Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CINCY GAY SCENE: Pride Planning Committee Meeting

I attended the (X) meeting of the 2009 Cincinnati Pride Commitee Meeting last night at Little Bits Bar in Clifton Heights. This was the first time I had actually been to a meeting hosted by "his eminence," Joe Penno.

I was moderately impressed. Moderately.

Structurally, Pride itself is not changing, it seems this year, except for minor adjustments (the Saturday Festival, for example, changing times to start and end earlier, for example) and a few additions (including an attempt to get real entertainment and possible 'Party Bus' to appease the ever problem of the whining of downtown bars). However, things are far more organized this time around than they were at this point at any of the meetings I ever attended over the now deposed queen of the Center and all Pride -- wait, that was only her self-styled title. For that, I applaud the new (and large) organizing committee, though I wonder about how many of those people stick around for May -- myself included. I seem to remember that I bolted from Cincinnati the day of the Parade last year.

Joe also seems to be consolidating the organization and adding some well needed energy to the planning process -- thank the goddess.

Unfortunately, my own primary complaint seems to be so ingrained in the structure that I wonder if it will ever be possible to break: why the hell do we still have the Parade on Sunday? The Parade should be on Saturday and the Drag Races on Sunday. But that's neither here nor there and representative of a more systemic issue. (And one that's too late to change, at this point, but I do like to complain as much as possible.) There is an addition of a logo contest to go along with the, regrettable, theme this year of Squealin' with Pride 2009. It's like they went to the Serpent one evening and asked every coked out bottom what would be a good theme.

Regardless, I maintain two complaints: one, with a few exceptions, the organization is dominated by well-off early to middle-middle age white men with more money and connections than they know what to do with. And, the second complaint, they do a lot of sitting around wondering (and I quote) how to get the "younger folks" out. Geez.

Not saying I know how, but I can be sure that referring to them as "younger folks" over and over again is probably not the best set up for an impressive turnout :-).

My own bitchiness aside, I'll keep going and I'll keep reporting. But I leave you with three questions:

1) What would you like to see at Cincinnati Pride that you've never seen before?
2) Who would you like to see at Cincinnati Pride as a performer? (the dream list included people like Margaret Cho and Kristine W. . . I'll be interested to see what they can pull off)
3) Since most of my readers are "younger folks," what would bring you and everyone you know to Pride in Cincinnati this year?
4) Why is anyone still pretending like the Greater Cincinnati GLBT News is read by this target audience? I liked how their promotional ideas were keyed around two things: Michael X. Chanak's massive email list and the GLBT News. I'm sure there are no other ways that gay people in Cincinnati get their news or information... I'm sure I don't know of any. God I miss Sam and Q-City.

Oh, and a spoiler: Cheryl Eagleson and John Maddox have been tapped as the Grand Marshalls. I don't think that was confidential information, I'll see what kind of response I get.

Next Meeting: November 18th, 7pm @ The Metropolitan Community Church in Northside. Mistress Cody, my dear vlogger, I may ask that you attend with.

PS Also met a cute boy last night ... but there are some things to... consider first.


Jere Keys said...

Yeah, I suck. I remembered the meeting about 10 minutes before it was scheduled to start, and since I'm bound by the bus schedule, there was no way I'd make it in time.

I totally agree with you about the middle-class, mid-life, white gay men thing. Luckily, at least I don't fall into that category of "too much money."

Dan said...

Agree with you on the parade day. I still like my idea that can appeal to all:
Friday activities on Fountain Sqaure. Saturday Parade & Festival beginning in Clifton to Northside.An Sunday Drag Races in Over the Rhine.

The Seeker said...

I can't comment on actual planning issues since I havn't got a clue where to start... Never been to one...
In regards to the meeting, I'll check my schedule(s) and let you know! I'd love to though!
-Cody/Candy lol (Who I'll be dressed as for Rocky Horror at the Esquire friday night @ 9:30)

Michael Chanak Jr said...

Thanks, daughter - you're the best. In the dark ages of my birth, the pride parade was on Saturdays. I can't recall all the her/history of how it came to be on Sunday - but the Sunday parade began in 2000.

And yes, yes, a 1000 times yes - as someone who keeps getting requests for a mysterious mailing list - I could not agree with you more! After all these years, and all these grand electronic connections - and its the old "Mother Chanak" and Worley "Lady Byrd" Rodehaver and the GLBT News.

(Ps...I miss Sam Robinson and the Q City as well...)

But at least, the big change I see is a lot more folks are turning out much earlier in the process of planning.

Oh - Squealin' with Pride in '09 beats that old bland
"celebrating our diversity."

Nope - nothing "confidential" about Pride Marshals - the spelling of Dr. John's last name is "Maddux."

Keep coming, or send Cody - sounds like a plan!


Barry Floore said...

Bless you, mother. :-) Bless you.

I agree re SQUEALING WITH PRIDE. There was a mutual shudder, it seemed, when they talked about it at the meeting.

I wonder, really, if they all think it's that bad.

And, btw, there are some extraordinarily cute boys at that meeting. Miss Cody, that should be more than enough to convince you to join us next time around :-).

And, you too, Jere and Dan (who has blogged a bit on what's wrong with Pride and I think should come anyways...)