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Telluride "Straight Pride" Parade Marchers No Joke, Say Some


Telluride, Colorado's 4th of July parade had an unusual entry — a group of marchers dressed as the "Straight Pride Brigade." Participants explain that it was meant as "a satire of the over-the-top gay pride parades in cities like New York or San Francisco."

The Telluride Daily Planet reports: "On July 4, a dozen Telluride residents suffered into polyester pants and scratchy sweaters, combed their hair flat and slipped on loafers and pumps to become the Straight Pride marchers. They whooped and waved and kissed in the middle of main street (girls kissing boys, naturally). But it was the group’s signs that most rankled some on the sidelines. Some seemed innocent enough (one said, simply, 'I like boys') but others were less gentle, saying 'I’m Over the Rainbow' or 'Not in my Backdoor.'"

Some residents of the Colorado town, which hosts a gay ski week every year, were not amused.

Said Boulder resident Gretchen Norham: "They were clearly nothing more than an anti-gay hate group. Shame on this group. Shame on the judges. I expected better from people in Telluride."

Another observer said : "It was intended to be funny, biting humor, but some of the signs were not funny. But there was just something about it. Some of the signage was anti-gay."

Another resident, real estate agent Matt Hintenmeister, along with some who wrote letters to the Daily Planet, wants an apology: "They don’t really understand what their float was about. They say that it was all just a joke. Even if it was, they should have realized that it was in really poor taste, and come out publicly and apologized."

Ethan Hale, who marched with the group, defended the idea: "I thought it was going to be a funny idea, so I was up for it. A lot of people are misconstruing it. It was, first and foremost, a joke. It was not homophobic."

The "Straight Pride" marchers took second place in the parade competition's humor category.

Paraders wanted only laughs [telluride daily planet]
Avoid Telluride until town apologizes for “Straight Pride” float [telluride daily planet - letters]
Celebrating in Style [plum tv]

(image source)

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  1. Some people just don't get it. Sebastian and Joe H., I'll laugh when it's funny.

    Sebastian, comparing a "Gays against brunch" to homophonic twats in Colorado holding anti-gay signs and having a "Straight Pride Parade" AND selling "Straight Pride in Telluride" clothing online is backwards and illogical.

    They are laughing AT you not WITH you. Chuckle away, nuckleheads, chuckle away.

    Posted by: Jake | Jul 16, 2007 10:23:59 PM

  2. Astonishing, that in the face of the logical arguments that this is not funny some gays still think we should all have a good laugh at our expense. This is not a matter of simply lightening up, people, this is homophobia.

    Maybe it's denial, maybe it's ignorance, maybe it's both, but I'm astonished that any one who is gay would support these people and find this funny. Self loathing? Maybe. Ignorant? Definitely. Clueless? Without a doubt.

    This isn't a nudge, nudge, wink, wink, joke, These are people that find you and your sexuality fodder for their own entertainment.

    If this was a "White Pride" parade, poking fun at the Panther movement or other extreme ends of the African-American civil rights movement, there would be a HUGE backlash.

    Yet there are a couple of fools in the King's Court that think because they can laugh at this they're accepted and "cool", but guess what, the joke's on them.

    Posted by: Astonished | Jul 16, 2007 10:30:21 PM

  3. LOL at the people who think this is funny. LOL @ all of you.

    Posted by: wtf | Jul 16, 2007 10:38:10 PM

  4. SEBASTIAN V.: No one is creating a reason to be offended, it's already there. You'd be a total idiot to think that any one is raising a stink over nothing. Then again...

    Posted by: Hell NO! | Jul 16, 2007 10:40:30 PM

  5. Seems to me like a vaguely humorous concept that got out of hand.

    Interesting to note that one of the items for sale on says "Only Losers Get Baked--I Got Straight in Telluride." So apparently whomever is selling stuff on their behalf is actually playing with more than one definition of "straight."

    Posted by: Feral | Jul 16, 2007 10:42:46 PM

  6. Bah. That's not over the top. Now, if they'd dressed up in 1950s June Cleaver drag, had twenty people dressed up as screaming children, signs saying "Breeder Pride," some women dressed as drag queens and some guys dressed as leather daddies, but kissing each other, now that would have been funny.

    Posted by: Gitai | Jul 16, 2007 10:44:09 PM

  7. Only a few people pointed out the obvious, that these are a bunch of young, str8 kids who don't know what it means to be gay and/or who don't know/understand the history of gay pride and gay pride parades. It seems the young gay guys don't know enough either, and aren't seeing this for what it truly is....

    If people take offense to this, there is usually good reason, and perhaps people should take pause and listen to/read those reasons before simply dismissing them as over-reactionary. Those who simply dismiss this as light humor are missing the point, and seem to be a bit too fool hardy to understand and see the bigger picture.

    Posted by: Think before you dismiss | Jul 16, 2007 10:45:23 PM

  8. IS COLORADO PART OF THE UNITED STATES? I think Colorado was a province of Canada.

    Canada doesn't have a constitution. The government can outlaw anything it wants.

    Posted by: Tony the Tiger | Jul 16, 2007 10:47:42 PM

  9. There certainly are a lot of self-loathing homo's one here eh.

    Posted by: Tommy | Jul 16, 2007 10:51:38 PM

  10. Soooo, ummm, basically, we have a bunch of gay people, saying it's ok, for ummmm, a bunch of straight people to, well, make fun of them.


    That's all.

    Posted by: Jon Stewart | Jul 16, 2007 11:10:13 PM

  11. Maybe if a straight person commits a hate crime as part of their parole they should be required to read this blog for an hour each day. That would be great EXCEPT it would be "cruel and unusual punishment" to have to read these incredibly boring and poorly written posts. Eck.

    Posted by: Tony the Tiger | Jul 16, 2007 11:24:45 PM

  12. Even as a gay man and friend of Gilbert Baker's, I too am so "over the Rainbow..."

    How do we know these people are actually straight? Young people are so into that whole "sexuality is fluid" thing.

    How about before anyone dismisses others as "fool hardy" or plays the "victim" card we reach out and build some bridges. None of those kids look like they're there to hate. They do look like they need some help with their humor. There are much funnier ways to display "Straight Pride" with even deeper, more penetrating digs to be made at how odd the human condition really is for all who love and fuck.

    Also, don't dismiss the State of Colorado. There are a lot of really great people that live there - in my opinion, better than most New Yorkers (which is where I live now) - and they do understand irony.

    Posted by: Brian | Jul 16, 2007 11:26:02 PM

  13. So, um, Brian, by that logic, these, "people", who may or may not be homophobic, should be, well, given a chance, cause you know, holding signs that say "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" and "not in my backdoor" are, well, on the fence on where they stand with homosexuality. Oh, and they could be gay too, apparently, cause I know, gay people love to dress up as straight people and mock themselves, iiin, well, a homophobic sort of irony, cause these are intellectuals who, reeeally know how to be ironic in a small, sleepy town in Coloradooooo.

    WHAT?! (bangs head on desk)

    Posted by: Jon Stewart | Jul 16, 2007 11:35:54 PM

  14. This is not tantamount to a "white pride". Sexuality is not race. This is freedom of speech. If it is not funny to you, don't laugh and do not buy their products. There was once a time in America when we believed it was wrong to punish thought, expression, or speech. As a non self-loathing gay person I believe it is very important to let this one go. Choose your battles carefully. This one is not worth it.

    Posted by: Sam | Jul 16, 2007 11:52:41 PM

  15. gay pride parades exist to make the point that gay is ok (along the lines of "we're here, we're queer, ...."). they don't exist to say we're better than straights or that straights are bad. this is where the difference is. a sign that says "not in my backdoor" or "i'm over the rainbow" is a completely different, homophobic, sentiment.

    Posted by: michael k | Jul 16, 2007 11:57:50 PM

  16. Maybe they're Scientologists? Tom Cruise has a house in Telluride. Maybe they're making sure we all know it's a REALLY butch town.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jul 17, 2007 12:26:09 AM

  17. So Sam, in that same vein, it's, well, ok for say, the Phelps clan to picket the funerals of slain soldiers and gay men cause, well, it's freedom of speech. Going a step fuuuurther, it's ok for hate speech, cause, well, freedom of speech is protected and all, even when that hate speech incites violence against people. Hmmmmm. So pick our battles, pick our battles.... hmmmmm, let's say we ignore the little battles, and after a while, like the .1% of bacteria that isn't killed by anti-bacterial soaps and antibiotics, let's correctly assume that the .1% (the same gay battles we're, well, ignoring) become resistant and grow, becoming, well, infectious. Just like the .1% of bacteria that grows resistant to medical intervention, should the gay community, just "let this go" cause it's a "small battle"? MMMM, maybe not, after all it was only two men that killed Matthew Shephard.

    Point is Sam, even the small battles can grow out of control if unchecked. Not sweating, well, means we our silence condones it.

    (I didn't realize simple logic is such a rare quality these days)

    Posted by: Jon Stewart | Jul 17, 2007 12:30:39 AM

  18. Oh, and one more thing, civil rights movements are similar (after all, it is, well, "equal rights" we're after). Stating that, "straight pride" isn't tantamount to "white pride" is, well, THE MOST FUCKING STUPID THING I HAVE EVER READ. Yes, of course sexuality is not race, you'd have to be a fucking moron not to know that. However, they are CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTS.

    arrrggghhh - is it any wonder why our school system is failing (bangs head on desk)

    Posted by: Jon Stewart | Jul 17, 2007 12:34:51 AM

  19. Sam, gay rights and racial equality are both civil rights movements. Basically, what you just wrote doesn't make sense. It's like saying oranges are different than apples therefore oranges are not fruits. They are both fruits, different types of fruits, but fruits. Sexual orientation and racial equality are both civil rights movements, basic logic 101. So a "Straight Pride" parade would be similar to a "White Pride" parade, basic SAT logic.

    Just when I thought the stupidity level couldn't get any lower on in this section, the bar is set higher. In the end, the lack of logic and severe apathy from the supporters of the "Straight Pride" parade side makes me feel that much more confident that they're wrong, so very wrong.

    Posted by: Anthony | Jul 17, 2007 12:42:47 AM

  20. I'm number 70!

    Many of my str8 friends are rather humorless about their dating lives (or lack thereof), which makes it hard for me to make fun of them, in a toying kind-of-way of course. They think gay men can have sex any time they want and don't fret over committment issues, etc. Envy! It's a joy killer. When I mention I was out with a guy over the weekend they usually roll their eyes like I'm rubbing it in their face. Oh well...

    Anyway, a str8 pride parade as satire would presumably not make mention of things gay, but rather push str8 stereotypes to the limit. If they had failed in anything, it was to adhere to this concept. So, the intention was harmless, but the execution was sloppy. If they were mocking homophobia, I imagine they might have done a fire-and-brimstone preacher skit, though it would have been hard to distinguish from the real thing. If they were mocking gay pride (again, this would be a challenge), they would have probably needed to go the self-loathing and disease route, which they didn't do. No smiling AIDS victims here with KS or guys carrying colostomy bags. I think they were simply not the best comedians around.

    Posted by: anon ( | Jul 17, 2007 2:19:07 AM

  21. I am not amused.

    Posted by: SC | Jul 17, 2007 3:26:47 AM

  22. I’m a straight guy who has lived—intermittently—in Telluride for years. A friend of mine linked me this post. I can understand the offense.

    As I read the post, I was shocked: not at the expression of homophobia, which I know to expect when sharing a state with the Church of New Life and its meth-addled pastor (those of you above accusing others of being self-hating homos, please remember the example of Ted Haggard), but because some group would come all the way to Telluride just to sour an otherwise charming parade. Then I looked harder at the picture.

    Look at the man on the left. I have never, ever seen anyone dress like that in Telluride. People will dress nicely, sure, but not with that much starch, and especially not on what is often a sweltering 4th of July—numerous floats are equipped with squirt guns to help cool off the crowd. He’s wearing the straight equivalent of assless chaps, at least for Telluride, and although I can’t speak for the ladies, the guy in the black tank top and the I-love-leather mustache is pretty clearly not serious. Either they’re not from Telluride, and they actually drove all the way into a fairly difficult to access canyon just to march in a local parade in a town of 2,100 people, or they’re being ironic.

    Now, we get jerks in Telluride, all the more because of a ridiculously expensive ski resort. I’ve passed people wearing Prada on the slopes making the kind of mincing little turns which are only possible when one’s asshole is as rigid as one’s mind, and I know that plenty of GOP types fly in from the coasts to present their puckered assholes to the snow, gripe about liberals, and (true, heard it from a friend who caters for them) talk about who last saw Paris Hilton. I don’t know why they don’t go to Utah, personally. Too middlebrow, maybe?

    That said, we’re talking about a town which, as an earlier poster mentioned, tolerates flag burning in the freaking Fourth of July parade. Brokeback Mountain premiered in the Telluride Film Festival, as did The Crying Game and Kinsey, both of which I have a hard time squaring with the image of angry homophobes wielding bullhorns. While we’ve never had any pride parades that I can recall, the Gay Ski Week does raise money to fight AIDS, and hey, it does it without all the drama around the parades which I read above. Add that to the fact that Telluride is a town of only a couple thousand, and it becomes pretty clear that they were making a joke amongst like-minded people. People who pretty obviously got it: that they were satirizing the kind of homophobic puckered assholes who would think that a slogan like “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” is really fucking clever.

    Of course, I could be wrong. I hope I’m not, but I’m stuck in New York this summer and I wasn’t there to see the parade. Even if I’m not, maybe this will inspire similar, painfully sincere straight pride marches. Marches which may then, like too many people do, hide genuine bigotry behind the veneer of humor. Hopefully it won’t, but even if it does, it’s hard to fault a few marchers for taking life lightly when there are deadly serious people like Phelps around. And for the record, I would have been a bit more over the top (throw on some cheesy GOP gear at least, or frat boy outfits and have them paddling each other). Their current getups are, sadly, all too easy to believe, especially to someone who doesn’t know the town.

    Still think they weren’t being ironic? Fair enough—after all, as the ironically named Jon Stewart helpfully points out above, we Coloradans do have a doozy of a time wrapping our skulls around the concept (something to do with metal, right?). So come on out for Gay Ski Week. We have some really great terrain, a fucking gorgeous landscape, and you can get a good core workout and help fight AIDS at the same time. Just watch out for puckered assholes who can’t ski.

    Posted by: Kicks | Jul 17, 2007 3:57:01 AM

  23. I can just imagine how they were planning this...

    "So, what's up?"

    "Nothing much.. say, what are you doing on July 4?"

    "Just going to barbecue..."

    "How about this... let's enter into that parade, you know the one in Telluride... and our theme should be this... now listen here... a STRAIGHT PRIDE PARADE! We need to show those gay people who's boss!"



    Posted by: Nate | Jul 17, 2007 4:24:49 AM

  24. Yes ,"John Stewart", Fred Phelps and what he does is OK. Well maybe not OK, howabout "legal and protected".

    Yes, please do forget about that .1 % of bacteria. Bacteria is good for you actually. I hope you do not really use anti bacterial soaps. they are bad for you.

    Hate speech is protected as well, as long as it is not used for the purpose of knowingly and willfully enciting a riot.

    I stand by my statement that Straight Pride is not tantamount to White Pride. ESPECIALLY in this instance. What happened here was an attempt at politically incorrect humor. Something your namesake knows alot about I would guess. So you didnt find it funny. Oh well. Humor is subjective. They came in second place. So, many other people in Telluride must have not found it funny (or funniest) either.

    I have lived in Wyoming and have visited many towns in the west. I have been to Telluride, CO. Like many of these ski towns, it is rich, white, educated, crunchy and granola wrapped up into a nice lil progressive mountain town. I really think our efforts would be wasted boycotting their gay ski week. There are other battles in our civil rights war that deserve our attention. I guess my point is: Let's not get too dramatic. A sternly worded letter from GLAAD will probably suffice.

    Posted by: Sam | Jul 17, 2007 5:03:54 AM

  25. Based on what I have read in these posts (ahem, SAM), I can see how we keep getting screwed when it comes to seeking equal rights. Just because you roll over in the bedroom doesn't mean you should do it with your (or my) entire life.

    We're the one remaining group that it's acceptable to discriminate against (even if some of you think it's just a lil' ol' harmless "straight parade"). That doesn't make this behavior right and it doesn't mean it should tolerated.

    Posted by: Shane | Jul 17, 2007 7:51:43 AM

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