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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Little More On Outfest

My experience at this year's Outfest was different from last year in some ways. For one, I didn't see Kendra Wilkinson or any other "reality" TV "stars," which also meant that I didn't make it to national television. That didn't bother me. What did bother me a little is that the protestors who always show up at these things, while still small in number, were louder.

At least three of them, on different streets, had portable PA systems and were going on almost non-stop harassing passersby with their hatemongering. I say "almost" because there was one brief moment when someone yanked the microphone cord out, silencing the bigot. The guy who did this was immediately pounced upon by the waiting police.

I realize that these religious freaks have their rights, since the festival was out on the public streets, and I know that police have to do their jobs to keep the peace. But this sight really sickened me. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion really sucks sometimes. (Programming note: I still need to write about those "Occupy ____" people soon.) I wish there were a way to discourage these people from showing up at all. I use this analogy often: they're dinosaurs, stuck in tar pits, and soon to be extinct. I just wish the process could speed up a little. And I still think the rest of us ought to show up at their events now and then and enjoy our same freedoms.

After a while I was ready to leave. I wasn't having a really good time. I didn't run into anyone I know, except my friend Kurt, but he was busy with the Phila. Gay Men's Chorus selling beer at one of their stands. These events, when I'm there by myself, aren't all that different than bars for me, and the more crowded it gets (as it always does when it gets later in the afternoon) the less comfortable I am. I wish I were more of a mingler, less shy, more outgoing, etc., but I'm not, and that's not going to change.

I did get to see the PA Historical Marker for Giovanni's Room unveiled outside the bookstore (see first photo above). Mayor Nutter spoke at that ceremony, and not long after, spoke on the main stage. And, as I previously posted, I enjoyed the performance by Chad D. (And I got to say hello to him as well, so that was a bonus. I mean, it's not like I could just walk up to Lady Gaga after a concert.)

Oh, and iCandy had eye candy.


Anonymous said...

its tough with the protesters every year, they dont understand how it feels to be protested against. One day they will, and maybe they'll change, i like your idea about peacefully protesting one of their events.
I am also a shy person when in large crowds, luckily my girlfriend was by my side the whole night, and she's very outgoing so it wasnt noticeable. I did notice thought the drop in numbers from last year!
The streets were basically empty by 2am. Last year i was out til 5am still partying in the streets and enjoying some homo hut.

Joe in Philly said...

I saw a headline in PGN that said there was a record crowd. For the time I was there it didn't seem more crowded than last year. Then again, I wasn't there into the evening.