Friday, April 10, 2015

Pride Parade '14

This one has been lurking in my draft folder for a while...the date on it was June 18th of last year. I think I hesitated to post it because I was unsure how much I really wanted to share about the classmate who refused to allow same sex couples at his end of year party. I'm leaving that in because it was something I was mulling over at the time, I've mentioned it since then anyway, and I had a point I wanted to make that was relevant to Pride week and about not jumping to assumptions about one's beliefs regarding LGBT individuals based on their religion.

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Last weekend I went to my first Pride Parade. I wish I'd been to one sooner. I took a lot of photos, way more than would be reasonable to put in a blog post, but I've managed to narrow it down to sharing just a few.

Brides on a motorcycle? Pretty awesome if you ask me.

I found this rainbow of balloons a little more amusing than I probably should have, since they had to stretch it out to fit under the street lights.

I wonder how many times they had to do this during the parade.

I was quite happy to see bis in the parade. Bi Brigade is a group I hadn't known about, but after some minor research I think I would have noticed them in the past few months if I hadn't been so focused on homework.

Side view, with the bi colors of pink, purple, and blue. :) There were also others throughout the parade with bi signs.

Ok, so, I may have gotten a little over excited about this band. As in, I was a lot excited about this band. I admit, I love drums. And they were surprisingly loud, too. Louder than a bagpipe band, I think.

Yeah, I was excited enough to find a YouTube video of them to share.

There was a Rocky Horror Picture Show float with the unfortunate couple walking behind...

...and a certain mad scientist with his creation on the float.

There were quite a few churches in the parade, but I was particularly interested to see Catholics for marriage equality, given a recent Facebook drama that I unfortunately was sort of part of.

A Catholic classmate was planning a party, and when someone asked if same sex couples would be welcome he said no. A couple of us (sort of publicly) stated that we would not attend due to this, and got called out for it. We were told off for humiliating the classmate and our actions were even compared to hate crimes, but what made me uncomfortable was the assumption that we were doing it for political reasons. I eventually had to point out that it's actually personal for me because I'm bi, and that I would feel unwelcome given the rules. This explanation was my second and final contribution to the discussion, and I was interested to see that people got a little more polite when they realized an LGBT person was involved. [Edit: In retrospect, I've got to say that part of the reason for the conversation calming down may have also been to do with those who were angriest leaving the argument.]

One of the criticisms leveled against us that we should have known this person's views already since he's Catholic. Well, given that I saw several Catholic churches in the parade, I'm not going to assume every Catholic I meet is homophobic. Besides which, we attend a Catholic University where I just took a queer studies class taught by a gay man.

Some may ask why I'm sharing this story, and some classmates in particular might ask that if they find this blog. I just want to make a point that, even though some might use a particular religion as an excuse to be anti-LGBT, I cannot assume everyone of that religion is unable to accept LGBT individuals. And given the number of churches I saw in the parade, I think it's a good point to bring up in a discussion of Pride week.

I was happy to see that my old community college, PCC, was in the parade. You can see someone carrying a trans flag, though it isn't very visible in this particular photo. There were a few of those flags throughout the parade.

The whole thing was two hours long, which surprised me. I've never been to one that lasted more than maybe half an hour! My feet hurt by the end, and my legs also ached, since I'm not used to standing for such a long time these days. But it was totally worth it.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Pride Parades are always so much fun! "Bi Brigade" is a wonderful name for a group. And I loved the drum marching band, especially the flag corps!

Your classmate is a jerk. If he had excluded black classmates or biracial couples, people wouldn't have been so quick to "defend" him.

Sarita Rucker said...

Drums are great. :)

I wasn't too upset about the classmate, still am not, I was more fascinated by the arguments people used to defend their friend. For example, that we were burning bridges (not exact words, but pretty much) where we should be working to make a connection and building understanding.