By the time we got to the parkstrip, the Alaska PrideFest Festival was almost over, but there were still folks around and the music was great. Blogging about this raises a couple of challenges for me.
First, I don't want to ignore the unfortunate accident at the beginning of the parade, but I figure that will suck up most of the media attention on this day, which many people saw as a special celebration coming on the heels of New York's decision to allow gay marriage. My condolences go to the family and friends of James Crump.
Second, is the question of how to handle photographs. In November 2008 while covering an Anchorage demonstration in favor of gay marriage, I'd gone up the stairs in the parking garage across the street to get some pictures. There was a man in the stairwell who told me he was there with his partner, but was a school teacher and didn't want to be seen at a gay protest. So he was watching from across the street.
Are there people who are at the festival who wouldn't want their pictures on a blog? I've discussed at length the ethics of posting pictures of children, but what about adults who are still fearful of discrimination? The conventional journalist response, I think that would be this is a public event. And a lot of people at the event are openly gay and a lot of others aren't GLBT anyway. Nevertheless, I've blurred the most obvious faces except for those who gave me permission (no one I asked said no) or were people clearly involved in the festival. (For the dog close-up, I asked its leash holder.) This also affected how I took pictures - much more timidly than normal.
Ms. Gay Alaska - Amber Do All Lá Chores Sawyer - explained to me the difference between Ms. and Miss Gay Alaska. Ms is the category for lesbians and Miss for drag queens.
I'd encountered Miss Gay Alaska - Micah Sauvageau "Vanity Affair" - at performances of Midnight Soapscum where, as Mama Rose Mary, she narrated the show and kept the audience in line.
Mister and Mr. Gay Alaska had left already, so no pictures.
I've added a video - mostly with still shots - because a huge part of being there was the music. Pictures by themselves don't capture the mood of the event. The music by Pandamonica was great and my Power Canonshot gives you a sense of it, but doesn't do it justice.