Sunday, July 28, 2019

Twin Cities Pride Festival

I am super late in publishing this -- I think Twin Cities Pride was literally a month ago at this point! I really hate how my blogging has trailed off in the past however many months. I just have a lot of balls in the air right now and, unfortunately, "Writing this blog" suffers the most when I'm pressed for time.

That said, look for some big and awesome changes coming to Operation Blazing Sword soon!

These pictures were taken on Saturday, the first day of Twin Cities Pride. I was a guest of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and I worked the booth for both days, answering questions and promoting both Operation Blazing Sword and the Pink Pistols, specifically the Twin Cities chapter. It was a lot of fun and I found that the people who came up to our booth were typically either gun owners or were interested in becoming such, and those I talked to were receptive to joining Pink Pistols, making use of OBS instruction, or both.

I was told that this was the first year that the booth wasn't treated with hostility, and some of that was attributed to my presence. I made a joke about how "Well, of course people are being nice. Who would be rude to someone as nice as me?", but in truth there's a powerful legitimacy to standing up and saying "Yes, I'm queer and I'm armed and I'm not ashamed. Who are you to tell me how I can't defend myself?"

In previous years the members of MNGO had to explain why they were at a Pride event, but by simply being there I served as a demonstration that the Second Amendment and armed self-defense is something that belongs to everyone, regardless of sexuality, gender, or political affiliation. Of course, it also helped that if someone had questions about resources for armed queer people in the area the booth staffers could just refer someone to me instead of trying to answer the questions themselves.

The first day was sunny and warm, but tempered with a nice breeze that kept things from getting too hot. There were lots of dogs at Pride (apparently Minneapolis is a big ol' dog city) and one of the MNGO staffers brought her Great Pyrenees puppy, which worked as an amazing draw to the booth. So many people came up just to pet the floof ball!

Yes, that's Sarah Cade and yes, she's wearing a rainbow Gadsden flag as a cape. I made a joke about how she was a "fabulous superhero and now had the cape to prove it".

The wheel of fortune was filled with questions, like "What's a straw purchase?" or "Is crime going up or going down in Minnesota?" People would come up, spin the wheel, and be asked the question. If they were wrong, we told them the answer and gave them a piece of candy (from the pink basket). If they were correct, we let them take a sticker ("I'm a gun-owning liberal" was surprisingly popular") as well as some candy.

By the way, the rainbow Gadsden in the front left pole kept blowing everywhere in the breeze, knocking stuff over and frequently hitting me in the face. Which lead to one of the Zero Context Quotes of the Day: "That rainbow flag is bukkake-ing my face with pride."

This was taken on Sunday during one of the rare moments it wasn't raining. Mind you, it didn't rain very hard, but it rained a lot and lots of rain doesn't mix well with fabulous Pride outfits.

By the way, for those who are curious:
  • Anyone who thinks that all gay people have fantastic style and taste should come to a Pride festival to be proven wrong. I like rainbows too, but there were so many of them them that the place looked like it was full of unicorn vomit. 
  • What you need to keep in mind is that Pride is basically "queer Mardi Gras". Many of the costumes are deliberately provocative and outrageous, and not at all indicative of what queer people normally wear. If you go, be prepared to see a lot of skin, such as topless women with tape over their nipples and men in shorts so small and tight you can tell their religion. 
  • On the other hand, I saw many more people who were just dressed normally in t-shirts and jeans or shorts, just having a great time. I noticed that wearing one of the many various queer flags as capes.
By the way, my Transgender Socially Awkward Situation Defuser Card was the surprise hit of the show. I grabbed a box at the last minute just on a whim, and whenever someone would come up to the booth to look around it would be likely that they would take a card even if they took nothing else. I lost track of the number of times someone wearing trans colors would pick it up, read it, and gasp in astonished delight "I need this!" or "I wish I'd had this years ago!" I'm going to get another batch made up with the URLs of both Pink Pistols and Operation Blazing Sword on the back as a kind of stealth advertising. 

I had a great time at Twin Cities Pride, and I hope the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus will have me back next year. 

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