Monday, June 25, 2012

Showing Support for Pride

As I stated in an earlier post, I participated in Pride this past weekend, to show my support for the LGBT community in working to defeat the marriage amendment that is being brought to Minnesotans this November.

Some of you knew that I was doing more than just showing up and cheering on the parade, I was dancing!

I took part in a flash mob that occurred about half an hour before the parade was set to begin. This was coordinated with the Twin Cities Pride organizers -- since the street was already closed off and there was a sound system in the area, they had given us the green light. Which makes the cop car clearing the street in the middle of the dance all the more frustrating. But regardless, we danced through the interruption and had an awesome time.

Lindsey and I then stayed for the parade, which was one of the longest parades I've ever stood through. Yes, we didn't find seats, we stood the entire 2 1/2 hours. We did manage to get under shade, though, and Lindsey was the only child in about a half a block, so all the candy, treats and goodies were tossed her way, with no competition to retrieve them. She came away with quite a loot!

The Saloon float was accompanied by confetti tossed from the roof of their building.
 It was great to see all the floats and supporters. Many significant corporations including General Mills, Target, Best Buy, Macy's and others, not to mention just about every DFL candidate around. I shook the hand or got a high-five from Chris Coleman, St. Paul City mayor, R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis city mayor, Keith Ellison, District 5 representative in the US House of Representatives, Al Franken, US senator, and just missed shaking the hand of Amy Klobuchar, US senator. Obama had quite a presence as well, though he wasn't there in person. Not unless you count the cardboard cut-out, of course.

Loads of churches, and some interesting ones this year. There were the expected episcopal churches and unitarian churches who have welcomed gays for years. And then were was the Catholics for Marriage Equality group, just ahead of "J Pride," Jews who support gay rights, followed by the Mormon church.

I almost took some photos but decided to spend my time enjoying the parade, not wrestling others for a decent view. So instead I'll quote some of the best signs I saw:
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.   -- Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor, author and humanitarian.

Sorry we're late -- held up by Mormon church parade participant
Closets are for CLOTHES. Lots, and lots of fabulous clothes. -- held by a gay rights supporter
The message is lost a bit without the visuals, but you get the idea.

After the parade was over Lindsey and I stayed downtown to get lunch and avoid the press of the crowd heading out. We got a table right away at Rock Bottom Brewery, enjoyed a relaxing lunch and then took a pedicab to get back to the car, which I had conveniently parked behind a green dumpster along one of the streets neighboring Loring Park (there are three of them), even though I didn't remember the name of the street I parked on. Well planned. Our cabbie was awesome, he stopped several times and got directions on where the green dumpster was and dropped us off right at the car. He earned himself a super nice tip, especially for winning the race to the top of a hill against another pedicab driver who also had a fare.

Not us, but for those who don't know what a pedicab is.

We had a great time and Lindsey got to see how many people support families of all walks of life. I'll plan to be back again in 2013, hopefully to celebrate the defeat of the marriage amendment.

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