Sunday October 10th was Gay Pride Day in Orlando. I went down to Lake Eola about two hours before t he parade was to begin. As I walked towards the park, I saw a man struggling to get a horse carriage out of an 18 wheeler. Around the lake tents were set up and vendors were quickly arranging their wares. I walked past all the tents with a personal mission in mind. I wanted to sketch the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. I had sketched several sisters putting on make-up months ago yet never had the chance to sketch them when they were fully made up. I never found them. I finally found a shady tree with a view of the tents set against the skyscrapers in the distance. Activity around the beer tent was constant.
Terry texted me several times to try and find me. I texted back, "I am behind the rainbow." She responded, "Which rainbow? There are so many. " Several more texts were needed. When I finished this sketch there was just 5 minutes till the parade began. I thought I might just relax and watch the parade, but the urge to sketch kicked in. As I blocked in the second sketch, a police motorcycle pulled up in front of me. I suddenly had a center of interest, something stable in the changing sea of humanity. Terry pushed her way to the front of the crowd and fought hard for the necklaces, trinkets and candy that was being thrown from the floats. A box of candy landed next to where I was seated. They were called "Nerds" and they were tasty. Scantily clad men and women danced on the floats. Through it all the police officer stood stoically , never changing his steely gaze.
When the parade was over Terry wanted to look at all the tents around the lake. The narrow walkway was jam packed now and I had already seen the tents earlier. I convinced her to leave the crush of humanity and sit on a grassy hill while I ate a slice of pizza. A woman walked by with a sign that read, "I may be straight, but I am not narrow." That pretty much sums up why I like to come out on Gay Pride Day and document this fun event with my sketches.