It’s Pride Week here in St. John’s! The most magical time of the year! So far I’ve celebrated by eating a ridiculous amount of pizza and playing video games, which is not so much a celebration of all things LGBTQ as it is a celebration of laziness and underemployment (although I totally did build a rainbow bridge in Minecraft, so I’m pretty sure it counts, even if it was more a tribute to Heimdall than to gay pride). Every year I swear I’m going to go to everything going on during the week, and every year, without fail, I only get to one event.
My first Pride was the one that set the precedent. It also set a really low bar for future Prides, for the record. I was a teenager, complete with frantic hormones and very little common sense; I’d also recently discovered Queer as Folk, so I was heading into July expecting Babylon-style dance parties full of sexy, illicit shenanigans. What I ended up with was an all-ages dance attended by myself, a few of my friends, and the DJ. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I love to dance, so it could’ve been a good night regardless, but there are a few things you need to know about this dance:
1) The DJ was especially taken with an eight-minute, stretched-out remix of Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me to Life,’ and he played it three times in the couple of hours we were there. For the mathematically disinclined, that’s twenty-four (TWENTY-FOUR!) minutes of Amy Lee’s slowed-down voice mournfully begging us to call her name and save her from the dark, which is every bit as uplifting and invigorating as you’d imagine. Do you know what happens when you slow down Evanescence and set it to a pounding beat? What happens is you get a dance dirge — now that I think about it, a dance dirge sounds kind of awesome. Spoiler alert: this one wasn’t. It really, really wasn’t.
2) In order to get a drink, we had to go to the door, give the staff our money, and wait for them to go into the bar next door and get it for us, since we were all underage. We headed back to the dance floor with our glasses of Pepsi, and as soon as my friend took a sip, she grimaced. ‘I think my drink is spiked,’ she said, which was of special concern because she was the one driving. And also because, y’know, STRANGER DANGER, CONSTANT VIGILANCE, all that jazz.
The rest of us tried her drink, then ours (apparently our adolescent selves were phenomenally bad at CONSTANT VIGILANCE). Hers and mine were unmistakably flavoured with liquor, but another friend’s glass tasted faintly of beer. Which was weird, because who slips a teaspoon of beer into someone’s drink? Absolutely no one ever, I’m pretty sure, which is why we looked at our drinks more closely, noticed the grime around the tops, and realized we’d been given dirty glasses.
There’s a gap in my memory here, and I’m not sure if that was the moment we decided to leave. The next thing I remember, we’re walking out the door just as the DJ decides it’s the perfect time to break out that REALLY, REALLY GREAT Evanescence remix.
I’m pretty sure I can be forgiven for giving all the other Pride stuff a miss that time around, but I’ve still never managed to make it to more than one thing per year. A barbecue one year, a bonfire with awkward/awesome spin-the-bottle hijinks the next, and last year’s dance, which was in a bar that serves my favourite hard-to-find beer and was packed wall-to-wall, so it was definitely an improvement on that first Pride dance. Anyway, they were all fun times, so I have no idea why I’ve never made it out to more. This year, I decided, was going to be my year!
…and then I ended up with a hand-me-down PS3. Okay, I thought, sitting down with my budget. Two cab trips home from downtown = Skyrim, so obviously the club nights were off the table. Bus fare to and from the events during the week = Little Big Planet, so they also got crossed off my agenda. Let’s be real, Pride is awesome but it’s only one week, whereas Skyrim is forever. At the moment I’m still planning on making it to the parade if the weather is nice, partly because I’ve never been, partly to keep my record intact, and mostly because I’m going to be downtown anyway to pick up this week’s comics. (Captain Marvel, hell yeah!)
Anyhow, local types who prefer being social to killing dragons, I hope this year’s Pride treats you well! Let me know what I’m missing.