Two weekends, two pride parades. I don’t want to give the impression that I am on some sort of tour; it just happened to be convenient to attend pride in Seattle in coordination with family visits last weekend. My oldest son (10 yrs old) also attended the parade and a breakfast gathering of gay Mormons held before hand. I didn’t do any explaining prior to the parade, but he is a smart kid and must have answered any imperative questions for himself. I explained that dad is gay earlier in the year. This news he took in stride. At the parade, he seemed most excited to collect the myriad free items tossed into the crowd.
Pride parades evolved in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots that took place in New York 43 years ago. While the riots were a violent assertion of gay frustration and pride, today’s parades are peaceful (if sometimes boisterous and highly suggestive) celebrations with an eclectic mix of corporatism, music, dancing, politics and a lot of color. In my ignorance about almost all things gay for such a long time, I had no knowledge of the events that occurred at Stonewall until very recently. I found this excellent American Experience program on-line and highly recommend it for some historical perspective.