Certainly, a day at the Pride Parade showed me a shift towards acceptance and celebration of diversity. The detractors quoted at the top of the article were 13 people strong and not even allowed on the parade route this year. However, the young people congregating in their area were completely unphased by the ranting.
One teenager had written in marker pen across his chest, "I'm straight but you can kiss me anyway."
I think what I heard one fellow say sums it up, “Get over yourself, Mary, it’s just life.”
Pride in context
What was the experience of Pride I had at the parade? I saw the GLBT world inching beyond a fight for existence and validation to an honored place in society. All sorts of people enjoying a couple of hours not at all worried about categories or labels – just celebrating life together as they were.
I saw young straight, gay, and gender-bending queer kids quite comfortable together. I saw families of all sorts enjoying the parade along side bare-chested men (and more than a few women) – all waving rainbow flags. Hundreds of ‘twenty-something’ straight couples (the rising demographic of Boystown) were out as well, bedecked with Marti-Gras beads and beers in hand.
Among the 250 groups marching, there were 5 or 6 pet rescue groups and other save the planet organizations. It seemed that more GLBTQ people finding a voice in their sexuality and gender – with many ethnic, religious, and issue organizations represented.
Pinch myself for a moment! There is a lot to do. World society is nowhere near those goals of recognition and equality. Old prejudices are hard to change (green-eyed left handed people are still considered witches in some places) and will have to diminish with the passing of generations. But it has begun, and must continue with you and I.
Every day can be a Pride Parade, if we let it be. Recognize hate and love, embrace diversity in ourselves and others. Appreciate every sunset and be thankful we have a Sun, light and dark, seasons and weather. Be thankful for all the gifts each one of has; share yours freely and accept mine as a gift from God.
Give a green-eyed, left handed Gay person a kiss (ok, a hug to start). You won’t turn into a frog, you will just be more human and perhaps a bit closer to God.
©2009 David Loofbourrow All Rights Reserved