April 2018

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Gay Day!

Happy Pride! Today Ann and I marched with our church in Seattle's Gay Pride parade. Our church was a forerunner and continues to be active in embracing GLBTQ people as people loved by God who should also be embraced by the church. We get a lot of cheers. Today one guy hollered to us over and over again, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

Today's parade of colorful flags and folks marched under banners of politicians, companies, clubs, support groups, affinity groups, churches and so forth. Usually there are a few brave souls hollering out about sin and hell, but I didn't see them today.

I first marched in a gay pride parade 17 years ago. As I waited for my friend Jodi, who would chaperone me on my first parade, I paced along the area where groups lined up waiting to enter the parade. I passed a man three times, who stopped me the third time and said, "Excuse me, are you a lesbian?" I affirmed that I was, probably the first time I had made this declaration publically. "Because," he explained, "you don't have the look." I told him, "I'm new at it." He nodded, as if this explained it.

I spent my first pride day trying to figure out what the look is. Though there is a stereotypical look for lesbians: short hair, no make-up, tee-shirt, athletic build, and comfortable shoes, there are lots of different looks. That day, I wondered if I would ever really fit in anywhere.

I'm sure I cried when PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) gave me a sticker that said, "PFLAG loves me." Not given to sentimentality, I always cry when PFLAG marches by.

Today, 17 years later, is again the day when GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexua,l Transgendered, and Queer/Questioning) people and straight people who embrace us celebrate...what? what exactly are we celebrating?

I'm celebrating a life filled with a love that I never thought I'd have. I'm celebrating the fact that I can live in my country true to who I sm. I'm celebraing New York's passage of gay marriage and all of the other political advances (Though, yes, there is more to be done.) I'm celebrating all of the people who support me and love me. So I'm celebrating me and you.

Today, my peeps and I waved across long spaces, smiled and cheered, "Happy Pride!"  So to you, "Happy pride."

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