Day 158 of 365 Days of Silver ~~ Grateful For A WONDERFUL Gay Pride Weekend!

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Humidity is rising – Barometer’s getting low
According to all sources, the street’s the place to go
Cause tonight for the first time
Just about half-past ten
For the first time in history
It’s gonna start raining men.

It’s Raining Men! Hallelujah! – It’s Raining Men! Amen!
I’m gonna go out to run and let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet!
It’s Raining Men! Hallelujah!

Kansas City used to have an absolutely amazing Gay Pride celebration. It was huge with thousands of attendees, many many vendors and lots of food as well entertainment from many local talents and the famous as well. We’ve had Chaka Khan, Salt ‘n’ Peppa, RuPaul and many others.

And then five years ago hit. First, the new head decided to kiss butt with the city and moved it downtown to an area called the Power and Light district. It’s this big enclosed area (no roof) of bars and resteraunts and they gave it to Gay Pride for free. The problem is that there were many, many, many straight people there who didn’t appreaciate the influx the GLBT crowd. And it was more expensive. And there was no place to lay out blankets and umbrellas and you couldn’t bring your pets. Dogs are children to many gays and lesbians! There was very little actual seating. The entertainment was a bunch of total unknowns, famous for maybe a single song in Spain or some such thing as that. We went the first year, stayed about an hour or so, and we went home and I cried all the way.

Gay Pride is very important to me. There is nothing like being someplace with thousands of GLBT people. Looking around at the hundreds of blankets and friends and lovers sunning themselves and cuddled and celebrating who they were. It was three days were we were the “normal” ones. Like going into a Twilight Zone were being gay or lesbian was the way and being heterosexual was the minority.

And then it was gone. They kept it there several years and from what I understand they went totally bankrupt—even with the frippin’ “free” place to have it.

Then year before last they had a tiny thing in an area called Westport which is mostly little shops and stuff. Some local entertainment. No one famous. It was a street fair, and believe it or not I had a very nice time. It was short and sweet but it was real. It wasn’t commercialized. It was gay spirit.

Last year they did a bit better and it got bigger but it was a brand new are the city is trying to develop and it as open dry grass and NO trees or shade anywhere and it was hot hot hot hot hot! And again no famous entertainment….

All I had was longing for what apparently was no more. It hurt. I don’t know how to explain it any better. It hurt. I had resentment and anger too….

But then! Then his year it happened! A true Gay Price celebration even returned to Kansas City! It was so much fun!

The first night was DJs and just walking around but I knew—I could see—that the spirit was back!

And day two was especially exciting since I got to spend the whole time with my daughter, Jayli! We haven’t gone to a Pride together in years and years. It was pouring that morning and I was afraid the day would be rained out but it cleared up by noon and was sunny and dazzling all day.

You know it’s funny but every year teh conservative Christians get together for this huge prayer thing raising the rafters asking God to rain Gay Pride out. And on a day that every weather forecast said there would be thrundershowers all day…the day turned out stunningly gorgeous. Intersting. Maybe it’s like what I said yesterday, sometimes God’s answer to a prayer is “No.”

Last night was simply amazing. Tons of entertainment, including a group called Material Girl where the lead singer sort of impersonates both Lady Gaga and Madonna and she was really, really good. MK Nobilette was there—the first openly lesbian contestant on American Idol. My daughter swooned. And the singer even came out into the crowd later and Jayli got a picture with her that turned out to be crap. Well I am a Dad! I went to her a little later and asked if I could take her picture yet again and she was so incredibly sweet and agreed. Wonderful lady!

The final huge act was the First Ladies of Disco. I was so incredibly excited and was screaming. These three ladies were big stars when I was first coming out in the early memblemumbles. I have their albums and their 12” singles. I danced with boys for the very first time to their songs. And they were….

Martha Wash who’s biggest hit was the classic It’s Raining Men.

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Linda Clifford who made me dance merrily to If My Friends Could See Me Now. And who can forget her hot number Red Light from the original movie Fame.

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…and…

Evelyn “Champagne” King whose top ten was Shame.

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The finale was them singing a song together, their new combined single called Show Some Love and I loved it. I even got to buy it for download–they gave you this little photograph of the three of them with a code on the back–and they all autographed it!

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What a great ending for the evening. Then Jayli and I even went to the gay bar Missie B’s afterward for awhile.

I had such a good time and saw lots of people I know and hung our with friends I haven’t seen in forever.

That is why I had such a good time. Gay Pride is back in Kansas City and I couldn’t be happier! At last!

So blessed! Soooooo blessed!
B.G. Thomas

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MK Nobilette with my daughter Jayli.

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The musical group Material Girl

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2 thoughts on “Day 158 of 365 Days of Silver ~~ Grateful For A WONDERFUL Gay Pride Weekend!

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