This is much long over due but we wanted to still give a great big shout out to everyone who joined us in marching in Pride this year! THANK YOU!
The weather was terrible, we were all wet from the rain (one of our marchers decided to go barefoot), but we marched on and showed everyone our Asian Pride!
This year QAPA marched as an independent organization, we fundraised and hit our target of paying for our pride registration and making other purchase to help make our presence fabulous and memorable. We did it, on our own, and thanks to YOU, our members - whether you came and helped us build our signs, marched with us in the rain, or stood by us in the audience. This coming year QAPA is working hard to bring you a new line up of events, and we have, and will continue to build our community.
And that means we need you to join us! Not that you don’t already…but just a little more this year…so we know that our efforts are paying off and we see more old and new faces at our events.
Great job everyone, and thank you!!!
QAPA Steering Committee
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This being our first year marching independently, QAPA was psyched about our presence in the Pride parade. In our usual frugal tradition, the first thing we did was head to the dollar store to pick up decorations that we could piece meal together. You may laugh, but the last time we did this, we actually won second place with our adaptation of that year’s green theme with a carbon neutral presence AND we made it to the front page of Bay Windows, no joke! We made the same streamers that looked so good unfurled in the wind that past year, and we solicited for volunteers to help us make candy/business card hand outs for the crowd.
Also, we did some custom stuff. We got our new logo printed out on a big banner which we planned to carry at the head of our marching section, and we made QAPA t-shirts for our contingent to show our unity.
All in all, a very productive pride planning party with food and friends.
As every year, QAPA had a blast marching in Pride alongside MAP for Health and MASALA. This year was made extra special because we were joined by the Odaiko New England taiko drumming group. The QAPA truck pulled them on a flatbed behind the truck and as you can see from the picture, they put on quite a show! They really kicked our presence in the parade up a notch and we thank and appreciate them for their spirit of volunteerism and community. Extra thanks to Odaiko for reaching out to us!
As for the MAP for Health contingent, the staff at MAP kicked some ass preparing the truck with flags from different Asian nations and banners. They were greeted by throngs of parade-goers as the MAP folks stuffed attendees’ hands with safe sex packets.
MASALA changed up their routine this year — in addition to the fabulous tricycle-pulled rickshaw, they also had rainbow colored hot boys marching in unison, and you can bet they got some cat calls and cheers as they made their way through the crowd.
And last but not not least, QAPA people represented by carrying our fuchsia banners down the parade route (no easy feat when it’s windy!) We used the same banners last year, and they had such a good reception, we decided to use them again this year. Among the QAPA banner carriers was our own Kristin, who announced that she’ll be stepping down from the QAPA steering committee due to her relocation to SF. She’ll be sorely missed, but we wish her well and thank her for her countless hours of dedication to QAPA.
Looking forward to Pride 2010!!!
I’d say this one was of the best Prides so far. By the time I arrived at the staging area, MAP and Asian Impact were already loading up the truck with the candy, water, and packets. Obviously, because we were actually in the parade, it was hard to see the front and tail end of it, but from what we saw around us, the participants were revved up, in costume, and ready to rock.
City councilman, Sam Yoon stopped by to say hi and take a picture. He told me his daughter’s name was Mimi too, and I said, “Oh, then she must be very pretty.” Heh heh.
Once the horns sounded, the parade was off, and QAPA, MAP, AI, and Masala were on the move. Our banners were raised high and the fuchsia really made them stand out — they looked awesome. All our volunteers (including Scooter) were decked out in the sashes and bandannas that Ellen had made and my only regret was that she wasn’t at Pride to see them in action.
There was so much energy from the crowd. They didn’t even know what we were passing out, but they still wanted it! Sex-packets and Starburst were stuffed into people’s eager hands. We were cheered and whistled at; we really felt the love that day.
I dare say the star of the show was our mascot, Scoots, who displayed her rainbow streamers with pride. As we blazed the parade route, I heard (gay) men, women, and children squeal when they saw Scoots approaching. It was sheer madness!
Words don’t do QAPA’s Pride experience justice, so try this video on for size:
Now that we had all the goods, it was time to put it all together. We had about 8 people at the Pride Planning Party, which ended up being a pizza party with some awesome Bertucci’s pizza (try the shrimp scampi pizza!) We hauled in the wood and fabric, Ellen drilled, Eugene sewed, Scooted scavenged food off the floor, and the rest of us packed safe-sex, packets, twisted string, fashioned streamers, stapled banners, taped up wood, and whatever else was left. At the end of five hours, we had some very hot looking banners, and a trash bag full of safe-sex packets. A big hand to everyone who helped out!
In our last steering meeting, we decided to get a jump start on Pride. It was somehow determined that our theme was “orange,” although I thought the general theme was green, as in sustainability — but anyway, we went with orange. Kristin, me, and my new recruits, Way and Ellen, spent one highly productive day shopping for Pride stuff. Our search brought us to the Dollar Store (Dollar Tree to be exact) where wonders abound(ed). We had a motley list of items that we were not very optimistic in finding, but lo and behold, on our first stop to the Dollar Store, we got most of our shopping done. Tip: the Dollar Store has a whole bunch of party junk that you’ll never think you need until you host a party.
Look how much orange is in that cart, just look! Of the oddest items that we didn’t think we’d find at the Dollar Store were the water noodles (those orange tube things) and this weird Chinese toy that Kristin or Ellen had mentioned in passing that the Dollar Store actually had a plastic version of. It was jaw-droppingly serendipitous.
Our next stop was the fabric store, Ellen’s stomping grounds. We picked out a couple of nice rainbow patterns that Ellen graciously planned to sew into sashes, bandannas, streamers, what-have-you. It pays to have a friend who knows how to operate a sewing machine. It’s actually got me thinking about buying one. Not for Pride, but for pant-hemming.
After that, was the BJ’s run. Again, our friends came through, this time in the form of Way’s BJ card, for which we are very grateful (and would like to use again, Way, if you are reading!). We stocked up on bottled water for the Pride volunteers, and lots and lots of candy. We knew from experience that free stuff really gets the crowd going, so along with the safe-sex packets, we also plan to pass out candy at the parade.
Our last stop was Home Depot. By this time, we had dropped Way off with all the stuff that we were appreciative to store at her house, and headed to Home Depot to get the nitty gritty stuff for Pride, the stuff that would form the 6ft banners that we’d be be carrying down the parade route. Ok, I think Kristin and I have no illusions that the trip to Home Depot was all about Ellen. From selecting the wood, to carrying it up to the register, to getting it into the car, Ellen was a rock star. Kristin and I just stood around trying not get splinters. Here is a picture of Ellen separating the individual wood pieces, or “strapping wood” as it was called:
With a little teamwork, we got all the shopping banged out in one day with time to spare. Now to organize the Pride Planning Party!