Palin and Gays Make the Queerest July 4th Ever

Gay Alaskans planned the queerest July 4th in years, with openly LGBT contingents in three Independence Day parades around the state. Then Gov. Palin announced her resignation on Friday, ensuring that all Alaskans - gay and straight - would have a downright queer 4th of July.

That's So Palin
Palin's resignation speech gave no real reason for quitting in the middle of her first term as governor, so Alaskans spent the holiday weekend speculating on why she did it. When bloggers wrote about rumors of investigations, Palin's lawyer issued a statement warning reporters not to investigate and threatened legal action against Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore. Threatening freedom of speech and freedom of the press, on Independence Day? That's so... Palin.

Meanwhile, LGBT Alaskans in Homer, Anchorage and Ester added a festive touch of queerness to our local Independence Day parades.

Anchorage Something Fierce
Two floats brought LGBT creativity to Alaska's biggest Independence Day Parade. 'The Starship Something Fierce' hovered around the Delaney Park Strip with the Queer Trek crew on the bridge, hosted by the Imperial Court's Duke & Duchess of Anchorage. Youth 14-19 rode their own float, 'Let Our Colors Bloom, Youth for Equality' which was covered with rainbow flags and balloons.

Making History in Homer
The new Homer PFLAG chapter painted a rainbow skiff for the July 4th parade, cut ALASKA rainbow toe-socks from Safeway into colorful arm and leg warmers, added a hula-hooper in the truck, and paraded down Pioneer Avenue carrying signs saying "support", "advocacy", "respect", "peace" and "equality" for LGBTQ people, their families and friends.

"We were received very warmly," said PFLAG board member and hooper Catriona Lowe. "It felt like people saw us there, understood what we were about, and really appreciated what we were doing."

This was the first time in Homer's history that LGBTQ community members, and their friends and allies, marched in a local parade as an openly-gay contingent. Over 20 adults, 6 children, and 3 dogs marched with the float, making it one of the largest groups in attendance.

PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) burst onto the Homer scene a few months ago, sponsoring a booth at the health fair and the movie MILK at the Homer Family Theatre. The group decided to further increase its visibility by marching in the 4th of July Parade. Alaska also has chapters of PFLAG in Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Ester Dyke on Bike
Dykes on Bikes (a.k.a. the Thursday Women's Motorcycle Group) planned to ride in the irreverent Ester Fourth of July Parade, where it's traditional to bribe the judges.

"This year there was only one Dyke on Bike," writes Jeanne, coordinator of the women's ride night, "but with an appropriate bribe (I gave a bottle of Gnarly Head red zinfandel to the judges) I, on behalf of all Dykes on Bikes, won the Most Colorful award." A dyke giving the judges gnarly head?

And that wraps up our Queerest July 4th Ever!

The crew of 'The Starship Something Fierce'
'The Starship Something Fierce' float and truck
Youth float, 'Let Our Colors Bloom, Youth for Equality'
Anchorage Youth float contingent
PFLAG marching group in the Homer July 4th parade
Homer PFLAG's rainbow skiff float
Hula-hooper, Catriona Lowe
Dyke on Bike in Ester's July 4th Parade

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