A light trilogy to celebrate the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The events described herein are real.
At The Fair
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage rosemary and thyme
Remember me to the one who lives there
He once was a true love of mine.
Scarborough Fair - Simon and Garfunkel
Lieutenant Welsh took a deep breath and stepped out of his office, clutching
a fax from Head Office. He steeled himself for the response he knew
he would get and took a final look at the fax. Getting detectives to
volunteer for anything on their days off was hard enough, but this.
He didn't like his chances.
Scanning the bullpen he was relieved to see Constable Fraser seated beside
Detective Vecchio's desk. He would probably volunteer his time, he always
did. But should he let the hapless Mountie volunteer for this? They'd
eat him alive.
He shook *that* image from his mind and addressed the detectives en masse.
"OK, listen up people. I need a few volunteers." He held
up his hands when he heard the anticipated communal groan. "This
Sunday is Gay Pride Fair Day and the precinct is running a stall to promote
the relationship between the Force and the gay community."
A mutter of voices filled the room, some in protest, some in disgust,
but one spoke out above them all. It came, not surprisingly, from the
direction of Detective Vecchio's desk.
"I'll do it."
Welsh turned to the owner of the voice, surprised that the voice was
that of Stanley Raymond Kowalski aka Ray Vecchio and not, as expected,
He dismissed his surprise, what did he care? It didn't matter who volunteered
so long as someone did.
"OK, that's great, Detective." He cast his gaze around the
room. "Anyone else?"
Constable Fraser's hand shot up. "Of course, Leftenant, I am not
an official member of this precinct, but if you would have me I would
be honoured to volunteer and I may well learn something about....."
Welsh cut him off before he thought too much about what he might learn;
Fraser would just have to cope with whatever he was dealt. "You're
in, Fraser." Scowling at the rest of his staff, he turned back
to his office. "The rest of you, get back to work."
Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny. A perfect day for the Gay Pride
Fair and Ray whistled to himself as he drove towards the Canadian Consulate.
It was going to be a good day.
Ray was relieved to find that Fraser had followed his advice and not
worn his uniform. Dressed simply in worn denim and a white t-shirt,
the Mountie waited on the steps of the Consulate with Diefenbaker beside
him. They walked towards Ray's GTO as he pulled up.
"Good morning, Ray." He smiled at his friend as he got into
the car. "I hope it's not inappropriate to bring Diefenbaker?"
"No, Fraser." Ray grinned back at him. "No problem at
For a moment he was tempted to tell his friend that one of the competitions
held every year at the Gay Pride Fair was to find the dog most suited
to helping their owner score, but maybe he'd let Fraser find that out
On arrival at the Fair, it only took a short while to get their stall
organised. The organisers of the fair had erected a small tent like
affair and Fraser and Ray arranged a trestle table with pamphlets and
fliers and hunted up a few chairs. As they were working on their arrangement
one of the organisers, a muscled blonde man, arrived clutching a pair
of t-shirts. He introduced himself as Tom Gleeson.
"Here guys, I thought you might like a couple of these shirts to
make you feel like a part of the crowd."
Fraser accepted the shirts from Tom, who looked him up and down as he
did. "Thank you kindly," he replied, flushing slightly under
Tom turned to Ray. "I hope you have a successful day, Detective.
I think it's important that we feel like we can come to the police when
we need to."
"Yeah, well I'd like that to happen to."
After exchanging a few more words, Tom left, leaving Fraser and Ray to
Fraser held up the t-shirts. "These are a little *small*, Ray,
but I think it would be rude not to wear them."
Ray grinned as he inspected the shirts. The larger of the two bore the
now familiar rainbow striped flag of gay pride with the date across it
and the smaller bore a pink triangle overlapping a blue triangle, also
with the date.
"They're *supposed* to be this size, Fraser. Look around, everyone
else is wearing tight shirts."
Ray reached for the smaller one, pulled his own t-shirt over his head
and put the new one on, smoothing the blue and pink triangles over his
chest as he did. After a momentary hesitation Fraser did the same, turning
his back to the open front of their tent.
The short, tight shirt moulded to his muscles, making the rainbow flag
appear curved and bumpy. He pulled at the hem and looked nervously at
his companion. Ray's shirt barely covered his midriff and as he moved,
it showed glimpses of the taut stomach underneath. Well, Fraser sighed
to himself, if Ray is prepared to do this in the interest of a good cause,
then so am I.
"You OK there, Fraser?" Ray asked, looking up from the fliers
he was busy rearranging.
"Yes, Ray, I'm fine." He indicated the triangle design on
his friend's shirt. "I am familiar with the rainbow flag on my
shirt, Ray. But I do not know what those triangles are."
Ray lifted an elegant finger to touch his lips, hiding his smile. "Bi
Pride," he answered softly.
"Buy pride? Surely pride is something that cannot be bought...."
Ray cut him off. "No, not buy. Bi as in bisexual."
Fraser blushed and dropped his gaze to his boots. "Oh."
By midmorning most stalls were set up. There were stalls selling food,
clothing, books and some, like theirs, dispensing pamphlets, condoms
and advice. The crowd started to arrive at about 11am and Fraser took
his time looking over the variety of people ranging from handsome bare-chested
muscle bound men to young women dressed in baggy shorts and heavy boots
to men wearing high heels that sank in the grass. All in all, a colourful
and happy day and he found himself surprisingly happy to be part of it.
Throughout the morning many people, including some of their colleagues
from 'The Gay and Lesbian Police Officers' stall, stopped by to visit
them. Fraser, despite his early discomfort at wearing such a revealing
shirt, was enjoying himself immensely and was well pleased with the relationship
the Chicago PD seemed to be establishing with the community. Diefenbaker
had wandered off shortly after their arrival, but Fraser wasn't concerned.
There were many dogs at the Fair to keep him company.
Ray seemed to be enjoying himself too, Fraser noticed. He seemed to
know many of the people there already and had spent much of the morning
hugging and kissing what seemed to be a large number of old friends.
Fraser was about to mention this fact to his friend when a transvestite
in a pink vinyl dress and a bright yellow wig teetered up to their tent.
"Well if it isn't Stanley Kowalski!" she screamed delightedly.
Ray turned in time to be pressed against a pair of pointy vinyl covered
breasts. "Hey, Pan," he grinned at the woman who towered over
him in her six inch purple platforms. "I haven't seen you in ages."
"Well, honey," she pouted at him, "that could be because
you don't come round anymore."
"Well, now I got this new job, I can't come round too much."
"We miss you, Stanley." Pan looked up and indicated Fraser.
"But, I'll forgive you if you introduce me to your lovely friend
"Oh, ah, yeah sure." Ray rubbed a hand across his forehead.
Fraser stepped across the small space and extended his hand to the woman.
"Constable Benton Fraser, Royal Canadian Mounted Police."
Pan feigned a swoon and fanned herself with a pink-gloved hand. "I'm
Fraser frowned and glanced at Ray before looking back at Pan. "Pan
Pan gave a demure look from under long eyelashes. "It's my stage
On cue and before either of the men could react, a sturdy young woman
with a severe haircut dashed up to Pan. "Pan, for Christ's sakes,
I've been looking everywhere for you. You're on in five."
"Oh, fuck," she cried in a voice deeper than before. Quickly
she kissed Ray and patted Fraser's cheek. "You two will have to
wait till later." She ran off after the young woman as fast as
her platforms would carry her. "Come see my show," she called
as she went.
"Pan Am?" Fraser repeated, turning to Ray with a raised eyebrow.
Ray laughed and turned to hand some pamphlets to a pair of leather clad
women wearing t-shirts proclaiming them to be 'dykes on bikes'.
Sometime later a man wearing leather chaps and spurs approached the tent,
making a beeline for Fraser. Fraser smiled at the man and pointed to
"I take it you like to ride?" Fraser asked.
The man fingered his moustache and tugged at the red bandanna tied around
his neck. He smiled at Fraser, his eyes raking over the muscles not
at all concealed by the tight t-shirt.
"Oh, yeah, I *love* to ride," he drawled.
"Well so do I, that is, as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police, I am required to ride." He hesitated for a moment. "But
in my leisure time, at least my leisure time in Canada that is, I ride
whenever I get the chance."
The man reached out and ran his hand brazenly down Fraser's chest. "Well
for you, handsome, I'd even consider being ridden." He turned and
walked away. Fraser watched open-mouthed as the man went, taking a moment
to realise that under the leather chaps all the man wore was a black
leather thong. Behind him, Ray was unable to contain his laughter any
"Oh man, the look on your face is priceless," he guffawed.
"You gotta know that was coming."
Fraser coloured. "Not at all. I thought we were discussing......*equestrian*
Ray laughed again. "You kill me, Fraser."
"I think I'll go find Diefenbaker," Fraser said, feeling miffed
at his friend's laughter.
Ray watched as Fraser disappeared into the crowd in search of his wolf.
It's strange, Ray thought, that although Fraser looked like he belonged
here amongst this crowd in his old threadbare jeans and too tight t-shirt,
that he was so out of his depth.
Not like him. Ray handed a leaflet and a pack of condoms to a young
man who looked to be about the same age as he had been the first time
he attended an event like this. Things sure had changed in the last
twenty years, he mused. Back then, if you were out, you were *out* and
a confused young teenager, as he had been, stood no chance.
But not now. Now things were different. There were still the stereotypes
of course, but these days your sexuality didn't need to be on display
to be valid. All around him were examples; a beautiful woman, who could
have been a model, held hands with another woman carrying a child on
her back; two men who could have been accountants chose handmade coffee
cups from a pottery stall; an older transvestite dressed tastefully in
a Chanel-style suit held hands with a man her age who had obviously been
very handsome in his youth; a woman his mother's age slipped her arms
around the waist of another woman and they laughed together at some private
joke. All of these people had come to celebrate their community and
Ray was proud to be here with them. He was proud to be a part of this
He wondered if Fraser guessed. Had the Mountie realised there was more
to his desire to volunteer today than being a good cop? Did Fraser wonder
how he came to know so many of the people that had stopped by? And what
did it matter if he had? Suddenly weary, Ray reached over, snagged one
of the chairs and lowered himself into it, letting the sights and sounds
of Gay Pride Fair Day wash over him.
So lost in his thoughts was he that he didn't hear a man approach him.
He jumped when he heard a soft, familiar voice to his left.
He flowed out of the chair and stepped towards the owner of the voice,
stopping just short of arms reach. He let his eyes wander up and down
the man in front of him, taking in the sturdy legs encased in denim and
the barrel-chest barely covered by a soft tan suede vest. He hadn't
changed at all.
"Danny," he breathed and flowed against the man, sliding his
arms under black waist length hair as he hugged him.
In the centre of the Fair, Fraser finally found Diefenbaker beside a
stall selling pretzels. He sat next to a small white fluffy dog of indeterminable
parentage. He bent to scold him, but a stern voice pulled him up short.
"So he's yours?"
Fraser stood and found himself eye to eye with a beautiful black woman.
"Ah, yes," he said, intimidated by glare of the woman in front
of him. "I'm sorry if he has caused any trouble. I'd be glad to
pay for any food he's stolen."
The woman's stern face was split by a large grin and she threw back her
head and laughed. "No, he's no trouble, I was just hoping he belonged
to that sweet young thing over there." She pointed to a slender
woman dressed in a sheer yellow shirt tucked into skin-tight black pants.
"Never mind, you're already entered in the contest."
"Yeah, the dog contest." She frowned at Fraser's blank stare.
"The contest where they judge the best dog for helping their owner
"Hell, man," she sneered. "You know, meet some guy to
do the horizontal polka with."
"Oh." Fraser blushed. "I .... I...."
Before he could continue any further, Pan Am appeared at his side. "Oh,
so he's *your* dog? Well come on, judging is about to start."
Before he could figure out how it happened, Fraser found himself on a
makeshift stage with Dief at his feet, in a line with 5 other contestants
and their dogs. Pan Am strolled along the line assessing each owner
and calling for ratings from the audience. By the time they reached
Fraser and Dief, the audience was going wild; shouting, clapping and
calling out obscenities that made Fraser blush. Pan Am declared them
the winner and proceeded to embarrass Fraser further
Ten minutes later, still wondering what had happened, Fraser found himself
on his way back to the Chicago PD stall with a pink sash around his chest,
a bottle of pink champagne in his hand and an ostentatious pink bow around
Diefenbaker's neck. As he approached the stall he was startled to find
Ray in the embrace of a man of Native American origin.
So intimate was their posture that he stopped suddenly, causing a drag
queen in gold stilettos to bump into him.
"Sorry ma'am," he muttered absently, steadying the woman without
taking his eyes off the scene in the Chicago PD tent.
By the time the woman was on her way again, the man in Ray's arms was
moving away, one hand holding on to Ray's for as long as possible. Fraser
took a breath, straightened his sash and continued.
When Fraser reached his companion, Ray was absently shuffling leaflets
on the trestle table on the side of the tent, smiling contentedly to
himself. As he looked up the smile grew wider and Fraser noticed a glow
in his friend's eyes that wasn't there before.
"I'm back, Ray," he said as he entered the tent. "I'm
sorry I was gone so long." He held up the bottle and indicated his
sash. "You see, Pan Am found me and took Dief and I....."
Ray smiled and cut his friend off. "S'okay, Fraser." He laughed
out loud as he helped Fraser take the sash off. "So long as you
were having a good time."
Fraser looked startled for a moment, realising that he had, in fact,
had a good time. "Why yes, Ray. I think I did."
Ray smiled again and his eyes shone. "Fraser, I learn something
new about you everyday."
Fraser smiled warmly at Ray, remembering the scene he had witnessed minutes
earlier. "And I you, Ray," he said as he took up a fresh batch
of pamphlets and began to hand them out.