I have only ever attended a Gay Pride celebration with the performing group I do sound for, the Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps. So I see it with a slightly skewed viewpoint: My objective has been to gradually transform the festivities from scantily-clad go-go boys and drag queens on club floats to performing groups doing things that really require group skill, like color guard, choir, swim team, marching band, etc. It’s gone well; we’ve added (by my count) 4 more performing groups and the character of the parade is very different.
At my first pride, I expected to see the club floats, drag queens and go-go boys, and I did. But there was something else I saw (or rather felt) that I didn’t expect: a profound sense of belonging; family. These people knew who I was and loved me anyway. (The “anyway” represents a thinking error, but that’s another post.)
This year something happened, something big. To men, one gay and one straight, in Utah county, decided to do something to show support from the people not covered by the acronym. They created T-shirts saying “I’m [straight/bi/gay/married/Mormon/human] and I support = rights” and distributed them far and wide. They weren’t planning to march in the parade until the Pride center asked them to, so they did.
There were hundreds of them. Hundreds. The largest group in the parade by at least a factor of 3. They stretched out for a block. It was amazing.
My sister, her husband, their two sons, and my mom marched with them. Our mutual friends marched with them. Their friends who I don’t know, marched with them. It just went on and on…
…and this year, the Pride parade is expected to be bigger than the Days of ’47 parade. That’s a huge milestone. More than a milestone. It represents a shift in the culture that would have been unimaginable not many years ago.
I am moved beyond words, with gratitude and awe, for the showing of support from this new family of mine. I don’t have to apologize for who I am.