Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pride Parade Northwest

This turned out to be a very busy weekend. Yesterday we met some good friends for breakfast at Marco's, and then I took Kieran and Nick off to the Dollar Tree to buy rainbow decorations. When we returned, Mike informed me that he felt awful and thought he might have a recurrence of vertigo. I rushed out of the house again to the store to buy Meclizine. Then back again to give him two tablets (instructions said one to two, and I thought we'd better cut the vertigo off at the pass!). Then my mom came over and we all went off to see Midsummer Night's Dream in Cathedral Park. After the play, we returned home and Mom joined us for dinner (my dad was at a retreat this weekend). Mike slept straight through from 1:00 p.m. through the afternoon, with only a slight break to eat dinner with us (for about 20 minutes). Then he returned to bed and slept through the night. (I have to wonder if I'm partially responsible since I gave him two tablets!! That Meclizine just puts him to sleep...)

This morning he still didn't feel well, so we went off to the Pride Parade without him. (Thank goodness Mom came along to help with the boys!) I've been to some protest marches, but I realized that it was my first parade ever! It's a strange feeling to march along the street and wave at people and have people cheer for you.

We marched with a group from our church, one of many church groups in the parade. Most of them were Unitarian Universalist, but there was one other Lutheran church, and a few United Church of Christ groups. I was happy to represent a progressive, welcoming church, but at the same time I was conscious of how many gays, lesbians, and transgendered people feel extremely disenfranchised and alienated, justifiably, from religious traditions, especially Christianity. So I was somewhat ambivalent as we walked through the crowds of people. We had a mostly supportive, appreciative response though.

The only unfortunate part was that we were at the very end of the parade...we had to check in at 10:30, but we didn't actually start marching until about 1:20 or 1:30 (not sure of the exact time). It was a huge parade! The parade itself didn't take us very long...although we took two strollers because Kieran is not much of a long-distance walker. Kieran kept bending down to pick up candy that had been thrown on the ground (wrapped candy, that is)...and at one point, he showed me something else he had picked was a grape-flavored condom!! We threw that one back on the ground again for someone else to pick up! :)

Here we are, during the long wait for the parade--we stood on a wall and watched many of the other entries go by:

Samuel, Kate, and Christie

Chris, Brad, and Dave (got to get Chris to stop giving rabbit ears to people!)

John, Jimmy, Julia, and Catherine

Me and the boys (I look half asleep!)

Mom and I

Kieran and one of our homemade signs

Nick holding his sign: Lutherans and Catholics for Justice!

After we'd been hanging around for quite awhile, I spied a play area very close to our starting spot--Eureka!! That made the waiting time pass much faster for the kids.

Nick LOVES the swings

Kate admiring her short image in the funny mirror:

Going down the slide
Getting ready, at last, to march!
Brad, Julia, Jimmy, and Catherine and John

Okay--we're ready!!

The whole group together!
Part of the fun was hearing the comments we received as we walked past: Catholics and Lutherans together??? Our participation in the parade engendered some good conversations, mostly prompted by me of course! I asked the kids what they thought of the drag queens, and they were not crazy about them if truth be told. I'm sure it upsets children's view of the world and understanding of gender to try to comprehend drag queens! But we had lots of good conversations about what it means to be gay, how does someone "become" gay, etc. They were mostly nonplussed...although I'm glad that Chris and Kieran didn't see the topless woman (who was apparently right in front of my mom in the porta potty line!).
Fortunately by the time we were done with the parade and returned home, Mike was feeling slightly he went with us to the family baby shower we had on tap for the afternoon. But it's 10:33 now and he's already in bed.
I hope he's much better tomorrow, as we leave in the morning to go off to the Sylvia Beach Hotel for our first romantic getaway since little Nick was born!

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