Former San Francisco resident Mx. Justin Vivian Bond just gave an interview with Paper talking about her summer plans, her new cabaret act, feminism, and her feelings about Pride. The New York City Pride parade, as many of us know, is kind of a non-event compared with the one here, and Bond explains why she thinks that is.
I don't go to Pride here because it doesn't really have many celebratory aspects. I loved it in San Francisco because there was a real end you marched and at the end, everybody was there together and there was a show or whatever. But here you just go down and disperse. There's no real formation of community around it I feel like it's almost designed to dissolve community. I go to the Drag March, which I go to every year and then to Stonewall, where I see the same people every year. I like the Drag and Dyke March but Pride is not very interesting to me.
Also, she tells a terrific story about jumping into the parade in 1989.
Here's a story I will tell: my first Pride was in 1989 when I was in San Francisco. I decided that I'd go to the front of the parade, and when I saw a group go by that I felt I could identify with or march with I'd go and march with them. And this group came around the corner they'd taken this car and painted it to look like a police car. Instead of a siren on the top, they had this huge papier mâché high heel on the top with a crazy, fucked up-looking person in a bikini, egg yolks over their flat chest. They'd dead-bolted an apple crate to the trunk of the car and everybody was wearing combat boots and beating the shit out of this police car with high heels. I said "My people!" and grabbed a high heel. By the time we got to the end [of the parade] the car was just destroyed.
We actually wish Pride were more like that these days. Alas.