So, you want to be in a Pride Parade…
There are a few rules to follow. One, be yourself. Two, if cannot be yourself, then try not to embarrass yourself. And, three, never regret what you did in front of thousands of people – including a possible television audience.
I am not a huge fan of parades. I covered them and watched them go by – but always hated marching in it. You may never know what the weather will be like, who will be watching and remember how I got talked into being involved in the first place.
Sometimes, your feet will be your guide.
Another thing you will never see me do – drive in a parade. Seriously, how slow do you have to go to keep pace with marchers, floats, celebrities, politicians and God knows who else?
But, if you must – let the ol' Five Favorites be your guide!
In this edition, I pick up Five Favorite parade vehicles for Pride. These seem obligatory, but in the balance of being Gay and an automotive writer, at least I can pick the right vehicles for their tasks.
With all apologies to those who have to participate in a parade, my Five could at least elicit some chuckles – I hope.
1959 CADILLAC ELDORADO BIARRITZ CONVERTIBLE: If you have to drive a drag queen, a big celebrity or the Grand Marshal, why not do it in style. The 1959 Cadillac was the most flamboyant car of its time – tail fins and bombastic details. You cannot get any more flamboyant with the Eldorado series. The Biarritz was its top of the line convertible with every detail adorned with chrome of silver or gold finish. Any 1959 Cadillac would do to be the star of the show. Now, add someone deserving in the back seat – an expansive area to work the crowd.
FORD F-SERIES SUPER DUTY: LGBT Pride events are not ones where the self-powered floats of the Tournament of Roses are seen. The budget is not there, for the most part. Nor is the time. However, the big floats need serious pulling power. It also needs to be butch and brawny…the Super Duty will do! If you get at least a F-250 with the 6.7litre Power Stroke diesel, you have the trailer power for a big float, occupants and all. To add some fabulousness, get one with the chrome grille – a Lariat, will do. It gives another dimension to what the Super Duty can do.
CHRYSLER 200 LIMITED CONVERTIBLE: For years, LGBT travelers were lucky enough to soak in the sun in one of these. In terms of the modern convertible, the 200 has the rear seat room and flat roof hood to transport anyone – Grand Marshals, politicians and so forth. This would be better suited for politicians – statewide and local. All the city's mayor has to do and ride in the back – maybe throw some beads or candy – smile and wave.
SCION iQ: The term "Clown Car" could be apt here. No offense to anyone who own one, or still fondly remember their ownership experience, but in this country the Scion/Toyota iQ is seen as a curiosity. Some would say that it is too small to have a back seat. That is where the fun begins – with a back seat, you may never know how to pull off an "out of the car and do something random" scene. The iQ is a four-person flash mob waiting to happen. Maybe next year during your Pride parade…
BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GTC: OK, Pride Committee, you invited me to be in your parade. You even selected me as Grand Marshal. I do not know why – maybe because you want to recognize that I founded Gen-X Bears in 1995? Maybe because you think I am some rising automotive scribe that just happens to be a gay man? Maybe because you think I need to be paraded up and down the route? OK, fine, but I have one condition. I ride in your parade in this car. No, wait…I drive in your parade in this car. Why? Because I love it! I am self-professed fan of the Bentley and the turnaround of the brand from Crewe under Volkswagen. Not only that, it is a damn fine car! So, if you want me to parade down your Pride weekend – you put me in that!