The Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors Saturday night had everything you could want from a festival: civic leaders waving from slow-moving vehicles, a float featuring The Wizard of Oz characters in drag, and plenty of strapping young men in bikinis. The only thing missing was a horde of awkward, straight-laced tourists, which is where I came in.
I attended the event with my friend Shelley, who happens to be four months pregnant. We imagined that we might stick out a little -- two straight, sober women, one of them in a maternity sundress, wearing sensible shoes and hoping to be safely at home in bed by 10 p.m. But of course, we were welcomed with open arms.
There were a few awkward moments, such as when I went to the ladies' room at Alibi and found it occupied by a man. He complimented my hairdo and let me cut in line but couldn't do much about the slew of other coeds behind him.
A while later, a woman we had just met asked Shelley if I was her girlfriend. "I'm married," Shelley explained. "To a man."
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The highlight of the night, however, came when the people on the parade floats started throwing gifts to the crowd. Mostly, they just threw condoms, which the men standing around us eagerly collected. But one group tossed out unidentified objects in small, white plastic bottles.
"Lube!" the crowd around us screamed, and dove for the booty.
Alas, they were extremely disappointed to discover the true identity of the bottles: hand sanitizer.
Yes, Shelley and I decided, we fit in just fine.