Waldlaw Blog

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Happy Gay Day!

For the first time since they were little, I took my children to yesterday's LGBT Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco. We rode the subway downtown, and came upstairs into the middle of the "Dykes on Bikes" (formally called the "Women's Motorcycle Contingent" -- but how uncreative is that?!). My kids' reaction -- TOO LOUD!! The Dykes were followed by "Mikes on Bikes" -- men on bicycles, in colorful costumes -- and one "Tyke on a Bike," riding on the back of her dad's bike. Much quieter.... We found a place we could squeeze in along the fence line, and watched the parade go by for a while. It seemed smaller this year -- not fewer contingents, but fewer people in them. Maybe it's my imagination. Anyway, we watched and waited for Our Families Coalition to appear, along with all the elementary school contingents, then jumped in. It was a delight to be with so many LGBT families, including many friends and clients, and my kids enjoyed the actual marching part much more than the watching part. What struck me through it all was the extent to which none of this is a big deal for our kids. They go to the parade and see ... a parade. Not an important political event, not something to be either proud or scared of ... just a parade. I actually took a few minutes to explain to my sons that the reason for gay pride events is the prejudice that exists against gay people in many places, and that not every city has a gay pride parade. Their attitude was "sure, mom -- now can we get back to having fun?!" So, here's to the next generation who, at least in San Francisco, sees our gay pride parade in the same light as our Chinese New Year parade, our Carnival parade, and all the other parades we throw in this colorful city to honor our many, varied communities. As my ancestors would say, "from their lips to God's ear"....

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