Today I took my place in Knoxville’s Pride Parade, the colorful jump-start to PrideFest, an annual event to promote equality and inclusion of all people. Our group, KnoxZine, stood behind a float loaded with young, gyrating lesbians and in front of very tall crossdressing Carmen Miranda imitator.
The only attention getters for us were the t-shirts we wore and Bruno, our handsome 14-month old Newfoundland who calmly took in the ooohs and aahhhs of the cheering crowd.
What drew me, a straight person, to join in this parade? I like being in the middle of something different from my norm. Participating is an easy way to absorb the unfamiliar, and an informal, fun event like today’s is very inviting.
An unexpected plus was watching the people on the sidelines, waving and cheering us on This euphoric feeling came over me–like I was Pat Summit leading all the Lady Vol athletes on a victory march. I’m glad to live in a city that promotes the rights of individuals to express themselves without fear.
The parade turned off Gay Street onto Clinch Avenue and I stepped up beside another crossdressing beauty, happy his macaca wasn’t running and singing, “Love is all we need.” To which I replied, “You are right about that, Honey.”