Monday, June 27, 2016

OKC Pride 2016

So Pride 2016 has come and gone. This year's celebration has been a bit somber with the Orlando Pulse shooting. However, the gay community will heal and push onward.

OKC's Pride is truly something. We are inundated with tourists and surprisingly, there are usually more straight people in attendance than gay people. Below are some pictures and videos of myself, friends and of the activities.

OKC's gay bars are unique. Many people would be surprised to learn that we have multiple gay bars when certain larger cities only have a few. Most of our gay bars are located in what is called "The Strip". It's also referred to as "gay town" or "The Gayborhood". We have the largest gay resort in the Southwest, called The Habana Inn, complete with multiple pools, bars and a restaurant (Gushers). Located within walking distance are 8 gay bars/clubs. Three are located in the Habana Inn itself. We have The Finish Line, a gay country bar/club, The Copa, a gay bar/dance club, Tramps, a gay bar, The Boom, a gay bar and drag entertainment, Phoenix Rising, a lesbian bar, The Wreck Room, a dance club for the younger crowd (currently closed), Apothecary 39, a gay hipster bar, and Angles, OKC's oldest gay bar/dance club (currently open only for special occasions). Additionally, there are two other lesbian bars, Partners and Alibis, that are a bit further away. Every Pride people come from multiple states away just to attend the festivities. This year my friends and I met two men from England who came down as well. As a whole Pride celebrations last the entire month of June but with most focus on the week of Pride and the Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the end of Pride week. The weekend of Pride kicks off with an annual block party. Saturday is for a gay arts festival and concert at night. The celebrations conclude with the annual Pride parade on Sunday. All three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the bars are packed, normally with long lines to gain entrance.

The parade is perhaps the most attended activity during Pride. During the parade beads, condoms and candy are thrown. This year our parade was cut short by a torrential downpour of rain. The parade continued but most attendees made a mad dash for cover, their cars, or to the nearest gay bar until the storm passed. I was completely drenched!

If you are in the OKC area in June around the Summer Solstice then do mark it on your calendar and make plans to attend. You won't be disappointed!

Crystal

I look like I'm a little boy sitting on my bestie's lap!

Being goofy with Crystal

Drunk me

Michelle and I walking toward the parade

Ducked into Angles to get out of the rain.

Eddie

 Some blue haired chick

Boutique where you can buy the standard homosexual uniforms.


T.J. with his wizard's staff

Chris

The concert 

Drag queen

Out & proud military men



Apologies in advance as the videos are not that good because of the storm. It began storming about 10 minutes into the parade. Sad, but what can you do?

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This is Angles, OKC's oldest gay bar. My best friend and I ducked in there to seek cover from the storm.

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