I have been going since I have been here, I remember when we were all afraid to go, and the “parade” lasted all of 20 minutes. Folks would meet in a park, in front of a band shell, a few speakers, drags, and go home, it felt wrong. Many of us afraid that someone would see us. Then we moved it in front of the capitol building and now it is far to big to be allowed there anymore.
Today the parade lasted well over an hour, with university bands, different groups and hundreds of people, we followed it into the festival grounds and there were thousands of folks there, with three stages and hundreds of tables/booths from travel agents to utility companies. We stopped at a bookstore on the way home, and in side I realized I still had 4 or 5 stickers (immigration rights, PFLAG, etc)... I wouldn't have taken them off anyway, anymore.
We ran into a few friends, who adored my son and he enjoyed the compliments, and was absolutely comfortable with the attention, and gracefully let people know that he was straight. Of course many of my friends were envious, that my son was there. I am grateful as well as proud.
What I find absolutely infuriating is, there we were, amongst the most kind, decent, normal, fun, sweet and diverse people imaginable, and yet for the life of me cannot understand how all 3000+ of us can be hated, scorned or feared as we are.
There were religious groups, banks and utility companies, and computer company GLBT associations there, giving out fans and stickers and literature, really wanting us to know that these corporations wanted us, respected us, and hoped we would give them their business, or in the case of the religious groups, worship with them.
Yet my religion doesn't want me, or any other GLBT in their midst, and it has aligned itself with the homophobes. I was struck by the absolute absurdity of it all.
I am more resolved than ever to fight for what is rightfully ours, no matter who, what or where we are from. Because I see the potential in my GLBT freinds, in my son and not in the Baha'i community.
Be kind to all people, love humanity,
consider all mankind as your relations
and servants of the most high God.
Strive day and night
that animosity and contention may pass away
from the hearts of men,
that all religions shall become reconciled
and the nations love each other,
so that no racial, religious or political prejudice may remain
and the world of humanity behold God
as the beginning and end of all existence.
God has created all, and all return to God.
Therefore love humanity with all your heart and soul.
If you meet a poor man, assist him;
if you see the sick, heal him;
reassure the affrighted one,
render the cowardly noble and courageous,
educate the ignorant, associate with the stranger.
Consider how kindly, how lovingly He deals with all,
and follow His example.
You must treat people in accordance with the divine precepts
-in other words, treat them as kindly as God treats them,
for this is the greatest attainment possible
for the world of humanity.