7/7/07, Pride Party: On July 7th, hundreds of people in Burlington celebrated 25 years of PRIDE in Vermont.
After a rainy day parade, revelers squeezed into tight corsets, applied pasties and false eyelashes, adorned themselves in bold stripes, domineering top hats, riding crops and a plethora of sequins for Cirque du so Gay at Higher Ground.
I asked party goers what "pride" means to them. Like their costumes, their answers were wildly different. Common themes were community, celebration, a chance to look back at history, self-acceptance and freedom to be who you please and love whom you like. The night was all about love, fearlessness, self-expression and boundary busting.
The evening included peacock-like go go dancers, local and regional performers including Karen Grenier, Nebulai, Antara & The Chris', Poof!, Rue Melvana, The 4th Annual Vermont Drag Idol & DJ Precious.
Shawn Lipenski, the Ringmaster, towered above the rest of us mere mortals in 5 inch boots and a formidable top hat. Allison Davis, the sultry Ringmistress, helped keep the rowdy crowds at bay with her lightening quick riding crop.
There were many lovely drag queens in attendance and I felt like a midget beside these towering Super Models: Chastity Pariah, Miss Kayla, Victoria Demeanor, Celeste LeRue, Margaurite LeMay, Lucy Belle LeMay, Liza Little, Amber LeMay, and Precious.
The Poof! Drag Cabaret performers were kind enough to let me into their sanctuary/dressing room as they were changing out of their show costumes and into their party ensembles. Celeste showed me her "cutlets" and Kayla modeled her purple creation, the Kylie Minogue dress.
Many attendees mourned the loss of Pearls and its negative effect on the gay community. There are currently no gay bars in the state of Vermont. The future of the local bi/gay scene remains to be seen.
After a unifying, celebratory night like Cirque du so Gay, it is hard to go back to the "real" world - there are not enough sequins, feathers or diamonds...
For more Pride photos, check out The House of LeMay blog. Those classy dames sure can party!
Location: Higher Ground, South Burlington Vermont
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