As teachers and teachers unions marched by, we applauded, and Ann remembered her first parades in Seattle in the 1970s when teachers wore paper bags over their faces to hide their identities because coming out could mean being fired. A Seattle School bus for GLBTQ kids went by, and she said, "Wow. Times have changed."
The Greater Seattle Business Association, an organization that raises hundreds of thousands of scholarship dollars for GLBTQ undergraduates and their allies, marched in business attire and performed drill team moves with their yellow briefcases.
I love the Parade's colorful splendor and joyful spirit. We didn't sit close to the five ten people who are always at the parade holding obscene signs and shouting about damnation. Those people put a damper on a beautiful day and give Christianity a bad name.
Our church members carried a sunny banner and an arched rainbow of balloons overhead, so that as we marched Ann and I noted that we were in fact somewhere under the rainbow, and skies were blue. Some members carried signs with a dancing figure with the words, "It's about love" and others distributed stickers with the same design that I saw throughout the day.
Almost everyone wore a pink sticker that proclamed, "I am loved by PFLAG!" (PFLAG is an acronym for "Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.") I always cry when they tag me.
The woman who sang the Star-Spangled banner before the basketball game wore a t-shirt Approve R-74, a Washington State Referendum on the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
The Storm organization donated $3500 to GSBA Scholarships.
Throughout the game, we heard, "Happy Pride!" and the lights that surround the stadium glowed in Pride's rainbow colors.
In the week leading up to Pride, the city seemed joyful, too. At the YMCA, a pride flag hung over the welcome counter. For Pride-Eve, Ann and I went with our friends Pea and Ally and Ally's cute friend Heath to celebrate with the Seattle Men's chorus, many of whom are gay. The men sang, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and we all sang, "Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do...Do, a dear, a female deer..."
Though there's still bigotry, fear, and meanness (maybe they all have the same root), I remember the poem, "Sometimes":
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen to you
contributed by Holly Thomas)