amBi Rocks San Diego Pride, Despite Record Storm

Written by Rio Veradonir for

I’ve helped organize bi contingents all up and down the west coast, and this year’s Pride at San Diego was the most memorable and rewarding I’ve yet experienced.  For those who don’t know, San Diego Pride was hit by a record storm last weekend.  Despite dark clouds, flash floods, and lightning, people still turned out by the tens of thousands to celebrate. This year’s theme was “Liberty and Justice for All,” which rang doubly true given the Supreme Court’s recent decision establishing marriage equality across the country.  It may have been rainy and wet, but the LGBT community wasn’t about to let anything dampen our spirits!

As usual, I marched with amBi, only this time instead of the typical sunny skies one expects in San Diego in July, we had a once-in-a-century monsoon bearing down upon us.  It poured so hard, water filled up gutters and started flowing down sidewalks. The weather blew out two of our four speakers, and our roller bladers had to take off their skates and march barefoot. The dancers on our float were absolutely soaked. Fortunately, we bi folks really know how to make lemonade when we’re dealt lemons: We whipped our 45 foot (15 meter) parade flag in unison and made the rain dance. As for the dancers, you can use your imagination to picture the effect of wet gogos, some of whom were spinning on a pole. The crowd went wild.

Over at the festival, amBi members staffed a booth. The organizers of the festival didn’t plan for rain, and our tent wasn’t secured properly. Every now and then a deluge of water came down when the puddle on our roof grew too heavy, leading to more than one Flash Dance reenactment. Smiles were in abundance, and we all laughed at the absurdity of it all. With water pelting us from above, below, and on all sides, we gave away bi-themed hats, sunglasses, bracelets, face paint, and more.  The grand prize was a “Bi Kiss,” from a guy and a girl simultaneously.  It was cheeky fun, and the crowd formed long lines in the rain for a chance to spin our wheel.  There was a downpour of love for the B in LGBT.

Here’s what some in our group had to say about the experience:

For more pics, visit our Facebook page.