Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Musing (On An Historic Pride March)

My husband and I took the ferry into San Francisco yesterday morning for the Pride March. The ferry from Vallejo was packed in equal parts with Giants fans (big game) and Pride celebrants.  A heady mixture.

In line for the ferry, we spoke to various groups of people: het couples with kids, lesbians, gay men, and who knows who else.

The ferry is a glorious one hour ride down from Vallejo at the north tip of the SF Bay to the San Francisco waterfront.  Even as we left the ferry building in SF, there were ecstatic groups of young folks there to raise a ruckus and have a great time.

To use an often used phrase, the 'diversity' of the crowd was heartening.  Young and very old, pale white, to pink, to brown, to black. A delightfully yummy Neapolitan of humans.  Everyone perfectly aware of how momentous this particular celebration was.  I told a group of youngins that I was one of the folks married at City Hall back in the day when Mayor Gavin Newsome instructed county clerks to register same sex couples for marriage licenses.  I must have seemed ancient to these fresh faced youngsters.

Meanwhile, my daughter was also celebrating somewhere up the street with her pack of gal pals. I started taking my daughter to Pride parades when she was but a tot.  She loved them, and she loved the drag queens.  After a Christmas parade one year, she was sorely disappointed because there were no drag queens to be seen.  Bummer.

As I was saying to S. on the drive home, this momentous decision by the Supreme Court would not have been possible if it were not for the huge outpouring of love and support from allies of the LGBT community.  After all, we're only an estimated 10 percent of the population.  How in the world could we do this on our own?  This is why:  very, very brave men and women stood up and said, "I will not be invisible."  I will not go quietly and shamefully into your police vans, handcuffed and humiliated.

Can you imagine the courage of the very first marchers?  In my own community of Santa Cruz, the first parades were very small and were met with a fair amount of derision from on-lookers.  At the time I thought, "Why bother?  You just get a lot of grief thrown at  you."  What I didn't realize at the time was, they 'bothered' because they wanted to increase the visibility of queer people and to shout to the world that they were proud of who they were.

These many years later, their hard work and bravery has paid off.  Their visibility increased the support of straight people.  Together, we all made this day possible.  In my life time.  As we prepare for the foolishness and hate from those who believe the court has gone off the rails, it's important to remember that love has prevailed.  Love is stronger than hate. 

The work will go on.  We are closer to the finish line than we were before.  We're not at the finish line.  We have a long way to go to live up to our nation's promise of justice for all.

"There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. 
-- Nelson Mandela.

This was my husband's first Pride parade.  He had a blast.  I feel fortunate to be with such a loving human being.  Thanks, Honey.

14 comments:

  1. What a perfect weekend for the march, after the momentous Supreme Court decision. A moment in history when the powers bent toward true justice and love. Thank you and S for going.

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    1. it seemed a perfect circle -- from my SF wedding that the courts dissolved, to true marriage equality and sharing the day with my new husband.

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  2. The younger generation, my grandkids, don't see it as an issue because they know each other, can be open on say prom dates, and it's okay. the only thing they say they resent is anyone who is bigoted. I think what had helped a lot with old straights is to know people who aren't 'straight' and see it's normal and fine. The ones most terrified of this decision don't know them or at least don't know any who admit it. I liked the show John Oliver had Sunday about transsexuals as it's one of those things that, want to be open or not, a lot of us have had a hard time understanding. My 14 year old grandson has a transsexual student in his class. The teachers were trying to figure out how to deal with it on a recent trip that required motels. The kids had no problem figuring it out because it didn't seem strange to them. Times are changing and the fundamentalists can't change it back-- fear tactics though they try to use.

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    1. so how did they handle it? Did they let the child board with the gender of identity? PBS is doing a bang up series now on transgender children. We have really arrived at a place of compassion and sanity when we allow young trans children to freely express their feelings.

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    2. As teens, the kids made the decision. They aren't thinking as sexually though at 14 as might be the case later. Basically he is still a he even though I think he plans to transition. Basically they thought if was funny that the teacher had concerns about it. I think it's neat the teacher was just trying to make the kids comfortable and they weren't having a problem with it. My granddaughter went to the prom with her boyfriend and it's a bunch of them of which one of the couples was lesbian or bi-. The kids just don't see it as an issue. It's just what they are. I think it's cool but obviously it's not that way with all regions. This was a group of band and theater kids which might also help.

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    3. ha! yes, when my daughter was in high school she had a grand time with the band and theater kids. they rescued her from a group that was going down a very dark path. I'll be forever grateful for their friendship -- 10 years later many of them are still fast friends.

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  3. Tara's and my trip to the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco yesterday was a thrilling and life affirming experience. The joy and celebration of people without the weight of bias of sex, race, class and age was uplifting. It felt new and joyous.

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    1. The parade is so fun! And extra-special this year.

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  4. Such a moving post, Tara. Love is stronger than hate. It's not an easy walk. It gives us reason to hope about all the troubling issues we face in the world today.

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  5. Great post. Reminds us there are some loving and accepting people in our world.

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  6. One of the most wonderful experiences Trace and I shared with each other and others from the AIDS food bank was carrying that huge rainbow flag down Market Street, so utterly different from the times we carried candles down that grieving street to the Center.

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  7. I enjoyed very much the day, you have great images, btw you are an awesome writer.

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