If ever there was a bucket list item for me, it would be to participate in a PRIDE parade. Well this dream came true this past Saturday, June 16th in the annual PRIDE parade in Merida, Mexico.
A client of a lawyer friend is the Blue nightclub, a gay disco close to his office. I had been invited in the past to ride their float in Progreso, a beach town close to Merida, so I asked my friend to ask if I could ride their float in Merida and they said yes.
Well nothing is easy in Mexico at times. The Pride event was from 5 – 8 pm starting at Mejorada Park and then wending its way about 12 city blocks through the commercial district to the central Grande Plaza. I was to meet my friend at 4pm. The day was overcast and it chose to rain sheets of water by the Blue just at 4 o’clock. My friend checked with the Blue management and yes, the parade was still going to happen.
We drove to Mejorada park and waited and the rain did abate although the drizzle was off and on. My friend had to leave for another appointment shortly after 5 and said he’d be back in 10 minutes but he never came back. So left alone (with just a bare minimum of Spanish), I watched as the various floats, buses and cars arrived and the queens gathered. I was a bit surprised at how poorly many were put together (no finger or toenail polish) although there were some gorgeous ones too. And my camera phone was giving me problems so many pictures were of poor quality and discarded
Around 5:30 I went looking for the Blue float which was parked just off the square, but alas no manager. I talked to a man in apparent charge and he said he knew nothing about me riding the float. I was able to get my friend on the phone and he spoke to the supervisor for several minutes, apparently without success and I was told sorry. Big disappointment so I walked away and went looking for a taxi. But my fairy Godmother intervened, and the supervisor came to me just a few minutes later and motioned for me to come with him and he allowed me on the club’s second float
I can only wonder what happened but there I was among 5 gorgeous draq queens, most with tiaras, in the front of the float, and a very energetic group of 8 gay entertainers in Egyptian style costumes on a raised section in the rear and I was sandwiched in between among normal workers of the nightclub, including a guy next to me setting off aerial firecrackers. I can only wonder what the onlookers thought of me. Obviously I was thought to be gay but what is a matronly looking DQ doing on the float among all those gorgeous women.
Now that said, I was wearing a long multi-color print maxi skirt and a top with some glitter. But it was my second choice. My plan was to wear a gold sequin knee-length a-line skirt and a glittery red top but the top had black marks on it which would require another washing, so alas, a wardrobe change. At least I was presentable because my wife gave me the twice-over before leaving the house…somewhat unusual for her to do.
Hopefully someone will post a video of the parade but this video from 2016 will give you the flavor of PRIDE in Merida. The photos are all from Mejorda Park. The streets were jammed with onlookers. My photo was taken many times and I got lots of waves and smiles. The Meridians love their queens, that’s for sure. What a place for a party
I did well standing in heels for over 5 hours. It was starting to rain again as we reached the Grande Plaza so I bid the event farewell and made my way home. Next year I’ll start at parade end in the plaza and mix with the girls there. However this was truly an unforgettable event.
You might also want to visit our article on the World of Drag in the Library.