On June 6, 2009, a few hundred of us gathered under the South First Street Bridge in pink evening light. The parade had a roster requiring every available space around and under the bridge that year. As I climbed into the back of our truck and began to look around at the parade entries surrounding us, it was just all love. The air didn't feel so much about sexual preference as it did about individuality that night. It was an unusually comfortable scene. Wearing a vintage white lace number procured by Mme. Kate Messer, I was just getting settled among the beanie babies and arranging some Twinkie packs, when WHOOP, lights flashing, here came an Austin Fire Department truck. The polished chrome went unnoticed, because to our delight, the truck was loaded with lady firefighters who were smoking, and not because they had just come from a fire. Some of them disembarked and began roller-skating around the truck, wearing wide suspenders! As both (then-"Gay Place" co-columnist) Kate Getty and (spawn-of-Brenner and Chronicle intern) Angelica Brenner were required to hold me back from evacuating our own vehicle to go sign up for the Academy, a spotless black Austin Police Hummer pulled up alongside us. The two obviously high-ranking women inside looked at home in the Hummer, probably because it was their own. They had their own APD Hummer. And they carried the kind of heat that doesn't come from just putting on a uniform. (They were not armed.) The other women in our truck didn't seem that surprised; Cindy Widner's crazy friend gave us all a lipstick face-painting, and we took off. My lace was itching that night. We saw clumps of people on the street and a few crowds, but as we pulled around the corner to the end on Fourth Street, screaming-mimi madness awaited. For maybe 15 minutes, we were a postage-stamp nation on a city block. Waving and yelling with that crowd was possibly the most exciting thing I've done in Austin yet.– Anne Harris
2012 Austin Pride Parade, Sat., Sept. 22, 8pm. Gathering at the Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress, then rolling south down Congress, turning right at Fourth, through the Warehouse District, with performances along the way. 468-8113. Free. www.austinpride.org/#!events.
FAB FRIDAYS It's totally fabulous when $2 gets you your wells and domestics. Oh, Oilcan's, we love when you keep it real (real cheap). Fridays, 2-9pm. Oilcan Harry's, 211 W. Fourth, 320-8823. www.oilcanharrys.com.
GIRLZ WITH GUNZ PART 2 Lez try this again. It's another GirlFriend Presents: This time (wo)mano a (wo)mano, and you can register to compete, all to benefit SafePlace! Fri., Sept. 14, 10pm. Cheer Up Charlie's, 1104 E. Sixth, 431-2133. Free, $5 to wrestle. www.girlfriendatx.com.
REEL TO REEL FILM FESTIVAL Artiste extraordinaire Jeanne Stern invites you to view Scarlet Road, Face of Our Fear, and Zut-Alors. And to that, we say: "Whooot Alors!" Sat., Sept. 15, 7-9pm. Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd., 974-4000. Free, donations accepted. www.vsatx.org/festivals.html.
JUST OUTSIDE REDEMPTION Nowadays, we know it as Equality Texas, but back in those crazy Nineties it was known as the Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, the group largely responsible for the passage of the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. Check out this play by Dennis Bailey, a live dramatization of the struggle to get this thing on the books. Sat., Sept. 15, 8pm. City Theatre, 3823-D Airport, 524-2870.
COUNTDOWN TO AGLIFF25 Par-tay with Rebecca Havemeyer (but keep her away from your coconuts), DJ JJ Booya, and a raffle of baffling proportions, all while learning aGLIFF's hot lineup for this year's film fest. Sat., Sept. 15, 7:30pm. Cheer Up Charlie's, 1104 E. Sixth, 431-2133. Free. www.agliff.org.
BALKAN VS. BOLLYWOOD Whoa! Heavy horny hitters Minor Mishap Marching Band and salivation instigators Sky Candy match up for this B vs. B throwdown showdown. Sat., Sept. 15, 9pm. Beauty Ballroom, 2015 Riverside, 391-1943. $10 advance, $12 at the door. www.minormishap.com.
PSYCHIC MANIA "Channeling the body and soul of empty buildings in Detroit, Berlin, Chicago, New York, Kalamazoo, Minneapolis" and hopefully a full one here. Sat., Sept. 15, 10pm. Loft 718, 718 Congress. Free.
SATURDAY NIGHT PARTAY With Power Squid, Analog vs Digital, Sweet Tea & the Headband, and Bumping Uglies. Sat., Sept. 15, 10pm. Bernadette's, 2039 Airport.
AGLCC SUNDAY TOASTMASTERS Did you know that you can attend a Toastmasters event as a spectator? You don't even have to speak. But we bet they'll make you want to. Sun., Sept. 16, 5:30-7:30pm. 3Seventy, 707 Rio Grande Ste. 100-A. www.aglcc.org.
DINING WITH PRIDE If you chow down at Cantina Laredo, Salty Sow, or Jo's, a portion of the proceeds go to AGLPF. Mon., Sept. 17, 6-10pm. Cantina Laredo, 201 W. Third, 542-9670. www.austinpride.org.
CAP CITY QS: HOT AUGUST WHITES Monthly meet & greet for LGBTsocialQs! Network or werk it. This month, pianist Aaron Flores tinkles on the ivories (the white ones and the black ones). Third Mondays. 7-9pm. Renaissance Hotel, 9721 Arboretum Blvd., 343-2626. Free. www.capitalcityqsocials.com.
LEZRIDE! They'll be screechin' up on two wheels (each!) and you won't have any other option but sheer submission. It's a weekly social bike ride for queer women (and on second Tuesdays, all Qs welcome!). Tuesdays, 7pm. Q Austin, 3408 West Ave., 420-8557. Free. firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE AGENDA IS COMING The AGLCC in collaboration with The Austin Chronicle (yours truly, plus some characters from the Gay Place blog) present a new gay publication, just in time for Pride! Wed., Sept. 19. All over town. www.aglcc.org/announcing-the-agenda.
STANLEY ROY'S SHOW & TELL No, baby, it's not a fannnnnntasy, it's real, live performance arts and antics with a li'l open mic thrown in for good measure. Wed., Sept. 19, 8pm. Cheer Up Charlie's, 1104 E. Sixth, 431-2133.
OFFICIAL ADAM ANT AFTERPARTY Join Return to Planet 9 and DJ Roger Wilson. Wed., Sept. 19, 10pm-2am. Beauty Ballroom, 2015 Riverside, 391-1943. $5 or free with wristband/ticket stub from the Adam Ant show at Emo's East or from the Blondie/Devo show the night before at Stubb's.
STARTOUT COMES TO TOWN The StartOut event "The Entrepreneurial Journey from Founding to Exit and Beyond" in conjunction with the AGLCC is an exciting possible new chapter for entrepreneurs. Thu., Sept. 20. Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, 701 E. 11th, 478-1111, 404-6942. www.startout.org, www.aglcc.org.
BEDPOST CONFESSIONS SECOND ANNIVERSARY This month: Bret Beene, Irwin Tang, cellist Jen Mulhern, Andy Campbell, Sophia Agapedis, the hilarious F*Bomb, and Sara and Karen with their twisted Star Trek slashy situations. Plus giveaways from Package Menswear (we smell target marketing). Thu., Sept. 20, 8-10:30pm. ND at 501 Studios, 501 N. I-35, 485-3001. $10.
WAY GAY SING-ALONG In celebration of Pride Week, the Alamo gays it up even more than usual with Madonna, Britney, Wham!, Scissor Sisters, Queen, Mika, and mo'. Thu., Sept. 20, 10:15pm. Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz, 320 E. Sixth, 476-1320. $12. www.drafthouse.com/movies/sing-alongs_way_gay/austin.
DYKES ON BIKES RIDER SEARCH Dykes on trikes! Dykes on bikes! Dykes we like! Email Toby to get your motor runnin' in this year's Pride Parade. Sat., Sept. 22. email@example.com, www.dykesonbikes.org.
PRIDE FLASH MOB Dancers and uninhibited non-dancers needed now to spice up Pride, flash mob-style. Sat., Sept. 22. Check Facebook for details. Rain on 4th, 217 W. Fourth, 494-1150.
12 WAYS TO END THE WORLD Allyson Garro curates the end of the world as we know it. Those familiar with her previous brilliance in 12 Dangerous Women, Cherchez la Femme, and Beautiful Monsters will know not to miss this wig/fashion/performance spectacular. Chris Lane returns as your ridiculous host. Tue., Sept. 25, 8pm. ND at 501 Studios, 501 N. I-35, 485-3001. $10, advance at Coco Coquette. $15, day of show. www.coco-coquette.com.
AIDS WALK AUSTIN Our march for love hits a 25-year stride this year. Sign up to walk now and start your fundraising early. Sun., Oct. 21, Opening Ceremonies, 1:30pm; Step-off, 2pm. Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second, 406-6157. Free. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.asaustin.org.
AUSTIN PRIDE 2012 IS COMING! ... and it smells like Peaches ... and Lady Bunny ... and Stacey Q ... and La Bouche ... and Shannon ... and Nicky da B ... and Chad Michaels. Watch this space! Watch our blog. Sat., Sept. 22, noon. Festival: Fiesta Gardens, 2100 Jesse E. Segovia, 480-8318. Parade: 8pm. Gathering at the Texas State Capitol, then rolling down Congress to the Warehouse District. www.facebook.com/Austin.PRIDE.Official.
CAPITAL CITY MEN'S CHORUS GALA The CCMC boys say, "Let us 'Peel You a Grape'" at this fall fundraiser and season 24 kickoff. Enjoy food, wine, elegance, a silent auction, and of course, some tender tenors and booming baritones as you dine. Sat., Sept. 29, 6:45pm. Trinity United Methodist Church, 4001 Speedway, 477-7464. $45. www.ccmcaustin.org.
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