Pride Charlotte

Yesterday was unbelievable.

The “Pride Charlotte” festivities were incredible! I made plans to go up and get lunch with Haley and my new friend Jed, who’s in town for the week with the Avenue Q tour, at Cedar Street Tavern. We failed to consider just how crazy busy it would be there, and Jed eventually had to bail and run to the theatre without even getting his food! Haley was kind enough to drive him up there so he wouldn’t be late, ’cause she’s awesome like that.

Ended up spending a bit of time with friends from work, and then worked the booth from about 3:00 until we closed. For the first hour, I was truly Bank of America’s WHORE! I was the “hooker” in the crowd, pulling people in to the BofA booth and getting them to sign up for raffles, etc. It brought back memories of bartending back in college — being friendly and chipper with strangers (dare I say, flirting?) and putting up with creepy old men thinking that gave them the right to put their hands on me. If I hadn’t been wearing a branded shirt and a nametag… (shaking head)

The second two hours, I was spinning “the wheel” with people. THAT was so much fun! It was this cheesy little prize wheel, where you spin it (like Wheel of Fortune) and land on a color, and you get whatever prize is connected to that color. Mostly simple little things, branded merchandise, etc… But some of the crowd got really into it, and had a lot of fun with me. 

One woman was so excited when she won a camera case that she literally jumped into the air and landed on me, wrapping her legs around my waist and shaking her hand in the air cheering! Some others were laughing and joking around with me too, which really made the day go by quickly. 

When the wheel was getting close to the camera case (the nicest prize we had), I’d lean up against the wheel and blow air on it, like I was trying to tip it over the edge… One guy walked up after I did that and said, “You gonna blow it for me too?”  Of course I immediately shot back with, “If I had a nickel…” and he immediately pulled out TWO nickels. I fell over on the ground laughing — I guess you had to be there.

The event was over before we knew it, and it was time to get ready for the evening’s festivities. My new BFF Melanie took me out to eat afterwards, then we went over to the theater to drop off some stuff for the cast/crew. A quick hop back to my place for a shower and change of clothes, then we picked up Jed and headed out to Hartigan’s.

Yes, Hartigan’s. The infamous lesbian bar here in Charlotte. On the evening of PrideCharlotte. As you might imagine, Jed and I were definitely in the minority there. In fact, we were shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds of lesbians in a small venue, and I think I counted twelve other men there. They had girls from Coyote Ugly dancing on the bar, and virtually no air conditioning. It was quite the experience.

We quickly fled to Petra’s, where several members of the Avenue Q band were coming to meet us. Several friends of mine were there and came over to say hello, and ended up chatting with Jed for awhile. I was a little disappointed because the bar wasn’t very crowded, so the band guys didn’t get the full experience, but since it was Pride Charlotte and there was a big event at Velocity (a gay dance club here) I guess I should’ve expected it. Still, people seemed to be having a good time, so that’s okay.

Ronnie was kind enough to drop me off at the end of the night, and then I was struck by a bizarre inability to fall asleep… hence, the overdue blog entry about Tuesday and Thursday nights. It took an act of will to force myself into bed rather than try to post all of this last night, but you’re reading something that’s undoubtedly a lot more coherent than it otherwise would’ve been.

All in all, a great couple of days. It’s been FANTASTIC meeting Melanie (who I’d talked to by phone and instant message, but never in person), and Maile’s friend Danny from the “Out on the Town” reception, and of course Jed and his friends from the Avenue Q band. 

In short, it DOESN’T suck to be me.

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