Ever the king queen of procrastination, am I. Back in June, I expounded at some length about my first every gay pride experience. My second ever gay pride experience happened over two months ago now, and I'm finally getting around to documenting it here.

Pride this year took place on Saturday, June 9. This time around, I felt like a completely different person. It's amazing to think how a little honesty, to oneself and to others, can open up the world to you. I have gone beyond the stages of denial, doubt, and trying to hide. I've passed the stage of merely coming to terms with who I am, and I cannot change. I've come full circle, embraced myself completely, and am very proud to be the man I am today. I was also proud to have a man who I love by my side. To say that Robert has changed my life would be an understatement.

Neither of us had been to Pride in a few years, so we decided to head down to the State Fair grounds to join in. We skipped the parade, opting instead to enjoy a nice breakfast at a favorite local restaurant, and hit the grounds to see all the booths, shows, and people.

For the occasion, we decided early on that we wanted to have matching t-shirts, and thought the old classic "I'm not gay, but my boyfriend is" shirt would be fabulous. After much searching, we found that, really, no one except for a few E-Bay sellers carried them anymore. So we took a different approach, and decided to make our own.

We hit the hobby stores and found a transfer kit for t-shirts. We also found some incredible purple t-shirts. Next, we designed our shirts on the computer. While looking through some pictures I had taken on our recent Phoenix trip, I stumbled upon two pictures, each with one of us standing next to a large tree in a park. We tossed those onto our shirts as well, Robert's with a picture of me, and mine with a picture of him.

Needless to say, our shirts were a big hit that day.

Robert & Phil Pride 1

There was all sorts to see, and between running into friends and socializing, we wandered around, looking at all the booths, and even checking out some of the performances. There was a particularly frightful performance involving a drag king lip-synching on stage, a good singer/songwriter playing light guitar-chord-bluesy songs, and more. Oh, and there was even a demonstration from the local gay square dance club. After the group performed, they had ran out into the audience to grab people to jump in and dance with them. And yes, I was among the chosen. This was no elementary school square dance thing either. I actually had to follow the guy who had asked me to dance, and I quickly discovered just how bad I am at dancing. Maybe part of it was because I was laughing too hard to find proper rhythm, I don't know.

There were booths for people of all ages, including young children. We stumbled upon a cool setup of animals, a la a miniature petting zoo. The booth was replete with a macaw, some snakes, some hissing cockroaches, a tarantula, etc.

Robert Snake

Phil Snake

I got to hold the macaw, too, who was actually quite friendly.

Phil Macaw

Even Robert held the macaw. When I originally got these photos developed from my classic 35mm camera, the picture of Robert holding the bird didn't turn out well, thanks to the massive amount of sunlight at his back. Luckily, though, the one that came on the CD turned out great.

Robert Macaw

Finally, when we were relaxing with some friends, we encountered a friend who had a feather boa. And not just any feather boa, either. It was one that required each of us to pose in front of the camera with it.

Robert Rainbow Boa

Phil Rainbow Boa

A four-hour venture at Pride 2007: fun, tiring, and an amazing opportunity to see just how far I've come.