I walked miles and miles of city streets in the delightful summer fog of San Francisco with gay and straight friends who believe in the power of families.
I high-fived a representative from Affirmation, who was dressed as a missionary, complete with bike and backpack.
I met Spencer and Tyler from 8: The Mormon Proposition and wished them the best in their marriage. (Seeing them in real life, I was struck by how naturally they formed a couple, in a Saturday’s Warrior-esque destiny sort of way.)
I commented to a guy handing out campaign posters for Gavin Newsom that this was an incredibly tacky thing to do.
I thanked as many police officers as I could for providing a smooth and organised escort down Market Street. (Though I would imagine that the San Francisco Police Department are pretty experienced by now in escorting parades and protests.)
I was utterly impressed by the skills of a tall and beautiful nun from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in walking atop the tallest stilletos I’ve ever seen, and despaired somewhat that I will never look that good in heels.
Halfway through the parade, we turned back, looked down the hill and saw family after family — couples holding hands, parents holding children, friends walking side-by-side. This was not like Pride at all. The crowd, though festive, was unremarkably normal in its appearance, and that is what the world needs to see if their perceptions of homosexuals are to change. Pride represents the gay community about as well as Spring Break represents university life. Flamboyant, high-profile celebration is fun and has its purpose, but that’s only one percent of a gay person’s life. It’s time to celebrate the quiet, mundane, humdrum of settling down and building a family. Holding hands whilst walking down a city street, a kiss on the cheek, cuddling a child and saying “I love you” represent a much larger part of the gay experience than any amount of rainbow flag-waving. The thousands who marched last night helped to show the world that in essentials, none of us are really that different. It’s easy — All you need is love!