The Austin Chronicle

Queer & Now

A roundup of Texas pride events

By Verushka Gray, May 31, 2002, Features

Just when you think you and the six other visor-wearing lesbitrons at the Forum are the only dykes left in town, along comes June 2 -- and all of a sudden every mullet, fierce femme top, tranny baby butch, pitcher, catcher, and their mama comes out. That's why chicanery like Gay Pride Month is so flawless: Everyone comes out, and I mean everyone. Here's the thing, though: There are a lot of hot spots and only one me. And what's a celebration if you don't get everything that can be got? So what's a girl to do but enlist the help of the general populace?

(All right, so you're not gay. I wasn't gay, either, until I saw Carrie Otis in Wild Orchid. I also took Portuguese as my foreign language because of that movie. But that's neither here nor there, we're talking about the Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name. We're talking about "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!" We're talking about shaking your groove thing. The point is to celebrate, rock out, rave unto the joy fantastic. Do you!)

And in the spirit of doing you, this is what I'm going to do for you, because it feels good to give: I'm going to give you a list of all the fabú stuff you need to check out this coming week and why. And then, hopefully I'll see you out and about.

Divas to the dance floor, please ...

Like any Texas host worth a damn, the Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas has covered all the bases. The phone calls have been made, the music is set to go, and the libations are chilled. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the masses to show up and make a glorious ruination of it all. The big crowd-pleaser is the The Gay Pride Festival. Heather Gold, comedienne extraordinaire from Cali, will be emceeing along with Randy "Biscuit-- Turner formerly of Big Boys and Swing King. Patrice Pike, Adult Rodeo, Sexy Finger Champs, and Sara Hickman will be providing the afternoon's soundtrack. In addition to live music, there will also be face painting & treasure hunts for the little bambinos, community booths, and a special pet area so pink poodle bottoms can flirt with big butch chihuahuas. (You laugh, but have you ever read that vignette in Leather Daddy and the Femme? Yowsa.) Sunday, June 2, noon-8pm. Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Bergman.

Before the Pride festival and pink poodles, though, there will be a night of 1,000 women on June 1. Well, that is to say, a Women's Dance, Saturday at Fiesta Gardens. Perhaps we shouldn't put a specific number on the turnout, but there will be a lot of women, free stuff like Luna Bars (...Girl-Powerbars?), a photography studio where you and your new honey can get it on paper, DJ Lynn puttin' down the licks, and a variety of food, drinks, and eye candy. All that for 10 bucks.

LGRL will also be hosting its annual Texas Sunrise Pride Brunch. Here we'll have the chance to sip on Tito's Handmade Vodka libations, meet and greet with leading gubanatorial and statewide candidates, Texas elected officials, LGRL's board of directors, and the new executive director. Sunday, June 2, 11am-1pm. Fiesta Gardens Hacienda, 2101 Bergman. $25. 474-5475.

There is nothing like sitting on a float in a tiara waving your best Miss America wave to the masses. It's even better when the crowd is right there with you in their own tiaras. Bring your tiara and your delicately cupped waving right hand and celebrate diversity at the Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Pride Parade, along with the hotty toddies from Oil Can Harry's, Dick's, The Forum, and all those other boy bars. And in an excellent show of civil support Mayor Gus Garcia and Travis County Sherriff Margo Frasier will be the Grand Marshalls. The parade starts on Congress at the bridge, and heads down Fourth street to Republic Square Park, so get in where you fit in! Saturday, June 1, 8pm. Congress Avenue Bridge.

Of course, if this kind of scene isn't your bag, there are plenty of other things to occupy your time:

DYKE MARCH "Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile!" That's us they're talkin' about -- and that's the way it ought to be, damn it. If you feel that way, too, but feel like rainbows and yellow equal signs are too easily commodified, come take that mile with the rest of these freakcity lesbitrons. Remember: You yourself don't have to be gay, you just have to be able to scream inane and fun things like "Look at my belly!" While the official Gay Pride Parade takes place on Saturday, think of the Dyke March as the Gay Pride Parade's commie pinko younger sister who a long time ago decided to live free or die. The only throes this march wants to be in are the throes of passion, not mediocrity. If you can feel that, come march with the other Dykes down at the Capitol in Austin's first ever Dyke March. Everything and anyone is welcome -- just keep it clean and legal. Thursday, May 30, 9pm. State Capitol Building. 784-1638.

DYKE MARCH AFTERPARTY And after the Capitol lobby, it's the afterparty! Come down to the Empanada Parlour amped and ready to rock with Monique Jamail and DJ Organic who will be doin' it to you in your eardrums. DJ O' spins sweet down-tempo loveliness, while Mo-Jam creates her own amalgamation of acoustic drum-machine folk goth. There will also be a kissing booth (sorry ladies, I don't play for pay), a date auction for Saturday's Women's Dance, and a pocket pool toy raffle. May 30. 10pm. Empanada Parlour. 709 E. Sixth. 480-8902.

GAY PRIDE SPIRITUAL EVENT Reconciliation between faith and sexuality is something everybody has to think about in the wee small hours. (Mostly, I just pray that the sexy Monkeywrench hottie is single to mingle. But if your thoughts aren't that full of mirth, there are people offering heartfelt solace.) In its second year running, the Gay Pride Worship Service will take place on Saturday. Last year, nine groups participated; this year, there are 18. Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, and Unitarian faiths will be represented. The Capital City Men's Chorus, Cantor Marie Betcher, Seekers in Christ Jesus Kingdom Praise Band, and voices of the Multi-Congregational Pride Choir will keep everyone awake. Saturday, June 1, 6pm. University Baptist Church, 2130 Guadalupe. 478-8559.

KINGS N' THINGS Austin's first and finest drag king troupe is putting on another show at the Victory Grill. If I can't be Emanuelle in Bangkok, I wanna be a Drag King! The outfits ... the gauzy lighting ... the smut: It's perfect. Local bands like 1/5 Griffith and Handful will be playing, there will be go-go dancers and lap dances -- from yours truly. (Yes -- I, the Black Russian from Texas, will be doing drag king lapdances! And if I'm not your type, there'll be a frisky flock of others.) So, really, you must come check it out, becuz we're supafly and supacheap, so come be a part of the melee. Thursday, June 6, 9pm. Victory Grill, 1104 E. 11th. $5. 472-8669.


SUMMER FRUIT FESTIVAL KOOP Radio is hosting the Summer Fruit Festival, June 23-30. This festival isn't for the star apples or mangoes, it's for the fruits, it's for everyone who either should have been at Stonewall, was at Stonewall, or wish they could have been at Stonewall. And speaking of wishing and hoping, the event coordinators are looking for speakers, performers, and filmmakers. Call or send e-mail inquiries to Lonny Stern. 512/472-1369.

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