June 06, 2011
Great Day to be Proud in Utah
However as the plans unfolded I became more and more excited at the prospect. Initially I had considered only volunteering at their booth but again, everyone's excitement rubbed on and after Jeff also offered to work and march with us I thought: What the heck, let's just do it! My one and only concern was how was the group going to be taken generally since I had actually heard one or two people say something in the lines of "Gay Fathers? Really?"--however, my experience working the booth on Saturday evening was anything but positive and people came from all walks of life to tell their stories and share in the excitement.
So we get to the parade on Saturday morning and a reporter from the Salt Lake Tribune comes up and starts asking questions. I've been interviewed before and by now I have figured out that sometimes your comments make it to the paper, or not at all, so I started rambling things off to her, then she moves on to others and I forget all about her. Little did I know that I'd end up being quoted on the paper's story later on! aaack!! :-)
We had a lot of other dads, kids, partners, sons-in-law and even a couple of the men's wives be part of the group. As we walked the parade route and I saw people cheering for us all my fears were put to rest; I really had a hard time keeping it together and fighting the tears. IT WAS AMAZING!!! Another touching part of the parade--among many--: A girl sitting in the audience as we marched yelled "Hey my dad is gay" and she just started sobbing and being hugged and consoled by her friends... I was simply touched and amazed at the response to the group. We kept getting stopped by people at the festival and elsewhere because of our T-shirts with the logo and asked questions about becoming parents and shared a lot of interesting stories. I know a lot of people worked to put this together and it was simply amazing how it all turned out.
Another thing that I need to explain is that at least my own uneducated concept of what Pride was before I ever attended was that I might be seeing lots of public nudity and possibly even sex, after all, "isn't that what gays do?" Let me just reassure everyone that both at the parade and the festival no such thing goes on that you don't see at any other public festival. Sure there are those that stand out like drag queens but I honestly didn't see anything lewd or that I considered inappropriate and in my mind, in order to become better knowledgeable about what really goes on, everyone should attend Pride at least once in their lifetime, there, I've said my peace about that...
I was talking to a co-worker who attended and she was saying that although Pride is focused on LGBT, it really is a celebration of diverse people. She said that she felt just as comfortable celebrating herself being straight as everyone else who were there celebrating whatever they were and I thought: "Yeah, that makes sense, we should celebrate people, not genders or preferences; maybe we'll get there someday..." I have other postings more or less related to this that I'll need to work on so I hope to get more thoughts on this later on. I was also going to post the picture of the group, but I didn't ask their permission to post it on my blog, so I'll hold off on that and post a picture of the famous T-Shirt...