This is a good piece by Barbara Weicksel. She notes, “This world we live in is not always easy. It’s not always filled with love and hope and peace. More often than not, it’s filled with hate and war and people who love to judge.
“We are judged by what we wear, where we live, what we drive, the color of our skin, the tone of our voice, the car we drive, and, yes… who we love.”
But today, in a world where marriage equality is surely happening in places that we never thought it might even a year ago, in a world where the web is chock-a-block with gay-themed content even while mainstream television is not, in a world where tolerance, if not outright acceptance, is at a high, certainly in my lifetime, is there really a reason for a pride parade?
Absolutely, unequivocally, YES.
When I went to my first pride parade, I was only ever-so-slightly out. I wasn’t ready to accept myself completely and I certainly didn’t believe that anyone else would. And I was scared to death.
My first pride event was the 1993 March on Washington, D.C. It was so big they made a documentary film about it. There were more people on the Mall that April day than I ever saw at Presidential inaugurals or the insanity that is the 4th of July in the capital. I was in awe of that crowd.
And I learned that I absolutely was not alone; that there were, at the very least, a million other people just like me who descended on Washington that day; that I would be all right and that, in today’s parlance, it would get better.
In spite of the Internet and web series and Sunday morning talk shows and Oprah and self-help d’jour, there is, I guarantee it, somebody in Connersville, Indiana or Orangeburg, South Carolina or Bend, Oregon or New York City who is scared and desperate and does not yet understand that it is okay to be themselves. The bloody, bold, resolute, wild and garish pride parade is a hell of a lot more than cute boys dancing on a parade float; it’s a message that everyone can and will be accepted. Keep it going!