I sure do.
SLC’s pride festival was the largest I’ve ever seen (eh, “pride,” if only I was powerful enough in the gay cabal, I’d task a queer committee to come up with a better name. Alas, my gay powers are too weak.). It’s really become a fun event and I can see why they’ve grown from 1 to 3 days. I must say I also very much appreciate how they’ve made it much more inclusive of families; we got a whole big kid's section this time and our boys loved the magic show and face painting.
Here we are:
Damnable seagulls! They covered up Rob and the boy’s faces, not to mention my parents. They missed my aunt there though :-).
Anyway, in the parade we had many churches:
Many advocacy groups:
The people were from all walks of life, cheering them on:
But what’s get’s the most attention?
Oh well. It’s certainly their day too :-).
Lastly, of course, there’s the part I worry I’ve gotten too numb to:
You can’t see it in this resolution but “Mormons” are on that man'snaughty list too (the guy with the middle sign). Or is it “Sex Addicts Mormons”? Here, I’ll blow it up; it’s kind of funny in a gallows humor sort of way.
No matter, they’re an expected part of the event, and they almost make the loving and jubilant feeling of the crowd even larger by the contrast. People just march right on.
I want to give one anecdote that really got to me, though (I’ve already spent more time here than I should have :-)).
We weren’t going to walk in the parade, but Alan insisted on it once he saw some people he knew (He likes the waving and cheers of others I guess :-)). So Alan and I walked on with a bunch of other families and Brian, more shy, stayed back with Rob and the rest of our family.
As I was walking a kid came up behind me yelling Brian’s name. At first I thought that my blog had found me ;-), but it was Brian’s real name. I turned and didn’t recognize the kid but he kept on and finally it was clear he was trying to get my attention, though he’d mixed my kids up. I felt bad I didn’t recognize him and was a bit leery (Being away from Rob I didn’t want to be seen talking to a handsome young man I didn’t know :-)). He quickly reminded me that we met over a year ago. He was a cousin of a niece (outside my direct family), and, at that point in his life, was having a very hard time with his parents, his faith, and his view of his future. When my niece told me his story, we offered to help and he and his partner had dinner at our home. I had forgotten it; it had been so long ago (or maybe it's my memory? :-)).
I’ll not go into the whole of what he told me there, walking in the parade route, but he basically made me feel like I’d made a positive and lasting difference. It’s funny that I didn't even know it, and that such a forgotten gesture of a dinner could come back to you like that. Walking in any parade is just fun for the community and people-watching aspects of it alone, but that made it feel a bit important too. I walked the remaining blocks with much more purpose.
Anyway, I'm still officially on blog "break". Now back to non-blog work :-).