Here we come

…walkin’ down the street / we get the funniest looks from / everyone we meet / Hey, hey we’re the… gays?

Yep, it was that time again. Pride parade time. We normally hide out in the suburbs, especially after Lucie, but our friend had worked some magic to get a spot in the 140+ organization line up, so we went Downtown to watch the festivities. In case you’ve never been to a Pride parade, here’s a handy play-by-play, from the Roquardt vantage point.

  1. First, lots of people. Young, old, gay couples, straight couples. Lots of #WeAreOrlando signs.
  2. Here come the Dy__s on Bikes.  It’s funny because it rhymes and their Harleys are a great way to start off a parade. Vrrrrrrrooooom!
  3. Every time a church group comes by (Lutherans, Methodists, UCCers, Episcopalians, Catholics, Jews and general Christian groups), they are met not with boos or hisses, but genuine, welcome cheers. Yay for love.
  4. Mama K’s old workplace and Mama C’s old workplace both march on by. Not so much with the new jobs, but we can change that!
  5. The kiddo is a necklace/bracelet/sticker/candy magnet. Take that, 50-year olds pushing to the front of the line for a handout. Oh, well. At least it’s a gay-friendly tchotchke that might be visible elsewhere later on.
  6. A girl walks by in a “Make America Gay Again” hat a’la D. Trump. It makes very little sense, but, again, is funny.
  7. Huge cheers for the military floats. Mad respect. I love our veterans!
  8. An actual rainbow came out to see the parade. Ha!

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9. Some well-timed groups handed out stickers and flyers wanting a dialogue about guns– not necessarily outright bans, but a better discussion than what we’ve been having thus far.

10. Is it campaign season? Me thinks so, judging on the number of mayors/senators/judges/council people who go walking by. It’s cool to see them, though, like local celebrities.

11. The faces of the 49 casualties of the Orlando massacre pass by and I’m reminded, through teary eyes, of everything good in the world and everything I’m thankful for.

12. Here comes our friend, the reason why we made it out today. Big surprise, she’s wearing a unicorn hat.

13. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.

14. Glad my dad isn’t here; this is the fourth float with pants-less men. It’s not that my dad is offended by gay buns… he’s just an equal opportunity pants-ist. #MidwestSensibilities

15. There’s a cowardly man in sunglasses and a hat who is yelling Bible verses and vitriol using a megaphone. People are standing in his way, holding giant rainbow balloons in his face, which is a pretty gay way to protest. I was told that even the many law enforcement agencies joined in the fun, blooping him out with their sirens. E.g. “Got hates *bloop, bloop*” “You’re all going to go to *bloop*.” Well played, sheriff’s department.

16. There’s a few (okay, a lot of) guys in dresses and makeup. I stop and wonder if they’re transgender, then I wonder if they’re gay, then I wonder if they’re just straight guys who look really great in heels. Then I say, “who cares.” We’re all human, and we can pretty much wear whatever we want: “Make America Great Again” hats, feather boas, rainbow socks, clown makeup… whatever. Just so long as we can’t see your buns, right Dad?

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