The teammates then have to switch out the same dress, wigs, shoes and purse and then race back to complete the relay.
Brightwell said, "It's really, really funny to watch -- and running in high heels isn't easy."
Brightwell would know. The former owner of Visions Day Spa and occasional Light Opera Guild actor is still probably Charleston's best-known female impersonator.
He added, "And they only have certain size shoes. So if they don't fit, that's just too bad."
It's supposed to be fun -- even for the straight people who come out to watch.
Brightwell said that during the 10 years that he's been associated with Pride Week, the event has grown and changed. There's more entertainment and more opportunities to include people from outside the gay community.
"We've gone from having events on the Capitol steps and moving to Davis Park to now we're at Haddad Riverfront Park, which is huge.
He added, "There's a lot more entertainment now and even more vendors. We even have Mardi Gras Casino involved, coming with their big bus, selling beer -- stuff like that. The public is more involved with gay pride, knowing that gay dollars are easily spent."
This year's Pride Week theme is "All Together Now" and really, Brightwell thought that summed up what Pride Week is about.
"We want to bring people together," he said. "We just want to get to the point where Pride week is just a huge celebration of people, but it's all people."
Slowly, but surely, it's getting there. Acceptance has been a slow process, but it's happening.
"The gays are trendy right now," he laughed.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.