|We were not prepared for what followed. http://www.seattlepride.org/pride-parade/|
|40th year, lots of practice!|
|Well if you have ever been to ROT rally in Austin, nothing new here, lots of scooters and motorcycles celebrating.|
|Can't count all the bands, they just kept streaming through.|
|The Boy Scouts of Americas up Front|
|Leslie's Dad again|
|All the GLBT Politicos turned out + the straight ones who want to stay in office in Washington State.|
|George Takei best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek was the Grand Marshall|
|Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and his husband|
|Macklemore Loving his City|
|If you have any business at all in this state you better show up here or it is all over.|
|Every band from every culture.|
|Well they have direct flights to and from Austin|
|Seattle Police representing|
|Can you imagine this in small town USA?|
|The Issues facing this community begin to pile up.|
|First responders who save your ass representing|
|Mind, Body, and Spirit|
|Love on the inside and the outside.|
|Can you see me know?|
|That is what the T is for|
|They come in all sizes baby.|
|If you can't see me we will fix it.|
|Treat your Brewer right!|
|Good but they have nothing on the pirates in Key West|
|Microsoft has supported the LGBT community since the early 70's and one of the few who provide 100% insurance for AIDs and other issues facing this community.|
|Who sends your stuff?|
|If you removed all the LGBT where would you go to the theatre?|
|Maybe it's the Water?|
|Never Seen Seattle Center this crowded for any other event.|
|We did not make it everywhere but we saw 4 stages packed.|
|These Guys were Crazyn funny: http://youtu.be/nQVmGbTXLkQ|
|What better MC for LGBT?|
We planned on checking out the Pride Parade since we heard it is a pretty big deal in Seattle. The Center for Wooden Boats was short a sailing instructor so I signed up for the early morning shift and told the Admiral I would catch up with her around 12:30, the Parade started from downtown at 11:00am. As I was walking down to the CWB there was a steady stream of colorful folk headed the opposite direction toward the Parade route which is just a couple of blocks from where we live in BellTown. I figured that by the time I got back up to the parade it would be near the end of the parade. As I neared the Parade route on 4th Avenue on my return from the CWB, I could hear the celebration blocks away. The sidewalk along $th was so dense it was difficult to get a good view of the parade (there's a lot of tall people in the PNW!). I needed to cross the parade route so I could meet up with the Admiral so I had to make my way to the front and wait for a opportunity to dart across. There was so much going on and the atmosphere was electric and full of love all at the same time with this crazy energy just vibing throughout. I saw a couple of others make there way across the street and so I jumped on the train, it took me another 20 minutes to find the
Admiral who was just a couple of blocks away. She found a spot where is was not so dense and had a good view of the whole parade so she was getting some good pics. We were both totally consumed by the human kaleidoscope passing in front of us. We watched the parade for about 2 1/2 hours then decided to call it quits and go see whal all was happening at Seattle Center, not sure when the Parade ended.
We both grew up from the 50's and over the course of time we were naturally exposed to Gay and Lesbian moments. My mother owned a Beauty Salon so besides the occasional high school students that you suspected were Gay I was also introduces to the Adult Gay world by the male hairdressers who worked in her Salon, they were always the top money earners and in highest demand by the clientele of the Blue Bonnet Circle Hair Salon. Times slowly changed through the 60's and 70's. My younger brother who had become the Director of Zachary Scott Theater in Austin, Texas came out and announced he was Gay after a short heterosexual marriage. sometime later when we were attending one of Dave's shows we were at the after party and one of the actors asked me what is was like to Straight and have a Gay Brother, I just told him, "He ain't Heavy, he's my brother". The little smartass would get a different answer today. Being a High School Teacher in a 5A inner city High School in Austin called on helping young students deal with their own Gay/Lesbian issues of growing up in a intolerant world. The 80.s and 90's continued the positive changes to support the growing tides of open LGBT who wanted to live their life on equal terms. We were lucky, we lived in the most accepting city in Texas and we celebrated differences instead of denying.
After the Parade the Admiral and I had the same realization after this incredible display of Issues that just passed before us in the most amazing fashion. Even though we lived with acceptance and love for those Gay and Lesbians in our own community we never really understood all the issues that these communities face in their quest for equality. If you think a minority population like say, African Americans have had it rough getting to the New Millennium, just think about a community that is discriminated against not only by the majority population but by every minority population as well. The list of issues passing in front of us that day included, health, welfare, age, parent/family, community, religious, sports, military, school, work, recreation, business, political, housing, etc, etc, etc, barriers and discrimination. I am sure there are other places on the planet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_demographics_of_the_United_States but Seattle is the first we have lived in where this community is the most equal and celebrated. Seattle has the first openly gay Mayor and his husband is constantly at his side.
We have a much deeper appreciation for the battles this community has taken on to get to 2014, but they have a long way to go in most other communities. For those who have not yet come to terms with the LGBT community just know that they surround you. They make your sandwiches, they safe your lives, they fight your wars, they make sure you can retire in comfort, they entertain you and they live like you should with total acceptance of differences., and if your lucky enough to have some as your neighbors they keep your property values up since they have the nicest homes on the block.
The older participants in this event, those our age and older seemed the ones most at peace. For them they never thought they would see this day come in their lifetime so they are content, But for the young ones, the battle is just beginning.