I am a big fan of parades. What's not to like? People dressed in costumes, music, the occasional sweet being tossed your way. However, if I had to choose only one parade a year to take my kids to, it would be the Pride Parade hands down. The Santa Claus parade has nothing on it. Sure, it's hosted by a magical character who promises great things and perks us up when we are starting our descent into seasonal darkness, but it is the Pride Parade that says, loudly and proudly, "yes, you and you and you, we are happy you are here!" Come out of the shadows of doubt and fear. "We want you senior citizens, and teenagers and babies and everyone in between, to be here, standing and dancing in the light of day. We, the banks, and the police and the mayor and the everyone want you to be who you are without conditions."
When I really think about what it is I want for my kids, is it infinite magical possibilities on Christmas morning? Or is it wholeness, happiness and justice regardless of their abilities, sexual orientation, and race?
Santa can't bring all that, but we, all together, marching together through the streets , blowing bubbles, dressing up in feather boas and chaps, handing out condoms and suckers and balloons just might.