OK so a brief update! First, I am burned to a CRISP. It was raining earlier in the morning and still on and off as we gathered together at the start point, but then the clouds parted and the humidity kicked up. I, being not as intelligent as I might seem, hadn’t bothered to put on sunscreen when I thought it would end up raining.
Second, we ROCKED! Eleven people marched with GLSEN itself and another five marched on behalf of their Gay/Straight Alliance right behind us. In order to understand the following part, I need to explain that GLSEN stands for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. This year we unveiled our own Big Yellow Schoolbus to a resounding success. The two sides and the front were made out of gold foamcore board and each marcher walked with a piece on their side. Dan and I, the two co-chairs, held the two sections making up the front of the bus around our necks and waists by rope. Another volunteer brought in a boombox and a CD. Guess which one?
Schoolhouse Rock, BABY! Woohoo! Everyone lining the parade route saw our fabulous gold bus with GLSEN Safe Schools For All emblazoned on the side in paint and glitter dancing around to Conjunction Junction shouting “2,4,6,8 Gay and Straight: we educate” and “What do we want? Safe Schools! When do we want 'em? Right now!”. We got cheers every time. We also won the award for Most Creative Float, so obviously the judges liked it too.
Next year we’re gonna make a little stop sign on a stick to shove out one of the windows when the parade stalls. I’ll see if I can’t link some pictures in the coming days of it. Regardless of the fact that I am now a boiled lobster, I loved the parade and festival. I see pictures of so many other cities’ PRIDE parades and they seem so artificial with slick floats and entertainment, but ours was grassroots and very real! Wonderful to see the community put so much tangible effort into making it happen.