Friday, June 02, 2006

Weekend of diversity

The big thing going on in Austin this weekend is the Republic of Texas (ROT) biker rally. Each year thousands of bikers from across Texas and the nation roll into Austin. Driving around town you will see nothing but bikes, bikes, and more bikes. Tonight there will be a huge motorcycle pride through downtown.

What I think is funny, however, is that this weekend is also Pride weekend, put on by the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Not to be outdone, tomorrow night there will be a huge parade. Last year there were 1,300 parade participants (including my friend Sandy who offered her convertible to chauffer a drag queen) and 40,000 spectators.

I don't know why, but I think it's funny that the bikers and the gays have their celebration on the same weekend. It's seems like such a dichotomy of culture and that it could be a recipe for disaster; luckily, that hasn't been the case in the past. I know the stereotypes of bikers being rednecks are untrue, and that Harleys cost a lot of money, but many of the bikers I've met have been a little rough around the edges. Last year I asked one of my gay friends about the festivities being on the same weekend and he laughed, saying lesbians were really into to Harleys.

For Austinites who aren't into bikes or gay pride, a memorial concert will be held for Clifford Antone tomorrow night. Antone is responsible for bringing the blues to Austin. Jimmie Vaughn is one of the performers.

However, Doug and I will be at something completely different tomorrow night. We are volunteering at the Zachary Scott Theatre, which is bringing back its hit show, Crowns. The premise of the show is about African-American ladies and the fancy hats they wear to church. Some of the best singers Austin has belt out inspirational gospel. I really wish they would do a recording of it.

Motorcycles, gay pride, blues and gospel. Is there anything we are leaving out this weekend? Austin is nothing if not diverse.

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