Palm Springs Pride 2007

Drag queens, muscle boys, fundies, oh my!

This past weekend was gay pride weekend in Palm Springs, and they came from everywhere: the beauty parlor, the gym, the ranch. As usual, the Fundies even came from under a rock to join the festivities.

the Usual Suspects The usual suspects: (L-R) Ken, Airline Bob, Bob, Another Ken, New Hampshire Ron, Réal, Phil

On Sunday morning, the usual suspects and assorted friends assembled near Grill-A-Burger to stake out a prime vantage point for parade-watching.

Live pre-parade entertainment was provided by a contingent of Fundies who set up directly across the street with their banners, placards, and bull-horns.

Fundies Fundies with their messages of hate and prejudice

The Fundies encouraged us to Repent! or else be condemned to Hell. We encouraged them to go home. They didn't listen to us. That was fair, because no one listened to them, either.

We recognized the scumbag with the black "threat to national security" banner from his previous visits to our city. In fact, I have pictures of him from the 2005 pride parade when he used extension cords to demonstrate that two male (plugs) don't go together. It turns out these guys are an organized group with a website (, and thanks to a captioned picture there, we can now give the scumbag a name. He calls himself Brother Ruben Israel, and he's apparently a leader in the group. It seems they hate everybody, not just gays, and apparently spend an awfully lot of time traveling about the country "calling all sinners to repent of their wicked ways" and "flushing the reprobates, apostates and hypocritical backsliders out of their comfort zones."

But I digress, and they're just not worth it.

tapping feet

The parade consisted of the usual mixture of drag queens, community organizations, businesses, politicians, floats, marching bands, dykes on bikes, and so on. A big hit was a guy impersonating a toilet stall with tapping feet. Thank you Senator Craig (R-ID) for inspiring comic relief.

proud horse

We also got a good laugh out of the horses privileged to ride in the parade (as opposed to being ridden) with the signs proclaiming pride in their gay cowboy.

After the parade, we all headed over to the baseball stadium for the second day of the festival. Ken, of course, headed straight for the country western dance tent, and the rest of us spent most of our time wandering among the booths checking out everything and everyone.

Hillary was at the festival, too, so Réal and I took the opportunity to have our pictures taken with her. The poor girl must have been a bit tired, because she was leaning — but not a problem since she was leaning to the left.

Real and Hillary Paul and Hillary

It would not have been a proper occasion for the Usual Suspects without a bit of tomfoolery. While we were walking around among the booths, we noticed Réal showing interest in a display of swimwear, particularly one of the more, shall we say, "exotic" numbers. With a little egging on by us and the encouragement of a friendly booth attendant (or so we thought), he was persuaded to try it on.

"I can't" • "Oh, all right!" • "The back is a little airy" • "Here, let me help you adjust it" • "Hey, no pictures!" • "Ta-da!"

Isn't he adorable when he's succumbing to peer pressure? And the friendly attendant? Seems he was just somebody passing by who took advantage of the opportunity!

For more pictures, check out the slideshow (sidebar).