Monday, June 14, 2010

Pride

By Mister Curie

Philadelphia had their annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival today.  I was curious what it would be like to attend, as I regularly read about how the "gay lifestyle" isn't a Pride Parade 24/7 and that the 30 second clip that makes the news isn't representative of even the whole Parade.  I asked Madame Curie if she and Le Petite Curie would like to attend the Parade with me.  Madame Curie had a variety of reasons why she didn't want to attend, but she was happy to have me take Le Petite Curie downtown and give her a day to herself.

Le Petite Curie and I had a great time.  The parade wasn't quite as tame as it sounds like the Utah Pride parades were, but the majority of the parade was regularly dressed people marching together behind banners of their respective supportive organizations.  It was only the few floats advertising the local LGBT night clubs that probably made it onto tonight's news.  I was impressed with the several church floats in the parade, showing their support for the LGBT community.  It still surprises me to see religious support for the LGBT community since Mormonism is not supportive at all.  Le Petite Curie loved the police cars, the fire trucks, the candy, and the bright rainbows.  I was a little surprised that the parade was as short as it was, only lasting 1 hour, and with several long gaps between organizations during the parade and the parade itself moved quite slowely.  Le Petite Curie would regularly turn to me throughout the parade and ask if there was more parade coming.  While observing the parade, we were surrounded by a lovely bunch of lesbians who enjoyed giving Le Petite Curie the candy, etc. thrown from the floats.


After the parade was over, we followed the parade route toward the festival and when we got to the judging area for the parade, we realized that we were almost at the beginning of the parade again (I said that it moved slowly), so we watched it a second time.  It was better watching it at the judging area because many of the groups performed for the judges and each group had a little introduction that gave the history of the organization in Philadelphia.  Le Petite Curie fell asleep on my back during the parade round 2, only waking up once when the fire truck honked its horn (he replied, "I can't sleep when it is so loud") and when it started to lightly rain. 

The only anti-LGBT protesters I saw today were near the judging area and at the entrance to the Festival.  One of the supportive church groups had counter-protest signs pre-prepared and their message was that "God made you, loves you, and accepts you just the way you are".


Then we entered the Festival.  The music and entertainment were enjoyable.  Le Petite Curie and I enjoyed walking around looking at all of the booths.  Le Petite Curie particularly enjoyed that the Festival was on the Philly waterfront and so he could watch all the boats in the water. We had a really good time.  It was great to see people enjoying themselves and celebrating overcoming the struggles they felt over who they are, contrary to societal norms.  It felt good to know that I could just be me and that was alright.  It was interesting and a bit comforting to have the baseline assumption be that I am attracted to men.  While standing in line for the porta-potties, Le Petite Curie was trying to flirt with one of the lesbians standing in line ahead of us and she struck up a conversation with me.  She mentioned that she was the oldest of six children and had a twin brother, "who is also LGBT".  In her short statement, she naturally included me in that world.  It felt good.  And while the baseline assumption of people who saw me at the festival is probably as far from my current condition as the baseline assumption of ward members at our ward camp-out the day before, I felt that at least they would accept and empathize with my journey. 

I've always loved rainbows.  It was nice to be able to enjoy them and sport them without worry that people were getting the wrong idea (or, actually, the right idea that I didn't want them to get).  And so, when it was time to leave, I left my rainbow wristband on, so I could carry the spirit of pride back home with me and I could be "out" just a little longer before re-entering my closet.

(All of these photos are my actual photos from the event, and yes that is my arm with wristband).

6 comments:

  1. Madame Curie14 June, 2010

    I am very proud of you for going to the Pride parade and festival, and was very grateful for the day to myself. I know Le Petite had a fantastic time! Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks pretty fun to me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks for the recap. I really need to go one of these days

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was at the Washington DC Pride parade. So fun. I'm still tip-toeing up to the line of being out as a bisexual. I think one of my lesbian friends suspects, probably others do too, but I've never admitted to anyone that I am bi. I face rampant homophobia in my family, so I feel that if I come out to anyone, it will get back to my family. *sigh*

    But the parade was wonderful! I teared up a few times when groups like PFLAG would march and I could see so many families supporting their GLBT family members.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "It was interesting and a bit comforting to have the baseline assumption be that I am attracted to men."

    I go to a men-only yoga class (clothed). I think the assumption is that most or all of us are gay, though it's never discussed. But I feel that same comfort that you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the post. Since helping plan Utah Pride this year, I've gained an interest in other Pride festivals. There's a great documentary called "Beyond Gay" that looks at Pride festivals around the world.

    ReplyDelete