Let me be the first to proclaim how Pride-free I am to have had Molly Ringwald as my Grand Marshal this year. Even our straight friends raised an eyebrow in stunned disbelief. Why not Bobby Trendy in stilettos? Or Phyllis Diller propped up against a lean-to?

Somehow, after scouring the Earth for the greatest civil rights activists of all time, Gay, Inc. discovered Ms Ringwald, unknown for her breathtaking adventuring on behalf of the Gay. Even the most gnarled of cynics can’t guzzle enough of this BS Kool-Aid to ratify such a selection. But then, the regular Gay doesn’t sprint from the festival itself with gunny sacks stuffed with cash, like Christopher Street West, the non-profit which rings a non-stop register for three straight days.

This is not a criticism of Ms Ringwald, who was invited to perch atop a white float, but rather the hoodwinkery that continues, year after year. The Wall Street Journal would no doubt find a libertarian lapdance in the notion that some 360-day-a-year, mostly-invisible-organization (MIO) can sweep into town for the other 5 days, then vamoose with a Goldman Sachs-sized bounty of the people’s loot.

The best part is that it heftily charges its own gays to attend their own celebration. At $20 a head, thousands of gays can’t even afford to get in, and now famously hold their own independent Pride events throughout LA, as they’re able. Conveniently free of riff-raff, CSW’s Pride Festival is a sea of mostly well-behaved white folks, flanked by sirens and ambulances – whisking away overdoses.

In fact, the dedicated “safe” area for people not awash in beer and bile was scrupulously placed adjacent to the Erotic zone, so the sane and sober could meet next to a tent of rose-budding daddy bears where a torn genital and howl were interchangeable.

Five years ago, I interviewed Paris Hilton and her Kathymother for the same Grand Marshal honor. I asked Paris how she came to be the crowning jewel for gay rights… and that maybe she’d be proud to list her five greatest achievements. The response was no less than comedic: Gulps, gasps, and long spaces of dead air. I invited her then to share only one achievement. Crickets. Odd tongue clicks. Sighs. Her mother quickly asked her which color purse she wanted to wear that evening.

If there were to be a saving grace to this money-grubbing Potemkin Village, it would be the new sheriff in town: Lil’ Kim who was given the Keys to the City. I know I’ll sleep all the more soundly knowing she’ll be locking up at night.

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