Monday, July 23, 2007

Dancers in silver jumpsuits tune up for the Madison Pride Parade along the Southwest Bike Path

There's always something happening on the Southwest Bike Path. We were pedaling along on the final stretch as it approaches Lake Monona when we heard the sound of music up ahead. Drawing closer, we saw the flash of silver jumpsuits dancing in the morning sun. Could it be a dance troupe of gay Ukrainians? Yes, it could. They were tuning up for the Madison Pride Parade, which would soon start to wind its way toward Brittingham Park by way of West Washington.
Some wore shiny silver jumpsuits and danced. Others dressed in drag. A few wore black leather and rode Harley-Davidson motorcycles while still others toted children in wagons. If the spirit of Madison's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community was dampened by a voter-approved ban on gay marriage late last year, it wasn't evident Sunday. Hundreds turned out for the 18th annual Madison Pride Parade that wound its way north of Monona Bay and down West Washington Avenue to Brittingham Park -- converted for the day to Pride Park.

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Those who looked for conformity Sunday would have been out of luck. It was a spectacle that included a troupe of primarily Ukrainian nationals dancing and lip-synching aboard a float. Their silver jumpsuits and oversized sunglasses added more flavor to the moves.
Their float actually had a serious point. A sign noted they were demonstrating on behalf of those in countries like Ukraine who could not. But mostly, their silvery moves were bright, joyous and fun. Everything looked a bit drab and dull in comparison as we resumed our trek across the John Nolen causeway to Olin Park.

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