Pride: Vermont Style

Pride in Vermont is unlike any other Pride. First of all, it’s small, though they had their largest contingents of marchers this year with just over 1400 people marching. The Pride Ball was sold out at 420 tickets. And The Guerilla Bar Takeover at Drink Bar Friday night was packed to the gills. Everything had a good showing and it was heartwarming to see so many people out in support of the LGBTQA community in Vermont.

So let’s start with Friday. We first had dinner at Splash at the Boathouse on Lake Champlain. All three of us, two coworkers and myself, had the burger which was delicious, as were their homemade potato chips. We left there and made it just in time for the start of the Hump! Film Festival. Some of the films were quite erotic, it is amateur porn after all. Some were a complete turn off, such as the guy fisting himself and all the lesbian porn. I kept looking at my watch during the lesbian porn hoping it would be over soon, which did not go missed by one of my coworkers. After Hump!, we went to the Guerilla Bar Takeover at Drink Bar. We had one drink there but it was so crowded we had to leave. We met a friend of ours at the more quiet Whiskey Bar. After that, we called it a night.

Saturday, I did not have anyone to go with me to Pride Ball, so I went alone. I had so much fun. The drag shows were phenomenal. The first one lasted about an hour and a half. The beautiful Miss Czechoslovakia was there. She always has a great performance. Butterball performed and was fabulous. She was my favorite performer of the night. I love old school campy drag queens over the often more vulgar and just pretty looking drag queens you often see today. Butterball was campy goodness, and the butterfly dress was beautiful. They had two burlesque performers. I’m not a fan of burlesque, but it’s popular in Vermont. Usually it’s women dancers who really should not be stripping naked. Mike Oxready performed in the first set to a song that rapped mirrored his T-shirt that said “Fuck Trump.” Mike was the only drag king to perform in the first set. There were a few other drag performances. Two that stood out were Farrah Nuff and Shani. After the first set, a DJ was brought out and I left shortly after that. It was getting late and I still had to drive home.

Sunday was the big day. It was the day of the parade. A huge crowd turned out for it. The streets were lined several people deep. There was no rhyme or reason to the order of the people who marched. Probably the largest contingent of people were from St. Michael’s College, a small Catholic college of less than 2000 students, who probably had more than a hundred students there including the hockey team. My favorite queens, Nikki Champagne and Emoji Nightmare we’re in the parade. (See the first picture.) They had hosted the Ball the night before. The LeMay Sisters were at the restaurant across from me but did not march this year. There were some strange participants such as the Star Wars group and the Hearthlight group who were dressed as medieval women. The Burly Bears were there along with many other groups. Ben and Jerry’s always has a group in the Parade as does Bernie Sanders, whose people seemed to be handing out chunks of carrots. It’s definitely a unique parade.

After the Parade, there was a Pride Festival but I couldn’t find parking anywhere nearby, so I decided to run some errands in Burlington and wait for the Burly Bears party to begin. When the time came, I went to the Burly Bears party at Red Square. The staff at Red Square, from security to the bartenders, were all shirtless. They were fun to admire. They also had some go-go boys dancing in little gold shorts that left little to the imagination. They had marched earlier with the House of Madam which you saw a picture of Monday. I mingled a little bit. I talked to Emoji for a while and saw the LeMay Sisters. I stayed for about two hours then headed home.

It was a fun but exhausting weekend.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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