It’s 11 A.M. and sunny, and I’m standing next to the Outlook TV float with excited, local Vancouverites, preparing to ride two hours through Davie Street for Gay Pride Vancouver 2012. Paraders gather around their respective floats, wearing leather, masks, or even flamingos on their heads, amping the scene with a festive fervor—even I, a jaded New Yorker, am considerably moved. But there’s one dilemma: I find out that it’s mandatory for everyone on my float to take off their shirt. This generally isn’t a big deal, but after a road trip for the past two weeks and not having spent any time in the gym (not to mention generously eating my way through three cities), I have to admit I’m a little self-conscious. I also stand strongly on the fact that celebrating diversity has nothing to do with showing skin, and, furthermore, I don’t have much to show off. So what actually pushes my decision to strip down (other than the fact that I don’t want to walk the route as I’m wearing loafers) is justifying the idea Vancouver is a small city of just over 600,000, therefore it must be an appropriately scaled audience. I can’t be more wrong.