For me, this past weekend was all about Pride. I love living in a place where LGBTQI has a thriving community and Pride isn't a single event somewhere a state away. Within a two-hour drive, there are ten separate parades and festivals in the Pacific Northwest this summer. It's an amazing environment of support that spoils us a little. Sometimes we forget how good we have it.
The 2014 Seattle Pride Parade started with a cool morning of obligatory clouds and a brief march of the equally obligatory Haters for Jesus. With that nonsense out of the way, the celebration started in perfect 60-degree weather clogging up downtown Seattle for the entire afternoon and into the evening. Some estimates say over 100,000 bodies flooded the city to celebrate life.
This year marked the 40th anniversary of Seattle Pride. It's an amazing statement for several reasons. Just five years after Stonewall thrust gay rights into the American spotlight, a budding community that had gathered in Seattle decided it was time to go public. It wasn't much of a crowd back then but that didn't matter. They had a festival anyway, a statement of existence as much as celebration.
40 years later, we overrun the city in a sea of people the founders probably never dared imagine. For some, a lifetime of hate and oppression have passed but here we are...still. It gives me hope for the future in other countries as well as the U.S. Love really is stronger than hate. We're proving that one parade at a time.
I'm sure the modern version of Pride in Seattle is a lot rowdier and certainly much more commercial than what they had back in the day. More than half the parade was corporate sponsors. That's not a complaint. I love that businesses are publicly supporting our cause. In fact, the rowdiest group in the organized chaos of color and sound was Amazon cheering and dancing their way down the street.
I only saw about half of what there was to see because it's one of those things that could easily take a weekend even though it only lasts half a day. The big Vancouver Pride parade is in August so that gives me a little time to organize a game plan. So much to see and so little time! I love that type of problem.
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