This June 27 marks the 37th anniversary of the day when a group of homosexuals threw up their hands to "the man" and told the world that that they chose to lay with did not describe who they were. Of course, I am talking about the events that happened at the Stonewall Inn in New York. Not known to many during the years that immediately followed the event, this altercation would be the catalyst for making June Pride Month, with celebrations in most every major city in the United States and the world (excluding Moscow).
Cincinnati’s gay community has not been thwarted by this city’s attitude towards race and sexual preferance because it will use this month to proudly celebrate Pride with a bevy a events that exploit freedom of speech and sexual expression.
The first of many of these events were the "Drag Races" that were held on Court Street between Vine and Race streets. This series of different races included a race called Dykes on Trikes, and The Pancake Races. The Drag Race was the highlight of the afternoon. You have never seen a foot race until you have seen man who is 6foot plus sprint town blocks clad in a sequnse gown and sporting 3in heels.
Amazed at the turnout for being a Sunday afternoon, I came across the most extraordinary people (not too extraordinary considering the event that I was at). I started a conversation with the drag queen named Viagra, or I should say, that it was started for me. As I sat outside and watched the races, Viagra regailed about how the the during the earlier Races in past years, there were a multitude of vendors and displays with booths lined up and down Court Street from Plum to Vine. She also remenised about the drag shows that went on in between the races. When she told me that she first performed here in Cincinnati in June of 1978, I shied away from telling her that I was just about to pop out of my mother's stomach. A few mintues later, Viagra caught the eye of another wonderer and was off.
There are a number of Pride events that are schududled here in Cincinnati this month, but the all rotate around Cincinnati's Pride weekend, which is June 10 and 11. There will be a festival in Hoffner Park in Northside both days and parade on Sunday.
It should be fun!