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On Pride, the sequel

June 28, 2010

The first post on this blog is about how funny it would be to watch the events of Pride 2010 unfold beneath our fire escape. Funny, yes, it was. Exciting, certainly. I never could have predicted that three people would be shot and one killed on the sidewalk below.

On Saturday night I came home from my Frameline shift and set up my camera to attempt my first time lapse of the progression of the crowds. Jesus, I had no idea what I was getting into. My girl and I fiddled with the framing for a while — not too much of the porta potties, make sure the rainbow flag blew into the frame every so often, and try to get a decent angle down onto the street. The Nikon D200 has a wonderful internal intervalometer that I don’t think enough people are aware of given how popular time lapse videos are now. Anyway, we set it and forgot about it, popped in the earplugs we bought specifically for Pride weekend, and went to sleep fairly early.

Fast forward 8 hours and I woke up to review the images that it caught. This explains itself:

(Note that Vimeo embedding is finicky on WordPress and RSS readers don’t usually show Vimeo media, so you’ll have to view the original post to see what this is all about, or just click here to watch it externally on Vimeo.)

There’s a lot of outrage over this senseless act of violence, and with good reason. I don’t like crowds to begin with, especially drunk crowds. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about that because I feel like I should be more involved with my community, but then I remember that community-building efforts are not strictly centered on drunken revelry. And I’m all for celebrating our gayness, but I have never painted my nipples with rainbow glitter. (Perhaps I’d feel differently about that if I were leaner.) From my vantage point, it didn’t look like Pink Saturday was much of a community-building effort. I watched two huge groups of kids (by kids I mean people who are younger than me, and I’m pretty young) get into a shouting match, shoving and punching, recording it on their phones and laughing about it. What the fucking shit, people? What are they even celebrating?

This kind of violence does not belong in our community. So many people are saying now that Pink Saturday is going to end up the same way that Halloween in the Castro did. (In 2006, five people were shot during the Castro Halloween party and it has been shut down since then.) That’s terrible because the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence work so hard to organize and put on this whole show.

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