Pride. Today I was proud. Proud to live in the progressive city of Seattle. Proud to live in a the beautiful blue State of Washington. Proud to be an American in a time of such progressive and forward thinking positive change. Proud to have so many gay and lesbian friends and colleagues that I can’t count them on my fingers, toes, and the fingers and toes of my wife and daughter combined.
We were in Paris last week when we heard about the US Supreme Court decisions that dismantled DOMA (the so called “Defense of Marriage Act”) and California’s Proposition 8, which would open the way for gay marriage to return to California.
We actually curtailed our trip to Europe for my sabbatical several months ago so we could return for the wedding of our dear friends Debra and Michelle. For years they’ve been saying that if gay marriage was ever legalized in Washington State they’d get married and they’d want my daughter Clara to be part of the wedding party. This past November that promised was scheduled when the voters of the State of Washington legalized same sex marriage. But to hear the Supreme Court ruling about DOMA means our friends Debra and Michelle will now also be able to receive the same Federal recognition and benefits the rest of us enjoy.
So today we decided to celebrate this historic occasion by attending the Seattle Gay Pride Parade, now in its 39th year!
The start of the parade was emotional. You could feel it. I cried I was so overwhelmed with joy and emotion for our friends and for all the people who now feel equal partners in this country. As soon as I saw the first Harley lesbians who started the parade, one with a wedding gown on, I choked up and couldn’t hold my emotions. It was a powerful and positive day for myself and my family and friends who attended with us.
The parade was better than ever with so many people on the streets. It seemed 10 to 15 deep at times on the side of the parade route. But we had gotten their early so we had front row seats. There were more corporate participants than ever (Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, PWC, Delta, Alaska Airlines, Holland America, Verizon, and other local businesses), more political candidates than ever (there’s a mayoral race in Seattle this year and the gay vote is critical to anybody who wants to win that seat), more City and County participants than ever (Seattle Parks and Rec, King County Sheriff, Seattle Police, Seattle Fire, State Patrol, Seattle and King County Libraries, etc.) and of course your gay and lesbian businesses, clubs, organizations, clubs, groups). But what really surprised me was the number of religious organizations. There was representation from the Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutheran, even Baptist and Mormons who are ready to perform weddings and openly accept gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people into their congregations. Even the Flying Spaghetti Monster made an appearance.
It was a day of positive energy and love, and just the right amount of kink, leather, drag, nudity, and unicorns to make the parade entertaining and memorable. 😉