Monday, June 25, 2007

That's SO Bay Area.

Pride was just glorious. A few of my favorite highlights:
The dude wearing a top hat and roller skates. And nothing else. No, he was not part of the parade, just a random spectator. He was in good nude company. (And I’m asking this question of everyone: when someone shows up nude to an event like this, assuming they don’t live in the exact neighborhood: do these people travel in the nude or do they wear clothes and find somewhere to stash them once they arrive? Because, I’ve yet to see someone nude on BART or Muni, but, where are they stashing the clothes? Seriously, these are the thoughts that keep me up at night.)

In the gay families group, two men with their son in a stroller, carrying a sign reading, “We’ll love our son, even if he’s straight.” I was kind of in love with this family.

The LGBT Police officers and sheriffs and their partners. Really, in what other city do cops get to be out as openly as here?

One of the groups marching was celebrating their long term partners, while protesting their non-recognized legal status. Most were holding signs with, “Bill and Steve, 9 years” and “Tammy and Corinne together for 24 years.” But the one that got me the most was an older gentleman, riding the float with a sign reading, “Bill and Marvin: 51 years. Widower denied.” That was when I cried. Well, one of the times I cried.

As Xtian and I came out of the BART station at Civic Center, a female Sheriff’s Deputy was patrolling the area. Two men holding hands stopped her, and thanked her for being there on Pride. She turned to them and said, “Thank you for letting me part of this.” And I cried some more.

I forgot my camera, but whatever. We’ve all seen the crazy pictures of Queens and Kings, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the people wearing nothing but balloons, the Dykes on Bikes etc. The stuff that killed me was the quiet moments that aren’t in the photo galleries. The sweet young men in front of us who were at Pride for the first time. The families getting some acceptance and validation by the cheering crowds.

I just love Pride, and it makes me cry every year. I think it’s impossible to be there and think these people are wrong in their love and their lives. It’s just overwhelming in happiness, joy and relief at being completely in the open for one day. It reminded me why I wanted to live and raise children in the Bay Area.

Of course there were the Gay-Bashers quietly holding their signs, “Jesus Loves You! But he hates your lifestyle” type shit. And frankly, they enraged me so much, Xtian pulled me out of the area. You know, I don’t show up to their KKK rallies telling them they’re assholes.
But I felt they were answered back beautifully by the Gay Christian Church group carrying signs saying, “Jesus DOES Love Me, Just The Way I Am.” And while I’m not a Christian or a religious person, it was beautiful watching people reclaiming religion from hate-spewing jerkoffs.

That’s all I’ve got today. I’m tired. And ready to go home.

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