The Gay Pride movement began in late 1969 in response to the Stonewall raid (on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in NY). A march was scheduled in New York City for June of 1970. Since then, the movement has grown and now Gay Pride events happen around the world, from Aathus (Denmark) to Zürich, throughout the summer months. In Bisbee, this was Gay Pride Weekend.
People come to Bisbee from around southern Arizona each year for this celebration. The hotels fill up, the restaurants and bars serve up plenty of food and drinks, there are booths in Grassy Park, and there are lots of special events.
Events began Friday. There was a golf tournament in the morning, booths opened in the park, and that night there was the now famous (infamous?) lingerie pub crawl. No photos of that, folks! There was also an outdoor dance.
And on Friday evening, there was one special unscheduled event. An early Monsoon Season show! There was an afternoon buildup of clouds that darkened and soon tossed a little rain on Bisbee. This was followed by a beautiful rainbow over town – the Gay Pride rainbow, perhaps? (photo by Sharon Lee of Bisbee, used by permission)
On Saturday there was a parade, Bisbee’s first Gay Pride parade – short, but fun. Gay bikers led the parade and were followed by a convertible carrying Grand Marshalls Mayor Adriana Badal and Councilman Gene Connors. Gene is the man who brought the civil union law to the City Council.
Gene Connors, Mayor Badal, and the others who voted for it may soon be facing a recall election, though it could be difficult here for the folks beginning the recall drive to get enough signatures to have any success.
Below you can see some of Bisbee’s Art Cars.. First is Bisbee Van by Kate Pearson, then the J Gurl by Diane Bombshelter, and third is Hillary Car by Gretchen Baer.
A small peace contingent joined in the parade.
They carried the gay pride peace flag and each in the group wore an “I am Bradley Manning” flyer on her back.
Bradley Manning is the (gay) US Army Private accused of passing classified information to the WikiLeaks website. His supporters also had contingents in parades in New York, San Francisco, and other cities. Bisbee is likely one of the smallest place to hold a Gay Pride parade and have a group of Manning supporters.
Sunday included some special parties at local restaurants and another pool party.
The favorites, as usual, were the Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
In all, it was another wild, wacky, and fun-filled weekend in Old Bisbee!