Gay Pride Parade Attracts Copious Happy People, One Homophobe
But Riptide is a member of the media, and thus a bit of a jerk. So our favorite moment came when a conflict arose amid all of the hugs and good vibes. Allow us to explain why: Around 2 p.m. -- amid a crowd of 20,000 happy GLBT folks -- one brave bigot busted out a bullhorn and sign that read, "Fear God." The portly, goateed homophobe stood in the middle of the street and chanted, "You can choose not to be a homo! God hates fags!"
Needless to say, he was outnumbered, and it could have gotten nasty. But instead of throwing punches (or, more likely, frozen blue rum drinks), onlookers tried something else. First, a cute lesbian couple stood directly in front of him and began a defiant, two-minute kiss. Cameramen and tourists cheered and seemed to forget about his sign. Other couples followed suit -- mostly sweaty, shirtless gay men -- smooching in protest. After a few minutes, a Miami Beach cop ushered the chubby protester to the side, where people mostly pointed and laughed at him. (Score: gays, 1; homophobes, 0.)
Overall, the event was quieter and tamer than expected. Still, it was a solid first run. We're guessing the parade will gain momentum next year. And that Mr. Burn In Hell will stay home -- with only his bullhorn and repressed homoerotic fantasies to keep him company.