If you had told me 10 years ago that I'd be marching in the San Francisco Pride parade, I wouldn't have believed you. Or that 3 of the guys I hung out with most at stake dances as a teen would come out of the closet at BYU. Well, they did (my poor 16 year old heart) and I did march: behold, I have pictorial proof! And if you see in on the Internet, it must be true.
Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons has marched in SFPride in years past and this year, Mormons for Marriage Equality joined them and I marched with them. Mormons have been marching in Pride parades all over this year.
For the past few days, I had been split on what to write on my sign. I felt that the San Francisco audience needed more than "We love you!" In light of Prop 8, at best that would have been insensitive and at worst, a downright smack in the face. In the end I came up with this:
Is it too obvious that I made it last minute and had to use highlighter for the pink and yellow? And crayons for the rainbows? Yeah...
On to more pictures! I wasn't able to take any pictures during the parade because I was busy giving high fives and holding my sign full of win, so these are all pre-parade.
The Mormons for Marriage Equality banner:
Holding my sign and wearing my rainbow shawl. I knit it last year for the county fair and won honorable mention.
The famous Tresa! She also blogs at fMh and The Guardian and has a fashion blog, just to name a few. ETA: Alongside Tresa's sign, I wanted to link to the San Francisco State University Family Acceptance Project. They have recently re-done their pamphlets, made to help families with LGBTQ children learn how to be more accepting. Children who feel accepted by their families are less likely to die of suicide, take up risky behaviors like drugs and unprotected sex, and are more likely want want families themselves in the future. There is a pamphlet that is specifically geared to LDS families with quotes from LDS sources and experiences of LDS families.
The lovely Carol Lynn Pearson led us in song before the parade. In fact, it was her own song in the LDS Primary Songbook!
Mindi representing Berkeley here. There were a lot of SF and Berkeley LDS people. From my Oakland ward, I counted 7 people who decided that the Pride Parade would be more exciting and worthwhile than church today.
And here, too.
Group shot of some guys in shirts and ties.
A couple more group shots.
Mitch is on the right. He helped organize this and calls my ward his homeward, despite him being back in San Francisco for his time serving as an Executive Secretary. In true Mormon fashion, he gave a prayer beforehand. You can take a Mormon out of church on a Sunday, but you can't take the church out of a Mormon.
I also got a shot of the Google contingent. I had probably upwards of 20 people from Google come up and ask if they could take a picture of my sign or with me and my sign. They gave me a snap bracelet and Google+ sticker in return. I told them I better show up on the Google Homepage.
It was a lot of fun. Lots of "Thank yous!" and "Happy Pride!" At the end, a woman and her partner came up to us and said she grew up Mormon and her whole is in Utah, but hasn't spoken to her in 10 years and she's so glad we were marching today. That is exactly why I want to march here: families should not be broken up over LGBTQ or religious issues.
Want to see the Mormons in the parade? The video is here. We're at 55:40 in the second video. You have to push "play"at "re-live the broadcast" and go to the end so it can move onto the second video (it does this automatically at the end of the first video). Then go to 55:40! I'm there with my shawl and sign.
ETA: Our contingent won an "Absolutely Outrageous" award from the Pride Parade. There is a picture of the ribbon at the FB event page.