Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pride Rocks

I'd never even been a spectator at Edmonton's Pride Parade before yesterday, but that didn't stop me from walking in it this time around. When I'd heard that some people from our church were going, Fenya and I agreed to join them, at least partially due to the irony of a church group marching in a parade named after one of the 'Seven Deadly Sins'.  My sister came up from Leduc and joined us too.

I'm glad we did. The event has come a long way from the largely symbolic one-block walk that initiated the tradition; those participants wore bags over their heads for fear of reprisals. Now it runs the gamut from humdrum supporters of equal rights like myself and this year's marshalls, the Edmonton Public School Board Trustees, to the uh...let's say more flamboyant members of the city's LGBT community.

Our group joined a number of other United Churches, and I also saw representation from Unitarians and even a Flying Spaghetti Monster from the Edmonton Atheists. The thing we all seemed to have in common was a distaste for Rev. Hunsberger's recently revealed comments about gays spending eternity in a "lake of fire"; a sign in our contingent read, "Hate and Intolerance Create Lakes of Fire". Alas, I never did see any of the infamous, "I went to the Lakes of Fire and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" shirts, or I certainly would have bought one.

Speaking of which, I was relieved that no Westboro Baptist types showed up either. There were a few inflammatory or adversarial sentiments expressed, often towards religion, but one needs to remember what causes this, and endeavor not to take it personally. Most of the spectators seemed thrilled to see us, which was very gratifying, and there was as much colour in the crowd as there was in the parade itself.

Personally, my opinion on sexual identity used to be, "hey, none of my darned business, consenting adults and all that..." but that's come to feel more and more disingenuous to me over the years. It felt good to take a stand for what feels fair and just, to allow people to express themselves honestly, and to do it in such a cheerful and colorful environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment