others? It is big river and the rest are distributaries. Big one feeds the little ones.
    Like pelican.

    There’s big honking queer foods in it’s feathers.
    So many feathers.

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