>Celebration Overcomes Adversity

>If the rains had persisted I imagine that the gay haters would have said it was God preventing the gays from having a successful Pride Parade and Pridefest. But on Saturday the skies cleared and the parade was fabulous, with hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators cheering us on. Then on Sunday, after the rain and winds blew over vendors’ tents and tables during set up, when it was time for the event to begin, the skies began to clear and the crowds came out.

I wonder if those same people who believe that God uses the weather to direct events will agree that God must have been watching out for the gay community and blessed us with good weather.

I don’t have pictures of the parade entries (there were 55-60, I guess) because I was driving, but I took pictures from the cab of the truck during the parade.

View all my pictures of Pride here. ( Or wait, more will be posted on the blog later in the week.)

Among the spectators was a group of two or three protesters, who I have dubbed the “haters.”


As believers in Free Speech most of us agreed that these guys (who hid behind their signs when they saw my camera) had a right to be there. But the next day, we were reminded what their hate speech represents.

Mr Gay Pride Andrew performed his powerful interpretation of the killing of Matthew Shephard

And then rose to perform “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”

I don’t have Andrew’s performance on video, but to remind you of the song, here’s Michael Ball performing:

The response to Andrew was as strong as that in the video. Gay people, and our allies, know loss. We’ve had friends (or ourselves) beaten or killed (Billy Jack Gaither, Scotty Joe Weaver, and Sean Kennedy ) or who took their own lives ( Bobby Griffith ) because of hatred. We know loss because we’ve had friends and loved ones die from a disease that was ignored by a president (Reagan) who cared less about gays than he did about smuggling arms and cocaine.

I am reminded of the Bible verse, “Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

There is so much hatred in our country, as evidenced by certain high profile killings, and in the world right now. My column in the Western Tribune this week addresses that, you will see it on Wednesday.

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