Monday, June 26, 2006

On Pride day, gay is quite okay day, I was walking down the long 17th Street hill from below Twin Peaks behind a couple of gay guys and their four or five year old son. One of the guys was a natural efficient type--we are walking down the hill, therefore let us do so with dispatch and focus. The other guy seemed warmer and noticed what was up with the child more, noticed that his hat was slipping off for example.

The kid was having fun adoring them both. Holding hands with the efficient one, holding hands with the more kid-centered one, holding hands with both. Looking up happily a lot. After the parent who noticed his hat was slipping adjusted it, the kid adjusted it more. He made sure both parents truly noticed how great the hat now looked.

Downtown, as the Pride parade proceeded on its inspirational interminable way, I noticed a couple of children, 7 or 8 ish, standing on the wall above the BART steps watching the parade with their mother next to them.

After a while, she said to them, do you want to watch this or do you want to go shopping? She seemed utterly fine either choice.

I deduced that she wasn't gay or particularly gay connected and that they had come to downtown San Francisco to shop. The kids noticed the parade and wanted to watch. She let them, and was willing to let them for as long as they wanted.

When she asked and I heard, they chose shopping.

The Pride parade could sound to children much more interesting than it looks to them because of the almost continuous enthusiastic cheering. "I support you. I support you too. And you."

The cheers go on and on, in lateral support that sometimes has to substitute for the support of family.

So lots of sincere cheering would sound interesting to children, but a lot of the Pride parade consists of regular people in regular clothes walking down the street in groups. Not intrinsucally fascinating to the young. The parade has, as is famous, lots of costuming, but it has more people who are just looking every day, here, and thereby saying who they are and that who they are is quite okay with them. Depending on the individual's story, there can be much bravery in being there, or bravery in what it took to get there, but visually, what a lot of the parade lots like is people walking.

Last year on Pride morning a guy at Church and Market asked me how to get from there to his church on public transportation. He usually drove.

I didn't know the answer to his question, but since he was talking to me he had to tell me how proud and happy he was to be marching with his church, to be walking down the street in regular clothes with others from his church.

He had to tell me this because he was burst with it, bursting with happiness.

This man is a natural born Christian. It's in his DNA. That whole way of looking at things is the way of looking at things he was born to have. Except for the hating gay people part.

He had to leave the religion that was him, in many ways, because the way he was raised that religion said his body was very, very wrong.

Eventually he found a particular Episcopal church and particular priest at that church, a woman, who welcomed him home. Profound happiness ensued. He was beaming with it at the corner of Church and Market, being where he wanting to be more than he had been able to be in his life. Till he found this church, he hadn't been able to have his two most loving parts exist at the same time and place.

I didn't see his church's delegation at the long, long parade, but I remeber for everyone, the brave queen and guy walking in casual Friday dress, there is a story, often one filled with guts and with people making room for each other to be who they are.

I cheer the guy and the priest. I support you in supporting all whom you support.