In honor of the momentous occasion in New York's history, I would love to share the story of my first Gay Pride parade back in the early '90's:
I am standing on the sidewalks of Seattle which are filling with an arrayed demographic. Young, old, male, female, gay and otherwise. Like any good parade, there are signs, flags and children on shoulders. My child included. I have no expectations when I arrive. I am clueless. I go to support my friend that I love and others like him. When the parade begins, it is most apparent that we are celebrating sexual self-expression. The parade is fascinating. It hearkens back to the bawdy Greek festivals discussed in my classical literature classes, though, I admit to myself, I doubt any Grecian ever wore a phallic costume with a pair of Chucks.
In my fascination, I am not paying attention to my immediate surroundings which holds a short buff man dressed in clown drag trying to get my attention. He finally does when he bounces his huge balloon breasts against me. I just look at him stunned more by my careless inattentiveness than his behavior. He cuts me a look then steps back into the street, gestures to the crowd and rudely says to them, She must be straight.
I am crestfallen.
In my assessment of the scene, all sorts of things cross my mind. First being, I am here to support you and I would never use He must be gay to demean you no matter what you have done to me...seriously, my thoughts race over judgment faster than the biker dudes in pink feathers and leather race around the floats.
I guess, in the moments after the clown continues on his way, a handsome older gentlemen begins reading my thoughts. He approaches me and in the most tender voice of any woman I've ever known says, Don't worry Sweetheart, I promise, we aren't all like that. I thank him and watch him make his way through the crowded sidewalk with his partner hand-in-hand and what seems to be his children and grandchildren.
The grace of it all is not lost to me. What a beautiful thing it is that I came to support him and he ends up supporting me.
You cannot get sick enough to help sick people get better. You cannot get poor enough
to help poor people thrive. It is only in your thriving that you have anything to offer
anyone. If you're wanting to be of an advantage to others, be as tapped in, turned in,
turned on as you can possibly be. ~Abraham