I Love a Parade!

 

It’s Pride Week in my city. Today, our busiest downtown avenue is shut for the annual parade. I get the warm, nostalgic fuzzies when I realize it’s that time of year. The Pride Parade was my son’s first parade. He was one and a half, and I’m not sure he understood the socio-political ramifications of his attendance there. He may have fallen asleep at one point. I wanted to get him a t-shirt, proclaiming his solidarity with the gay cause. But I was pretty busy. So I just put him in his best plaid shirt, as a nod to our lesbian friends.

 

I was shocked when strangers started thanking me for bringing my baby. It never occurred to me that a housewife and a kid in a stroller could lend some legitimacy to the event. It was a good time: popsicles, people I knew, and fabulous evening wear (for a prairie city, we have some of the most beautiful drag queens around). Not everyone was having a lovely Saturday. People drove up to the barricades, just to shout homophobic insults at the participants. The biggest church in town is on the parade route, and they had a rousing little protest group going. I started to cross the street, fired up with pro-gay sentiment. I just wanted to ask these people why in the hell they were so afraid. Then I looked down at my baby boy, and realized he’d peed through his diaper, pants and the stroller. My righteous indignation had to bow to the almighty power of bodily functions. But I like to think they were shaken by my glare.

 

One morning about a year ago, I went to my front porch to bring in the newspaper. Laying beside it was a piece of white paper. I turned it over, and was confronted with a picture of a man’s rectum that had been taken over by anal warts. As my mind raced to figure out what I was looking at, I started to read the text. It was an incoherent, rambling diatribe against homosexuality. The author made crazy, unsubstantiated claims about various government officials, ties between homosexuality and pedophilia, and diseases he believed God had reserved especially for gays. And he finished by advocating any form of violence necessary to rid us good, decent, straight, God-fearin’ folks of the scourge of man-on-man love.

I took the flyer to the local police station. Livid doesn’t even begin to cover what I felt. I’m all for free speech. If this arse had stood in the middle of City Hall, screaming his wrong-headed beliefs, I would be right there, supporting his right to do so. But he spewed his hate, unsolicited, into my mail slot. My house is not a democracy. I don’t need to put up with his shit in here. And threats of violence are best dealt with by the authorities. The police officer took the flyer, and said he’d look into it. Later that day, he called to let me know that the guy was actually well known to police. He’s in and out of court, defending his rights. He’s also more than a little unhinged, according to the officer, who’d called him and let him know I’d complained.

 

While people like this nut case exist, we need to have a Pride Parade. Falling in love with someone of the same sex? Not a choice. Being hateful, violent, and narrow-minded? Now that’s a choice. The wrong choice. I look forward to the day that my grandchildren read about the Gay Rights movement in their history books. And they laugh in disbelief that there was ever a time when gay people weren’t allowed to marry.

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9 responses to “I Love a Parade!

  1. I’m not “pro gay”. I’m not “anti gay”. I am pro “live and let live”. I am anti “stupid people”.

    Great post. 😉

  2. I cannot stand shit like that. I’m sitting her shaking I’m so pisse. UGH.

  3. You go girl!

    Excellent post . . .

  4. Peter: Thanks. While I am also anti-stupid people, I’m even MORE anti-violent people.

    Maria: I briefly considered putting the guy’s name in the post. I found his website, and I have never been more shocked/disgusted/scared than I was when I read his crap, and the crap of people like him. But then, I decided I did not want him to get one iota of undeserved attention.

    Tysdaddy: Why thank you!

  5. I am confounded by the amount of attention society directs at the sexual lives of consenting adults. If someone has a personal opinon, fine, but when people start thinking they should be dictating the sexual activities of other people, that is just bizarre.

  6. People like that not only exist but they are overrunning me here in East Tennessee. These are pretty much the same people who are horrified by the thought of a black man being President and, hell, some of them won’t even ask me where I work because women should be good wives instead of doing something like crazy like being employed.

    Don’t even get me started on all that crap.

  7. Max: I like to think that those people’s lives are going so far off the rails, that they have no choice but to poke into the lives of others. Just a theory.

    Chick: When I feel like I’m being overrun, I’m just reminded that I have another generation of little people with me, whom I have the possibility of raising to be open-minded. Now that’s revenge, my friend.

  8. The other night I rode my horse to the local steakhouse. Yes it’s the sticks here, but quaint.

    Afterwards, I went to the watering hole across the street and ran into a transgender. He asked about my horse, and we had a nice conversation about horses.

    After he left it struck me like a ton of bricks. Why would anyone hate genuinely nice people? Here he is playing the hand that life dealt him, like everyone else is, and some people hate him for that. I respect that people might have different views on gay marriage, but I hold no brief for people with hatred in their hearts.

  9. Allen: The combination of horses and transgendered people brought back a memory. One November, the Canadian Finals Rodeo was in town. My husband and I were volunteering, tending bar at a GLBT dance that happened to be the same weekend. And there were more than a few cowboys checking out this gay event. Another woman’s straight boyfriend stood there, openly gawking. He just kept repeating, over and over, “But they’re COWBOYS!!!”

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