My favorite sign at last Friday's "QueerBomb," the alternative pride march in Austin, Texas, was, "STONEWALL WAS A RIOT, NOT A TRADE SHOW."
Queerty gets many of the facts right, but they are wrong to say that QueerBomb made people choose between the 2 pride marches. In fact, the QueerBomb folks (a handful of organizers and instigators, but no leaders, no hierarchy) were careful not to schedule the rally and parade directly opposite the corporate Pride events. Austinites, if they were so inclined, could party with the freaks on Friday night and then put on a tie and march down Congress Street on Saturday. Queer on Friday, respectably Gay on Saturday morning. Frankly, I wish they had made people choose, but I appreciate their impulse to be truly inclusive.
I hope and pray that this Austin schism is just the beginning, that what we did here in Texas last Friday will inspire folks everywhere to take back Pride. Looking around me at the crowd as we marched together Friday night, I realized that it was the first time I had participated in a gay pride event when I wasn't thinking "These are my people??" I was thinking, "These are my people!!"
Below the fold is Silky Shoemaker's speech at the QueerBomb rally before we marched across 6th St. on a sweltering night in June, to commemorate and celebrate the sweltering night in June 1969 which started it all. It's time for a new beginning. Stonewall was a riot, not a trade show.