Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gainesville Pride Parade

Today Kay, and I with two friends zipped on down to Gainesville to march in their Gay Pride Parade. I wasn’t very big, but what it lacked in size the people made up in spirit. We met up with a group from the UU Church who had managed to corral a large group of young people to make signs and either marched or rode on the hay wagon.

There weren’t many people watching our small parade of marchers until we were about a block away from the finish area, which is the park/plaza with a number of vendors. The crowd was made up of children to the elder folks and a very large number of lesbian and gay couples and a few transgender as well. When it began to threaten to rain we left to get us a bit to eat and then returned to the festivities. In addition to the UU Church, the Episcopal Church had a table and there was a group from Trinity Church marching, just in front of us. The main reason that I knew I wanted to march in this parade was because of the religious group who has challenged the gender inclusive policy that the city passed a few months ago. Some residents of the community want to deny another group of resident the ability to choose which bathroom to use by spreading fear and untruths about transgender people.

Not only could this have a far reaching affect of the people of Gainesville, but it could also be applied to visitors and others who travel from out of town to conduct business in the City of Gainesville. And to make our point we signed the petition counter this heinous and ugly referendum.

The best part of the trip down and return was the conversation and discussions we had with our friends. She was thanking me for being who I am that because of my example of living as Sarah and having some responsibility in organizing the PFLAG chapter, it gave her partner the courage to transition. That tidbit brought tears to my eyes and a warmth to my heart.

Thank you for making this day as special as it was.

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