I’m a little late, but I want to get these photos out to you. Last month I met a friend in Portland’s Chinatown and we watched the Pride Parade. I hadn’t seen Eliot since I lived in Humboldt, which was before I went to school in Boston, which was so long ago! Nine, maybe ten years, it’s been, and that is entirely too long to go without seeing a friend.
He introduced me to Amanda, and then we were able to catch up on old times while cheering our support for the floats and banners and people as they passed.
The parade was smaller than the last couple of times I’ve seen it. Fewer drag queens, which is a disappointment. More company support, which I LOVED. You know, banks, churches, high schools, airlines, etcetera, marching in T-shirts shouting “We are happy to serve everyone,” or “We hire anyone who is qualified.” There were lots of politicians in the parade, publicly announcing that they want to represent all of their constituents.
I was pleased to see Uncle Jim and Uncle Larry driving the square dancing float for the Rosetown Ramblers. Jim drives it every year, and Larry typically drives the bowling float for the Portland Community Bowling League, but I didn’t see the bowling float, so the Uncles were in the same truck this year.
The weather was great! There were some clouds early, it cleared up and became warm and sunny by the end of the parade.
Portland is certainly the most eclectic, accepting, diverse, and liberal place I’ve ever lived. It feels good to be in a city where most of the time strangers see you first as a human being, and second as whatever your outward appearance might be. That also makes it more startling when insensitive, non-inclusive, or even hateful words and actions are tossed around. But…I suppose it’s unavoidable that when you take people from 600,000 different walks of life and put them all together, that sometimes we’ll be awful to each other. Considering that this is the case in every city, most of the time Portland does a damned good job of embracing all of its people.
Enjoy the photos.