Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

30 Jun 2002, 20:06 p.m.

Happy Pride, as I was told on the street today.…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Happy Pride, as I was told on the street today. I went to San Francisco to make my fortune in selling beads at the Gay Pride Fest. I saw the usual unusual sights, e.g., costumes, accents from all over, little old straight people walking past camped-out or ultra-punk hipsters.

As a vendor, I didn't quite feel like a spectator in the event so much as a part of the festival machinery. This led to odd emotional conflicts when I actually wanted to watch the parade, and when I felt uncomfortable as an agent of the commercialization of the fair. I mean, I saw contingents from Gay-Straight Alliances from high schools, and from PFLAG chapters, and I felt moved, and then I had to go back to hawking "colorful, festive, and inexpensive" rainbow beads, chains, and flags.

On the up side, at least for me, I made some money and now I can afford rent and food. Oh, and I was the booth's "champion," selling the most of any walking beadseller. Ambivalent yay!