Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Fear a Parade! Tra La La!

Last year, I wanted to plan on having a booth at the San Francisco Pride parade n' celebration. But, seeing as this would cost something like $500, I had to give up on those plans. This year, I want to plan on us marching in the parade. But this idea isn't without its issues...

I'm always in conflict as to how I talk about meetups and real-life asexual community. On the one hand, I don't want to show weakness, and I don't want people to think that community organizing is prohibitively hard. It's not that hard, although I sure don't make it look easy. But on the other hand, I do want to show weakness, because then people will know that anyone can organize community, even if they, like me, cannot plan their way out of a paper bag.

This post might fall into the second category. Often, I seem to have ideas that sound amazing at the time, but later, I wonder what I was thinking. This is definitely where I am when it comes to marching at SF pride. I know that a major point of our march will be to show how many asexuals and allies there really are. (That is, if it even registers with most people seeing our group go by who we are and what we're about.) I also know that getting a critical mass of participants will be a very difficult push up until the end. The result will be a really glorious meetup. But if the point is education and visibility, I think we could do that more efficiently through other channels. (Totally unsexy channels, to be sure.) Marching would be a historic moment that would definitely stand out in the events of my life, and maybe all of our lives. I'm ready, but does that matter?

Currently, my job (the thing I get sort of paid to do) revolves around planning a volunteer program. I was warned that if my first volunteers aren't wonderful and do a great job, the program will be set back and no one will want to cooperate with me in the future. I feel like our first really big activity will have to be wonderful and do a great job, too. But that's a lot of pressure!

My fear is that people will plan on coming, but then we'll realize we only have something like 15 people participating. I don't want to cancel the effort, because then I'll feel like an idiot. But I'll feel like an even bigger idiot if only a handful of people show up on the day of. The idea of telling interested parties that we wouldn't actually be marching makes my pulse speed up in a bad way. But if people don't come out of the woodwork to drink excellent chai in a cafe, will they come out to march in a parade? Somehow, I doubt it. And I don't think people understand that we need solid RSVPs now in order to go forward with this project. Now that I've achieved my goal of 10 people at a meetup, I want to escalate my efforts. Is marching the best way to do that? Or should it be more like getting 12 people at a meetup?

I await your comments, enlightened ones...

8 comments:

The Impossible K said...

Yeah, I was worried about the same thing... Especially if I have to spend time and money to organize a carpool down, only to get a couple people... Sure, I love SF and I would love to go down and see you guys, but can I really afford to?
You say the booth costs $500- well, if we can commit at least 10 people, it would be as much or cheaper than each person paying $55 to walk in the parade, right? I'm still interested in that option, however improbable that may be...
Ugh... I totally sympathize with you on this one... I really hope we can get this together though. :)

Ily said...

Well, it's always nice to worry together :-)

Important clarification: It's $55 for the entire contingent. So if we have 55 people (for example), we'd only have to pay a dollar each. And I'm sure some of our bigger spenders (if there are any) will be willing to chip in more.
I guess I'm wondering how many people we need to be in by what time in order to say it's definitely a go.

What I really want to know is how many people we'd really need, and by when we'd have to have them confirmed. It's hard because it's not like we're a brick-and-mortar group that knows we have a membership of 500 (or whatever).

I'm trying to think if there's any sort of high-concept thing that wouldn't require large numbers. I remember last year, there were some people from a clinic for sex workers riding on a trolley car like prostitutes used to do in the old days. Okay, I'm not suggesting we do that, but my point was that they probably only had 15-20 people, but it had a concept and was therefore memorable.

Madeline said...

when is the parade? i wanna march in it!! and i bet i could get a few people :-P

DJ DJ said...

I've been working on this to. For the $55 we need to be sponsored by a nonprofit (I've called up a few to ask them about it.) Alternatively we could just partner with somone else who is marching and tag on at the end (I've been talking to my friends at Trikone.)

And 15 people with a banner is definitely enough, that puts us in line with the other small groups marching. It's enough to tell the thousands and thousands of ppl at the march that asexuality exists.

Ily said...

Thanks DJ, you're right. That's very reassuring. And I'm glad that you're into working on this, that helps a lot too. I think it would be great to partner with another group, but it's good to know that 15 people would be enough, too. It wouldn't be too hard to get 15 people, so yeehaw!

And yay, Madeline! The parade's at the end of June. I'll keep you (and everyone else) posted :-)

Cree said...

Hello,

I would absolutely love to march in SF, though I'm not sure I have the physical capabilities to hold up the entire time. I think the best way to begin is to start asking people if they would be interested. Then you can take the number of yeses, and base your planning on 1/4 of them actually making it. Of course, this is a worse-case scenario, which is how I like to work it because then I don't have to worry about everything falling apart. More can always be handled, less not so much.

Ily said...

1/4 huh...I appreciate your advice. I wonder, what can we do so that people who might have trouble walking the whole way could still join us? I definitely want this thing to be accessible to anyone interested.

eswehau said...

I would love to be in the parade, but I don't know how I would get there!