Breaking News: The Stanley Cup Came Out at the Gay Pride Parade

The Stanley Cup at the Gay Pride Parade in Chicago
Photo Credit
The gay pride parade in Chicago is certainly a day full of color, energy, and incredible people watching. I left my apartment to go have brunch with friends thinking the parade wouldn’t happen. The sky looked dark and stormy as I strolled down to 7-Eleven for some homemade pastries (powdered mini donuts). You could feel that a down pour was about to begin. People were scurrying home with their strollers and dogs and ducking into shops where they could. I made a decision to take a cab and just as I opened the door to get in — that rain came a coming. I had a nice conversation with the cab driver about gay pride parades, what they mean, how much kissing goes on. He had a lot of questions.

And as I brunched, the skies cleared just in time to head over to Halsted to watch the parade come by. The rain did not help cool things down outside, in fact it seemed steamier. I quickly covered up with a little SPF and kept a water on hand which was useful for both drinking and pouring on my head.

It is always pretty difficult to stay cool around crowds, but I thought my dress would help. No, no it didn’t. It did give me a greater appreciation for drag queens. I saw several of those gals in leopard pant suits — with huge hair to match. I really couldn’t even fathom such an ensemble in that heat. One cooler option that I did see was a guy who had his entire head shaved. In place of a mohawk was a row of almost mini sequined traffic cones running from his forehead to the base of his neck. Definitely my favorite of the day — save the guy who just got straight to the point (pun intended) with a shirt that read “I’m so gay.”

Another great thing about my time at the pride parade was that I finally saw the Stanley Cup! Recently traded Brent Sopel, brought the cup with him on a float to honor the memory of Maple Leaf’s general manager Brian Burke’s son Brendan, who was killed in a car accident three months ago after coming out to his friends and Miami University hockey team members.

It is my hope that seeing the cup is indicative that my luck is on the rise. However, my first time seeing the Stanley Cup did not prevent me from getting sunburned. If you’re as pale as I am…no luck can really prevent a burn. I got off easy this time-compared to other first burns of the summer, but some did not. Being so aware of my own burned shoulders, I began to look around at other people on my way home from the parade and there were PLENTY of burns. I noticed a lot of older men with burned faces and necks, quite possibly from golfing. There were also a lot of people who just forgot that one little patch of skin that had since turned scarlet. I think everyone just gets so excited on that first really hot day that they just forget to put on sunblock, thinking that their skin might be invincible this year. No, it will be just as pale as it was last winter and it will need some adjustment time. So, let yo’ skin adjust.

XX Caitlin

About Caitlin Fitzgibbons

Caitlin is an UPchicago.com contributor with a bi-weekly column on people-watching in the city.

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