It’s Monday night and I find myself sifting through all the freebies acquired at another gay pride festival, or as one of my friends call it, a big gay swap-meet! Only three bags made it home with us from L.A. Pride this year…I dump the contents of the bags onto the bed. Good lord, how quickly we amass so much trash in so little time! So I sort all of our freebies into categorical piles of condoms, lubes, magazines, stickers, business cards, Tylenol PM, Polaroid snapshots…
The photo is of Bradley and I poking our heads through cut-out holes where the heads of two superheroes should be, “Fighting Pain And Sleeplessness Around The World!” And the second is exactly the same, except this time Marlene is my sidekick superhero. As I inspect the photo closer I realize she has her eyes closed! Marlene is Bradley’s cousin. Bradley is my boyfriend. Bradley and I decided to carpool with her so as to have a designated driver. Plus she’s our fruit-fly.
I’m not sure if it was the shock of paying a $20.00 entrance fee per person or the Apple Martinis we’d just drank on the walk over from the parking structure, but I was feeling a bit unbalanced. Yeah, I was definitely starting to feel a buzz coming on. I couldn’t believe my eyes, about 100 feet into the festival we spot the first pair of exposed breasts for the day. A seemingly intoxicated lesbian version of Mystique from X-men. Painted from head to toe in blue body paint, now crackling and pealing off around the mid-section, complete with orange hair and posing for the gawking lesbians and adoring queers, like myself, snapping pictures to add to their collection of “Oh-my-gosh-look-at-what-I-saw-at-Pride-this-year!”
We passed the dance tent and headed towards the food court because Marlene said she’d skipped breakfast, but before we made it there we stumbled upon the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; through drag activism they make every effort to help local communities in fund-raising for charities and non-profits as well as spreading understanding of the gay spirit. So I coax Marlene to pose with me and the foursome. When suddenly (holy Mary, mother of god) a fifth Sister garbed in blue sneaks up and helps himself to my crotch! Alright, that’s it, enough charitable work for one day, let’s move on and get our drink on!
Bradley’s lure today was to catch a glimpse of Adrian Young, the drummer for No-Doubt and sometimes drummer for Bow Wow Wow, slated to perform at seven p.m. Marlene heard or read somewhere that members of “the L word” from SHOWTIME were supposed to be here. I wanted to catch Berlin play at the main stage at seven-thirty p.m. It was around five p.m. so we had some time to kill. We continued through the park towards the Latin dance tent and came upon a booth for LatinBoyz.com where I gave up my e-mail address in exchange for a mouse pad with eight boys showing off their chests. This one was for Marlene, as I had already acquired one for myself at the Long Beach Pride last month! Which I lovingly call the “Practice Pride” due to it’s pre-summer and pre-pride-month date. Our search for “the L word” booth was in vain, or so we learned from a representative at the AIDS Walk LA booth which was sponsored by SHOWTIME. So, no celebrity lesbians
for Marlene or so it seemed until we spotted Rachael from “Road Rules“.
Rachael and other Road Rulers were at a booth for collegedropout.com, but instead of pushing the apparel for sale (mostly collegiate wear and undergarments) they were enthusiastically offering their beer bong to passersby! I tap Rachael on the shoulder and ask her for a photo-op, she smiles and says, “Yeah, sure.” Then I hail Marlene over to pose with Rachael. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pose with the two guys that were also there from Road Rules, so I prop myself between the two hunks, one wearing a LESBIAN t-shirt and the other a THOUSANDAIRE t-shirt. Bradley takes the picture at the very moment that I scream, “Hey! That‘s my nipple!” As I plant a thank you kiss on his cheek, Shane, the THOUSANDAIRE, deploringly states, “You did not touch his nipple!” “I sure did“ he replies. I kiss Shane on the cheek as well, “And I liked it” I state managing to instigate and leaving them behind to sort it out! We left that stand
only to hear about Marlene’s impression of Rachael being a bitch about the whole photo-op thing. Lesbians! Fags! Go figure.
We continued the day stopping at any and every photo-op available. Two Latin boys undressed in leather chaps and wearing very little else, were more than happy to oblige. A customary, friendly peck on the cheek is what I typically offer as a token of my appreciation, after all, none of these people have to consent to my request. But they do, so I pay them with a small kiss on the cheek. My boyfriend, playing photographer for the day, thinks otherwise. “Don’t kiss them,” he says to me as I approach him to see how the image turned out on the digital camera. “What? It’s just a kiss on the cheek,” I reply, “just a Thank You.” I can hear the alcohol in his voice, “Well I don’t like it, so don’t do it,” he reprimands. I smile and shrug my shoulders, to which he responds by saying, “Well, I kissed somebody the other night at the club.” He is testing me. I know he is. We’ve been drinking and he’s a bit jealous of me kissing all
these strangers. It may all be true, but what am I supposed to do? I can tell that Marlene overhears our word-fight by the way her eyes widen and eyebrows raise. I laugh it off and tell him in a calm and collected tone, “I cannot stop you from being gay!”
During our trip back to the car (to deposit all of our freebies and retrieve Marlene’s ID) we stopped at the “Gorgeous Magazine” booth to get our traditional temporary tattoo. Bradley was highly upset that the guy doing his tattoo was inexperienced and failed to give him satisfactory results, even after two attempts. So he opted to just rub it off before it dried. I found myself another photo victim and chose to get my tattoo on the small of my back! “Where do you want it?” asked the boy in baby blue hot pants. “I want it back here,” I said pulling up my tank top and bending over in front of him. “Assume the position,” calls out an elderly Caucasian man smoking in a chair at the rear of the booth with another Black man. Bradley takes a picture as the boy places the temporary tattoo on my back and I look up to smile. With a cold, dripping wet cloth the boy presses excess water onto the tattoo and lets it run down my pants. “How’s
that feel?” he queries. “You’re getting me all wet!” I exclaim. “I get that a lot,” he says, as the two smokers make their exit saying, “Oooh this is too much for our saintly ears.”
Erotic City is 18 and over with ID, a fenced off section for “adults only” in the heart of the festival. Anything and everything porn, explicitly sexually related businesses, groups, clubs and of course, a sort of show and tell seminar/classes scheduled throughout the weekend where one might learn about leather sex, anal pleasure and health, erotic massage, genital play, consensual sadomasochism, flogging, mummification, vaginal fisting, water sports (and no I don’t mean polo) all in a circus-like, audience participation atmosphere. I’m sure the list goes on and on and on. Marlene and I found ourselves at a booth with your typical assortment of suede whips, and other assortment of kink toys and fetish attire. I was enjoying a Jolly Rancher Blue Raspberry lollipop (acquired earlier from the Christ Chapel of the Valley booth) all the while, demonstrating on Marlene’s butt how to properly administer the pleasing sensations of a suede flogger
whip, when the attendant of this fetish booth noticed my tinted tongue and asked, “Blue? Who were you sucking?” I tentatively returned the leather whip and replied, “Papa Smurf!” then ran off with Marlene like two little girls holding hands. We caught up with Bradley as he was staring in sheer curiosity at a man in a cage! The guy was on his knees, in a black rod-iron kennel approximately three feet by four feet with a pad locked lid! He was sporting a short Mohawk and wearing banana-yellow latex sox, and what appeared to be a one-piece red spandex wrestling suit. He was making growling noises at another participant outside the cage, but also on his fours. It takes all kinds to make the world go round! And my world was spinning! So ‘round the bend we went towards the gay porn-star booth! This year’s celebrity porn star was Trevor Knight.
Promoting his latest skin flick: “Inn Over His Head”, Trevor Knight was a pleasant surprise to my day at gay pride. I recognized the double-bands tattooed on both wrists, more so than his face! After ogling him for a few minutes, and courteously waiting for him to conclude his glossy signing, I asked him for a photo-op. He posed standing in front of me, topless and pressing his ass on my crotch, took both my hands in his and wrapped them around his waist then down towards his crotch! He continued to pull my left hand over his crotch, while Bradley framed in for the shot. He was obviously strutting commando! I leaned in to kiss his cheek, but he grabbed my face and planted one right on my lips! I was afraid to look over at Bradley’s reaction. I asked Trevor for an autographed photo, where he wrote, “Oscar, Your lips are Hot!!” and signed it, “¬10”® Trevor Knight”. After playing photographer, Bradley asked to be next to pose with the
porn star, so I took the camera while Trevor repeated the routine of having Bradley grope his crotch! Still with autographed glossy in my hand I snapped the picture of Bradley and Trevor, but failed to notice that the glossy was obstructing the image from the waistline down. Bradley was upset that ‘the best part’ was cut off and deleted the image from the camera. No signed glossy for him!
Another picture opportunity finds me behind the “INmagazine” booth where Mr. Gay International and another Mr. Gay something-or-other are pushing entry forms for the next Mr. Gay 2006 and the website mrgaycompetition.com. Another pair of smooches after Bradley takes the picture, but no verbal explosions this time? I know he’s still upset, because he doesn’t want to pose with any of these prospects. Actually, he’s waiting for Adrian Young. Unfortunately we make it back to the main stage area after a quick stop to the porta-potties and hear Annabella Lwin’s voice (front woman for the band Bow Wow Wow). Sure enough, as I sprint to the stage, I find that behind the drum set is not Adrian Young, but rather someone who more or less resembles Mr. T! Bradley was crushed to learn that Adrian was not in attendance. Oh well, we still had Berlin to look forward to. And that was a great performance! So glad I have all these photos to remind me of the
alcohol soaked shenanigans!