We missed this year's parade due to the heat and the fact that I'm 40+ weeks pregnant. As we drove through Hillcrest, we talked about our plans to take our little one to future parades. Part of the conversation centered on the values we want our children to understand. And part of it was about the sheer joy of community.
I'm confident that our little one will grow up understanding that diversity is beautiful, that his gay aunts and uncles love their children in the same way we love him, and that it's better to do the right thing than the popular thing (because the majority is often wrong). More to the point, I hope he has the courage to be who he is, and to know that we will always love him. As usual, Aaryn summed it up much more eloquently:
I don’t know who Ruby will love when she grows up. And I don’t care. I just want her to love, to be loved and to be happy. I hope that’s what she is learning from me.I can't imagine a better message or values to give to my child than this.
By Aaryn Belfer 18 July 2010
I never really understand why people are hesitant to take their kids to the Gay Pride Parade. Over the weekend, I had several different conversations about it—since I’d planned to take Ruby—and got several interesting reactions. One couple I met at breakfast this morning said that they’d always wanted to go, but motioned toward their six-year old and whispered that they’d heard it’s “basically a porn show.” Another friend dismissed it because all the “cocks” aren’t appropriate for her daughters.
Now, the porn thing is off by astronomical distances: This is a public event with participants from all across the city. The Mayor was in this past Saturday’s Pride parade, as was Republican Ron Roberts from the County Board of Supervisors, and believe me, there isn’t anything remotely titillating or even vaguely pornographic about either of these guys. Even the public defender’s office represented with a float bearing the slogan “Getting people off since 19[something or other]!”
However, while nobody was whipping out their cocks along University Avenue during this weekend’s party, I have to admit the my friend’s concern was wholly legitimate.
I stand corrected because I did indeed see Cox at the parade. As did my daughter and my bestie’s daughter and all the many children and grown-ups and families who sat on the curb in the heat, beneath a sky the color of swimming pools, sharing sun screen and snacks and spray bottles, celebrating our gay brothers and sisters.
Ruby was very excited about all the swag, the horses ridden by the Wells Fargo people (I suppose it could be argued that bankers are pornographic), and the stilt walker.
I was excited about my friend, Barbarella‘s piglet, Carnitos—who may have cured me of my bacon habit forever—and the Gay Men’s Chorus, since my friend’s Skip and Andy were marching.
I didn’t find Skip and Andy but they were out there and they were proud, I know.
Oh, and speaking of excitement, Ruby just about peed her pants at the sight of the man with the RAINBOW! HAIR!
Who’s not tickled by RAINBOW! HAIR!? I was tickled by the message on his shirt because the message is the reason I bring my daughter to the parade. Love, not hate, is what I wish to instill in her.
I guess this could be considered Jesus porn because I was practically orgasmic at the sight of these folks.
Standing there in the street watching groups of people march beneath such signs is encouraging. They make you believe in humanity and remind you that The Rock church doesn’t represent all Christians. Just too many of them.
Of course, I’d be lying if I represented the parade as all Hail Marys and Holy Water. There was a little bit of shaking, jangling flesh out there, too. And God Bless it!
So she has pasties on her nibbles. Still: Not porn. Just a little edgy. And, I’m guessing, much cooler than my flesh-toned padded bra that’s so old it has dimples. Anyway, have you been to the beach lately? Right. Moving along…
Every parade is better with queens:
In fact, pretty much every situation in life is improved by the presence of a drag queen.
However, the people you really want on your side when the chips are down (or up, no matter) is your family. Which is why PFLAG is the greatest part of the Parade every single year. PFLAG is, hands down, the very best group, float or no float.
I challenge anyone to remain stony when these people walk by. I wanted to run up and hug them. Instead I took their blurry picture with my phone.
I don’t know who Ruby will love when she grows up. And I don’t care. I just want her to love, to be loved and to be happy. I hope that’s what she is learning from me.