Marching with the leather contingent: Denver PrideFest Parade 2011

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J. Wohletz
I came. I saw. I marched. I made an obscene gesture at some rowdy Christians. And then I tripped, fell on my ass and twisted the shit out of my ankle. But it was all for a good cause: I marched in the Denver PrideFest Parade with the leather contingent.

7:30 a.m. is mighty early, and I had a PrideFest T-shirt to make. It's amazing what hijinks one can brew up with a few items from Hobby Lobby -- the place is filled with things that a kinkster's vivid imagination can turn into whippy-chainy realities.

I ate a microwave burrito and washed it down with half a bottle of cheap Moscato, slathered myself with sunscreen and was off to Cheesman Park on foot, because even if Jesus Christ himself was Queer as Folk, he still couldn't score a parking spot anywhere near the parade area.

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J. Wohletz
God bless Hobby Lobby.
My marching companions had yet to arrive, but I sat and serenely contemplated our upcoming march, and I was proud to represent the leather contingent, registered under the Rocky Mountain leather Alliance (RMLA) and featuring Mr. Leather 2011, Mr. Colorado Rubber 2011, the Colorado branch of the National Leather Association (NLA-CO), The Colorado Mentor's program and Denver boys of Leather.

We were all part of different and/or overlapping groups, but are all kinksters, and we were all gonna do a sweaty two-mile trek while inserted between floats with dancing lesbians and singing drag queens. They were all my kind of people.

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J. Wohletz
Joe "DasBootMan" Lovato.
Our leather guys and gals trickled over to our parade spot, and we all had a few gropes and a few smokes and made fun of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church for a bit; then the pony-girl was fed a few carrots and I found a huge freaking mushroom. I asked everyone I saw if they would ever eat a mushroom that grew in Cheesman Park, and every single person I queried said "NO!"

We finally got to marching around 10 a.m. -- we were in the middle of the parade so we had to chill for a bit -- and I was in my favorite spot: in the rear with the gear. I walked next to Master Trent and his ladies "slave Kelly" and "Adeera," the NLA-CO Honor Guard, who carried lifestyle flags. I recognized the Colorado Kink flag, the Master/slave flag, the Colorado Bears flag and, of course, the rainbow flag.

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J. Wohletz
Was it too early for the pony-girl? Neigh.
The parade was fantastic. I could feel a massive blister developing on the sole of my left foot, but the crowd was so supportive and enthusiastic as we trotted up Colfax that a measly blister was a small cost of doing good business. I was also pretty glad at this point that I'd decided to go the t-shirt-and-assless-jeans route with my PrideFest fashion statement, because in past parades I was really digging strutting my goodies in a pleather corset top and slut boots until I got sweatier than a whore in church and chafed the girls. Baby powder can only help so much, and I'm getting old.

Battling the growing blister, I disguised my limp, did the prissy Buckingham Palace smile-and-wave, and all was good in my 'hood right up to the point where we reached the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Colfax and Logan. Then, out of nowhere, a fast-paced group of church-sters came up on my left, the basilica steps crammed with Christian gay-protestors were on my right, and I was stuck between the rock of ages and a bunch of Jesus hard-ons. This was about to get ugly.

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