Buffalo Pride!

TGA PRIDE TOUR 2014 STARTS AT BUFFALO!

TGA Pride Tour 2014 kicked off this past Sunday with our first Pride march of the season in sunny, sunny Buffalo!

We made it to Buffalo with the float intact though we almost lost the re-engineered church pew now known as the “Bench of Broken Dreams”, when we hit a bumpy patch on the thruway somewhere between Rochester and Batavia.  The bench, before painting, looked a little like this:

Old PewWe had dreams of giving the pew new life as a joyous piece of “float furniture” we hoped would look something like this:

cool looking pew

Or like

another cool pewBut what we ended up with was this:

our Pew

A bench with a bad case of “psychedelic measles”

Apart from the pew problem, we made it to Buffalo safe and sound and after some not so hilarious GPS directed errors, we eventually found the staging area at the museum on Elmwood Avenue about 30 minutes behind schedule. Waiting for us at the staging area was a very relieved squadron of trans-folk from Spectrum led by Michelle Wolf. They brought a ton of decorations and banners and whatnot and were beginning to wonder if they were going to have anything to decorate.

A lot of our prep time was spent following directions from officials trying to sort out who was supposed to be where. Not every driver there was as professionally competent at backing up a truck with an attached trailer as was our fearless truckers, Brooke B. and the irrepressible TJ.

The Float is ready to go!

The Float is ready to go!

With all the help we had from the Spectrum pit crew and some Rochester folks along with our contingent from the ‘Cuse, we were able to finish the float prep with time to spare. There were only two snags. The majority of the Rochester crew from GVGV and T*AGR were reported missing in action, lost somewhere between Rochester and Elmwood Avenue.

Leslie on the float

Leslie in Action!

Leslie Larrabee, my good friend and grandmother to the entire trans community in Syracuse, attended her first pride parade. With cane in hand and her pacemaker fully charged, she made the trip with us all the way to Buffalo, endured a long day in the sun waving to her legions of fans along the parade route and then braved the Buffalo Metro system to get to the canal side party where she survived the throngs and rampaging fabulousness. It was a bit touch and go when her fans rushed the float and nearly high-fived her to death.

Pam, Anita, Rob and Dylan behind the float

L-R: Pam, Anita, Rob, Dylan and Brooke

Our “Roadies” making sure nothing and nobody  fell off the float (L-R Pam, Anita, Rob, Dylan and Brooke).

It was a beautiful day for a parade and I can’t think of a better group of people to enjoy it with than our friends in Rochester and Buffalo. When we work together, there is NOTHING we can’t do, except perhaps to remember the bubble juice….

For those of you who missed it, don’t worry, there are pride marches in Rochester, Erie and Syracuse (and maybe Oswego) in addition to the Peurto Rican Parade and a Rally in Nassau County being staged by our friends in the Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition. It’s not too late to go to a pride march, festival, parade or rally and hang out with your TG friends and allies from one end of I-90 to the other.