On June 10 I marched in my first gay pride parade! And it won't be the last time.
Last year I watched from the sidelines as nearly the entire population of West Hollywood marched by in the longest parade ever. It was almost comical how ridiculously long it was. But this year, I immediately accepted an open call to march with the NOH8 campaign.
And even though we had to wait so long to begin marching due to the huge amount of groups going down the route, it was all worth it in the end.
I was under the impression that no one was into the parade, but to see so many faces and kids, it was amazing. We chanted down Santa Monica Blvd. for equal rights and proclaiming "no hate."
We even encountered a church of 3 people holding signs condemning our "sinful" behavior. I hope they know that that shrimp cocktail in their mouths is "sinful" just the same.
I had been of the opinion that the gay pride parade doesn't mean what it uses to. In the past it was a celebration of who we are; a place where we could be ourselves out in public with others like us and just have fun. But matching passed the protestors, it reminds me of how important it is to march. It is a big party. But it's also a statement that we must continue to make.
After the parade, I hung out at the bars by myself for the first time. And I met a ton of people. Fear conquered. Of course it helps that Pride brings out a different friendlier crowd than the usual WeHo scene.
Well I can't wait till the next one. I love a parade!