Hard to believe that it’s been a month and a day since I stepped out for the very first time as Allison in the OutReach Pride Parade & Rally. To be honest, it feels like it was only yesterday that I dressed up and marched with my fellow members of the trans community, our supporters, and folks from the broad LGBT+ community in the Madison area.
While I try to keep the euphoria of that Sunday afternoon lingering in the top of my memory for a while, if not longer, I wanted to bring up a few leftover items from the day. First off, the security. In the days leading up to the parade and rally, the organizers felt concerned about something sinister happening that afternoon, a concern escalated since it fell just days after the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia. With that, they had announced on Facebook that they were working with the Madison Police Department to step up security for the event, just in case… you know…
The organizers’ announcement met with enough negative comments that they stepped back from those comments about increased security. At least it seemed that way to me when marching that Sunday. Oh, sure, there were the units already devoted to normal security and blocking off street traffic, as well as the department’s own entry in the parade. But there wasn’t, say, an officer positioned every 10 feet along the route. As it turned out, there was no need to worry about security, for nothing untoward was reported during the event. Heck, the only sign of something unpleasant was a tiny spot on the State Capitol grounds, where someone acting all holier-than-thou held up is “homosexuality is sin” type of sign for the parade goers to
see ignore; he was such a non-factor that he departed from sight just before the parade ended and the rally was about to begin. Fare thee well, bigot.
As you probably noticed from my post about the event, I did take a lot of photos with my camera. The photos in that post were only a handful of the total pics I have from that day. I want to share a few more that feature yours truly here. First is this photo of me taken before the parade with “The Pink Ladies,” a quartet of gentlemen who dress up in some sort of pink-themed ensemble (costume, makeup, the whole nine yards) and take part in the parade every year. Note their costumes for this year and how they have a Revolution feel to them. One of the Pink Ladies indicated that the theme was intentional, a desire to invoke the “equality for all” ideals that America’s Founding Fathers had for all citizens of America. Thanks for the reminder, ladies, and for posing with me.
Next is this photo taken as I was about to head back home. The rally featured a couple of drag performers, among them Kayos Mirage, aka Miss Madison Pride 2017. Don’t let her straight face lead you to believe she didn’t want her photo taken. Really, she was more than happy to pose with me. And, oh wow, does she look fierce! Thanks for posing with me, Ms. Mirage. 🙂
Another queen who also obliged to take a photo with me post-parade (and, yes, she was happy to do so as well) is Karizma Mirage, a regular at Milwaukee’s Hamburger Mary’s as well as the clubs here in Madison, including Plan B (where she has worked as a show co-director) and FIVE Nightclub. Karizma appeared at the parade and rally as part of FIVE’s float of drag royalty. Thanks, Karizma, for the pose. (Say, are Karizma and Kayos related in any way? Like, maybe, drag mother & daughter? I’m not sure. I’m ashamed that it didn’t occur of me to ask.)
One last thing to mention about that Pride Sunday, and it feels like a big one for me: While on my walk back to the parking lot to head home, I decided to stop off and browse a little bit at Ragstock, a retro clothing store on State Street that I like to frequent every so often. My previous trips to Ragstock were all as Male Mode Me. Not this particular day, however, for I strutted into the store as Allison. While I have done a couple of trips to the corner drug store or gas station as Alison, this trip to Ragstock the very first time I had ever done clothes shopping while dressed en femme. And, yeah, did I feel fierce when doing so. So, you’re asking, did I buy anything at Ragstock that day? Yeah, I bought Charlotte Russe leather dress I had my eye on for a while; it cost only $7.50… and it fits like a glove. Yay!
Of course these are far from the only photos I have of my day at the OutReach Pride Parade. But if I share any more, I would reach my WordPress file storage limit faster than I should. But I will share you this link to OutReach’s Facebook page devoted to photos from the parade and rally taken for OutReach by the husband-and-wife team of Johnny and Marie Justice. The Justices are documentary filmmakers, photographers, and marketing specialists who use their talents to highlight and promote positive social change.