Catherine ONeill Thorn, the Westword Mastermind behind Art From Ashes, a local poetry program for at-risk youth, couldnt believe that Denver wasnt the first city to host a Running of the Gays. Turns out there have been similar events in settings as far away as Australia and as close (and unlikely) as Salt Lake City. But Denvers first-ever Running of the Gays a three-block marathon along 17th Avenue for men in heels should still be on point.
The idea for the run got its start when Thorn was talking with her friend Noelle Benjamin, of Salon Noelle, about what they could do to raise money for the Rainbow Alley kids at Denvers new LGBTQ Center. They want our program, but they dont have any money, Thorn says, so Noelles friend Ed said, Lets get the gays to do something. Then somehow they started thinking about Pamplonas Running of the Bulls, which led to sending gay guys running down the street in heels.
But getting the street closed off was too expensive, so participants will actually gather on the sidewalk in front of Steubens, 523 East 17th Avenue, where the run will start at 11 a.m. today. Theyll head east running past Hamburger Marys, where a gaggle of gals will offer runners relief via water pistols and Red Bull and minutes later wind up at JRs, 777 East 17th, for a party.
Ready to teeter? The three participating venues will be offering menu and drink specials all day; get the details at www.artfromashes.org/events.html.
Sun., Sept. 26, 11 a.m., 2010