Jul 6, 2012

Pride in the Twin Cities!

Well, I'm back from my first ever pride! As always, I'm very sad that the trip is over, but what a trip it was! Once again, I had a few amazing first time experiences and enjoyed some really great quality time with my amazing friends up there.

We kicked off the weekend early with a Thursday flight into Minneapolis. We enjoyed a nice dinner before heading out for a great night at The Saloon. At one point, I received a text message from my good friend Tynan, telling me to come to the back section of the bar. When I got there, I was immediately distracted by a greeting from my new friend Bicycler. After getting a quick drink, I headed over in Tynan’s direction. We said hi before I was introduced to Dan Savage himself! We enjoyed the rest of our evening out before heading home.

The next morning, we all slept in a little. To kill some time before everyone else around the city managed to drag themselves out of bed, we ran around town to a few shops. When we got tired of that, we returned to the home of our gracious host Mplsguy and helped enhance his bondage lattice. After a bit of measuring, cutting, and construction, the structure was in top shape for a suspension! Little did I know that I would be the first guinea pig to test that concept. After dinner, we were visited by Bicycler for a little play. An hour later, I found myself in the most intricate rope work I've ever had the pleasure of being wrapped in. Moments after that, I found that rope work supporting my full body weight, as I hung from the rafters of the lattice we had worked on earlier that day. I have been meaning to meet up with Bicycler for a while now, and he did an absolutely amazing job!

We enjoyed our first true pride related activities on Saturday morning with a walk around the park. I met a few new people and made a couple new friends. It was really great to see the number of local and large businesses with tents and booths at the park showing their support for the community. After a trip around the park, everyone gathered at B1point5’s place for a good time. We all spent time in the basement just enjoying each others company. Eventually, the action began when I was selected to be tied to the same chair I was tied to after IML. By the time I was untied, the rest of the group that had been invited over had arrived and were either watching me, taking part in their own play, or socializing. Shortly after that, a fantastic meal was ready, and we all enjoyed it out back in the yard and on the patio. After dinner we all ended up back at The Saloon, which had extended its reach into the city streets to accommodate the additional guests for the weekend. Rather than staying late, we returned home and enjoyed drinks and discussion on the balcony. I had an early morning the next day.

I had been invited to join my friend Tynan and others in what would be a great experience. I planned on arriving downtown just after 10 am on Sunday, wearing my new rubber shirt, to help carry the leather pride flag during the parade! This was an extremely moving experience! Of course, at the same time, I was very nervous. The first time I wore rubber, I was surrounded by a couple hundred people and I was not part of the focus of attention. The second time I wore rubber, I was surrounded by a couple thousand people and again was not part of the focus of attention. This time, however, I was marching down the street in the middle of the day, surrounded by at least tens of thousands of people, all watching us. As we left the staging area and began to march towards the parade route, my nervousness grew. What I experienced after crossing that threshold shocked me and moved me. Support! As our flag approached the crowds of people, an impressive roar of applause and cheers greeted us. This was without a doubt the most thrilling and exciting part of my entire weekend. I almost felt famous! People were waving, yelling, cheering, clapping, and even reaching out into the street for high-fives! It seemed like every tenth person was snapping pictures with either their phones or cameras. While the attention was incredible, it wasn't what really shook me. I was most moved by the overwhelming turn out. The crowd did not just consist of the local GLBT community. Almost A third of the crowd appeared to be your average joe, including groups of friends and even families with their children, all out to help support our cause, and all excited to see a group of about 30 leather and rubber clad men and women show their pride and their passion to the world. During the entire march, people showed their support by tossing money into the flag as we walked by. After finishing the parade, we gathered around the flag for a group shot for Lavender Magazine, then helped fold the flag. Despite the heat, made worse by the rubber, I was met by a couple of friends and we walked up the sidewalk while watching some of the remaining parade. We eventually headed back home for a much needed shower.

We decided to lounge about for a while and order a pizza for lunch. Tynan stayed behind at the park to help spread the word of his new project, which you will hear about from me soon. When he finished, he came over, still in his rubber (poor guy), he took a shower and we had a little fun. He tied my hands behind my back and wrapped my head with a long roll of rubber about six inches wide then sat me down against the bondage lattice. Clothes pins were added and more of the strict breath control that I love from him ensued. After we finished, he headed out for a meeting while we planned our dinner. After a nice dinner in, we decided that we wanted to go out again for a short while. We decided on attending the block party at The Saloon, but arrived to find the cover a little high for the small amount of time we planned to be there. Instead, we headed over to the Minneapolis Eagle and enjoyed a more leisurely night out. We made our way home and again enjoyed drinks on the patio with light discussion.

After this experience, I ask that you all go out and support your local pride events as well as the community as a whole. Thanks to everyone, particularly Tynan and Mplsguy for making this weekend possible for me and oh so special!

I'll post some pictures as soon as I get my hands on them!

Happy Pride, everyone!

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