This weekend I had the chance to walk in my first Pride parade as part of New Hope Celebrates. I joined the Bucks County Lesbian Alliance(BCLA) group for the parade route and had a great time. It has been ages since I last attended any specific Pride event and the first time I ever got to be up close and personal in part of the official fun. I can remember years ago when I first came out (say like 16 years ago… as long as my partner and I have been together… it’s a story & a revelation, let’s just say that) — we were a magnet to attend Pride and Women’s Festivals for the first few years. Since then we’ve been out and about doing a variety of things, but never found our way back to the fest.
I’m not a big parade or party person in general. I’m more of a quiet, small group of friends type of social engagement. Or, more likely out and about in nature solo, with my partner, or a small group of like-minded folks gay or straight. Yet I have to say this first experience was very moving! What the heck have I been waiting for?
While the parade was fairly short and sweet it was a lot of fun. To see the streets lined with folks cheering us on and to run around like a crazy person handing out pride beads it was quite the rush. A nice crowd of folks LGBT and allies standing in a show of support. Truly gives me hope for the future and one day actually having full and equal rights as those that can marry. Governor Ed Rendell made an appearance at the front of the parade and spoke following its conclusion. Regardless of one’s political views it is always encouraging to see public officials make the time to stand with the gay community in solidarity. After all there are a million other engagements they could attend and/or they could shun us entirely (our country has been run by that latter group for the last 8 years).
Whether you march in a parade, participate in the shadows, or simply stand tall and proud in who you are day to day, there’s nothing quite like the personal power that comes from being comfortable in your own skin and just showing up and being present for yourself.
In the course of the day I learned about a documentary project called “Embraceable You” which is being film in and is about the diversity within the New Hope, PA community. If you check out their site you can donate to the project as well as learn more.
Here’s some more photos from the day: