By: Kristen Becker
I am writing you on behalf of the GLBTQ community to let you know that it is going to get REAL gay around these parts this weekend. Not scary gay, but FUN gay!
Imagine a city covered in rainbows and man love! There will be live music, comedy, burlesque, a march and a PARADE! I’ve heard some folks say “Gay pride? I don’t get a parade. Where’s my Straight Parade?” (see St Patrick’s day). Allow me to explain why we do this; I’ll keep it short and sweet. Years ago, us gays weren’t nearly as popular as we are today. Before Ellen, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and RuPaul’s Drag Race, us homos were called names and arrested just for gathering together. I know it seems hard to believe, but police used to just bust in (violating our constitutional rights) and round us up, until one night in NYC. We snapped. Forever known as The Stonewall Riots, that night is often referred to as the birth of the modern day gay movement, and in its honor, Pride events have sprouted up all over the country. Buffalo’s version of Pride has been around for the last 18 years–one more year and it will be able to drink in Canada!
Now that you know the basics, let me tell you about all the fun ways you can participate and not be a homophobe!
TONIGHT– Dykes of Hazard kicks off the Pride weekend at the Ninth Ward (inside Ani DiFranco’s Babeville) with a fun filled variety hour and TWO special musical guests- Joanna Barbera from Austin and the one and only Melissa Ferrick!
SATURDAY– Events include: The Dyke March, a tip of the hat to our predecessors and a tradition that continues to remind ourselves and others that gays aren’t always treated so well in other parts of this great country. Not like here in WNY. Sure, I’ve been called a dyke by some prominent last names in this town, but all in all it’s usually just the ignorant, privileged white guys who can’t get over it. Generally speaking, we live in a fancy liberal bubble here in Buffalo and while it may be easy to just skip the Dyke March, it’s important to honor those who came before us. I’d prefer it if gay folks weren’t being beaten up, that would be a great reason to march, but let’s do it to celebrate and honor! Baby dykes UNITE! If you don’t want to march, just line up along the sidelines and cheer us on!
This year our Pride celebration is being run by the Pride Center of WNY. They have made one major, important change to the festivities by adding a block party to the parade, which takes place on on Allen Street. This promises to be a great time–attendees should expect much debauchery as we all know people get crazier when they are in their own backyards, and we all know Allen Street is Buffalo’s premier gayborhood. Also on Saturday night, The Stripteasers will be throwing a birthday celebration show at Nietzsche’s for founding member Madina Madis.
SUNDAY– This is the main event. I sometimes wonder what exactly we homos are trying to prove by getting completely drunk Saturday night and then trying to put our MOST fabulous foot forward on Sunday morning. Maybe we just like to prove how good we are at drinking and decorating. For whatever reason, we march down Elmwood to Bidwell Parkway where the festivities continue with live performances all day and tons of vendors so you can stock up on your rainbow gear. This year I will be hosting the Main stage with internationally known, Kenmore-bred comedian Bob Smith , and I invite you to join us.
In closing, Buffalo, let me just say that gays know how to throw a party. Often times, heteros hire us to do just that–the decorating, the hair, the food, etc. This weekend we homos are doing it for ourselves, and YOU are invited.
Kristen Becker is a comedian who
started her comedy career in Toronto 8 years ago, and since then has
traveled the continent performing and producing shows. She has opened
for national acts such as Doug Stanhope, Josh Blue (Winner of Last Comic
Standing), and Ani DiFranco. Additionally, Kristen beat out 60
contestants (all men) to win the 2006 Queen City Comedy Competition.
Becker was recently named “One of America’s Funniest Lesbians” by CURVE
Magazine, in a tie for #8 with Lily Tomlin. Locally, Becker has been
producing/hosting the Doin’ Time
Stand-Up Comedy Showcase at Nietzsche’s every Tuesday in Buffalo for
the last 4 years.