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Monday, June 27, 2016

Confessions of a 42-Year-Old Pride Virgin

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 1:15 PM

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I was born in San Francisco, but it took me 42 years to go to the Pride Parade. That’s really because I am small and have big claustrophobic tendencies, which is ironic since I’ve reviewed arena concerts and festivals professionally for decades. When I’m off the clock, though, I’m usually not trying to be in a gargantuan group of people.

But then, straight out of the blue, Trojan brand condoms invited me to ride on their float this year. I still wasn’t sure I wanted to go, but floating by people instead of getting squished among them did sound like the ideal way to experience the event. I took my decision to Facebook, where it was instantly made for me.

“Let’s rock the cock float!” my friends said.

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Trojan is a company that represents another important first in my life, so I realized it would make sense to pop my Pride cherry safely with them.

I do not usually selfie, but I wasn’t onboard too long before I had a set of 27 images of me cheesing with the topless Trojan Men, one of whom took his job to mingle extra seriously. I grabbed a big Trojan sword and slayed with Beyoncé and the other fierce females that provided our soundtrack. Mainly Beyoncé; we must have been tuned in to her Pandora station at some point.

I was such a virgin that I didn’t even know the parade doesn’t actually go through the Castro, which made me sad. I don’t have much pride in the Tenderloin.

I also didn’t think ahead when I ordered a pink unicorn onesie to wear; I figured I could trot it back out in August for Outside Lands, when the furries are the smartest-attired people in the park. When it arrived with an MC Hammer can’t-touch-this inseam that drooped down to my ankles, I was crestfallen. That and the 900-degree fleecing meant that it would be a stupid choice for the parade, but perfect for the next snowstorm I’ll never encounter.

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Just like my other first time, it was over before I knew it. It hurt a little — sudden stops and scattered condom samples made for lots of slips and falls — but it was also euphoric. What a time to be alive! Celebrating all love in San Francisco couldn’t feel more right.

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Tamara Palmer


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