Hearing “Happy Pride” is like hearing “Happy Birthday”


There were 14 people in our little contingent sitting in our favorite spot along the Parade Route.  Three of us are gay; the other 11 are straight neighbors and friends who were with us showing love and support and total acceptance on every level one could ever hope for.  We arrived early to nab a parking spot and our favorite part of the sidewalk along 6th Avenue in the shade. We watched folks dressed in festive rainbow attire, couples walking hand in hand and laughter was in the air everywhere you went.

Almost every person you passed smiled and said “Happy Pride,” and Susan looked at me and said: “I love that everyone says Happy Pride, it’s like they’re saying Happy Birthday to us.”  I’d never thought of it in those terms, however, for a gay and lesbian your life really does start the day you “come out,” and what is more festive and celebratory than a big gay parade? So Happy Pride now seems even more appropriate!

Even before the troops rounded the corner of University Avenue and started down 6th Avenue the tears started to flow. I knew they were coming, I could hear the roar of the thousands of people who had lined the parade route.

 

And then – there they were passing by me these active duty Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard personnel walking proud in their uniforms.  But, these weren’t just any active duty military personnel, these were gay and lesbians in their finest uniforms walking down the parade route in front of thousands of people. Proud of their uniform, proud of their country feeling the love and pride of those of us who rose to our feet to clap and yell and whistle for them. It was a moment frozen in time for me.  I never imagined seeing it in my lifetime, and yet – there they were.

It was a moment for those of us who are homosexual to realize that the world really is changing, and for those who are heterosexual to understand how hard the battle has been and how ridiculous the prejudice against us has been.

I ran on to the street and hugged my friends who walk every year with the Mary Magdalene Apostle Catholic Community float. They are loving, sweet, kind, wonderful friends who quietly live their faith striving for peace, love and equality for everyone.

There was a Mormon group walking this year for the first time ever.  They carried a banner which read: “Mormons for Marriage Equality, and held signs saying: “This Mormon loves you,” and “Sorry, we’re late.” They were cheered and accepted by everyone along the parade route

Was there loud booming music and men dancing in their underwear? Of course, what Pride Parade would be complete without that? There was even this foam throwing truck that covered men and women inside with foam – I have no idea what it represented, but it was fun and festive. If you go to a Pride Parade expecting to not see craziness, then you really shouldn’t go!

The 300ft gay flag at the end of the parade is always my moment to stand alone in the crowd of thousands and cry. It’s my moment to remember the first time I touched that flag and knew that my life had changed. It’s my moment to watch the people walk by me under and around this flag and watch as it comes to life going down 6th Avenue.  It floats up and down as people join in and help bring it to life. Just like my life as people come into it with love and acceptance and help bring me to life.

Happy Pride everyone!

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About barbaraweicksel

My home is San Diego, CA - a most beautiful city. Mountains to the East, Pacific Ocean to the West, and the desert in between the mountains and the ocean. Beauty everywhere, but... The world is full of beauty, and I do love to travel. what I hope to share on these pages are my thoughts and some photos of the world as I see and experience it. I'd be happy to have you along on the journey - and then join me while I'm at home...
This entry was posted in 2012, beliefs, California, faith, family, friends, gay, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, home, homophobia, Lesbian, life, love, Mistress, San Diego, Veterans and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Hearing “Happy Pride” is like hearing “Happy Birthday”

  1. Debi says:

    WOW….I felt like I was there watching with you Barb….another great writing!
    Glad you two had a great time and thanks for sharing the day with us. 🙂

  2. Sounds like an incredible day, Barb! I am so glad you were not only able to celebrate with Susan, but with other people who love and support you unconditionally! It is a blessing to have people in our lives who except us for who we are and do not expect us to be anything but that! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  3. Stephanie Mulherin says:

    I am one of the 11 straight supporters and I had tears welling up behind my sunglasses when those men and women in uniform marched so proudly by. Some were holding hands with their partner or a friend, some were alone, some were straight and support a persons right to love, most were gay, happy to not have to hide while they fulfill their life’s passion of serving this most awesome USA. Aside from me, I could see the love and respect your friends and neighbors have for you and Susan. To bring an infant and preschooler into all the traffic and crowd? God love em! (The kids were very well-behaved.) And when it was over and we wondered if the parade seemed to get longer with each passing year, the answer was obvious. Yes, longer as more people realize that gay discrimination is ugly, cruel, and just plain absurd. We are winning the battle, my friend. Sooner or later the anti-gay fanatics will have to focus their hate elsewhere, maybe something worthwhile, like pushing for animal spaying and neutering or an end to people throwing cigarette butts out car windows. I guarantee you, THIS is one battle they will not win. Love you!

  4. Daz says:

    I’m beaming from ear to ear just from reading the happiness in the post. Thank you Barb.

  5. Cheryl Walters Wentz says:

    Happy Pride Day, Barbie. Love to you and Susan.

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