By Peach Cobblah
VANCOUVER — I didn’t really want to write about Pride. Not that I don’t love watching my communities celebrate, but year after year it seemed to have become bigger but not necessarily better. In the wake of the tragic and incomprehensible events in Orlando, I feel like we need a place to all be together, to be our best and loudest selves, and I have no doubt that pride can deliver.
Remember when Pride was an afternoon? And then slowly it became a day, then a weekend, then a long weekend, then a week, now we’re looking at a month (or even two if you count Trudeau’s National Pride month as compared to when our pride falls!). You heard it here first: 2018 will be announced as “The Year of the Homosexual.” Trust me.
The parade is a magical explosion of unicorns and glitter raining down like Costco packs of Skittles on hoards of shirtless beauties of all ages, shapes, sizes and colours. It will always be the pinnacle of the gay Christmas season. But here is my excruciatingly biased list of where else I’ll be and where hopefully we can cheers, hug a stranger and make a new friend (with tongue and consent).
Our Pride weekdays are full of endless drag opportunities, including my weekly show, Shame Spiral (Tuesday, July 26), which will be a special edition of homo love as my wife Isolde N. Barron and I celebrate our actual eleven-year anniversary onstage.
Friday, July 29 you don’t want to miss local music queeroes Queer as Funk, an incredible queer funk/Motown/soul band who have been selling out their shows across the city, province, and even recently headlined Yukon Pride. This show is going to be next level for them as they pack out the Commodore Ballroom. I double dog dare you not to dance. Just try it. Their music gets in your bones and throws your nerves to the wind and it’s way cheaper than your usual substances. Besides, after the show you can continue sweating your taint off at the Davie Street Block Party. So many local queens will be on the stage near Bute where we can all take in the glory of a finished Jim Deva Plaza, our community’s new outdoor social hub where we can gather to remember and love – how appropriate.
Pride Saturday (July 30) has become a tradition in my queer family: we imbibe in pools. Whether at Heatwave, Tommy D’s rooftop party at the Westin downtown, or The Cobalt’s back parking lot love-in, there’s something beautifully intimate about wearing very little, letting your curves of all kinds hang out and not giving any, well, fudges. And once you powernap the early evening away join us for the biggest Cobalt lineup of queens we’ve ever had as we launch our new event celebrating queer icon John Waters. Limp Wrist: Night of A Thousand Divines with DJ Jef Leppard includes a lineup of queens to die for, including Isolde N. Barron, Shanda Leer, Jaylene Tyme and recent winner of Mistermiss Cobalt 2016, Grimm!
Pride Sunday (July 31) is always the (gay) lord’s day and is best spent in church, or as I like to call it, 1181. Bar Owner Jenn Mickey is also known as the Patron Saint of the West End, a title we gave her for all the tremendous revitalizing efforts she’s put in through both 1181 and sister bar XY, the most beautiful space I’ve ever seen. It wouldn’t be a pride Sunday if I didn’t go worship at her altar of cocktails with the best bar staff I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. And then it will be time to head back to The Cobalt for the Pride edition of my queer hip-hop party, Hustla. When we retired Hustla last year, a part of me disappeared. I was still doing a hell of a lot of drag, and yet it couldn’t quite compete with the magic of a room full of people dancing to music they adore, but isn’t accessible to them in a lot of other spaces (queers and hip-hop parties aren’t always the best mix I’m told). Hustla is back and it feels like a chosen family reunion — smiles, hugs, shots and a delicate mixture of pride and privilege. We are lucky to have built these spaces and we cannot take them for granted. So let’s celebrate, be vigilant and unapologetic.BC, British Columbia, LGBT, Peach Cobblah, Pride 2016, Vancouver Pride