Gay Pride: Starting 'Em Young

Henry won't tolerate intolerance!

I’m really passionate about gay rights.  It boggles my mind that there is this whole contingent of society, millions and millions of people, that are discriminated against and refused rights afforded to every one else. I just don’t get it.

Did we learn nothing from Martin Luther King, Jr.?  Guess not because here we are repeating the historic battle for civil rights, only this time it’s gay people.

But I’m not here to get all fired up about gay rights, I do that enough on my personal blog.  I just wanted to tell you about my weekend.  It was Salt Lake City’s annual Gay Pride Festival.  You’d think one of the most conservative states in the country wouldn’t have many gay folks, I mean, why would they want to rub shoulders with members of a religion that actively campaigned to deny them their rights in the great Proposition 8 Battle of 2008 and continue to do it every day up at the State Capitol? But the opposite is true.  There is a huge gay community here, on the front lines of the battle for equality and it is AWESOME.

I’ve been taking my babies to rallies since before they were born.  It’s one of the most important things I believe I can do as a parent to set them on a lifelong path of compassion for those who are discriminated against. In fact, I daresay teaching my children about gay rights is as important a part of their development as potty training.  Hell, it’s MORE important.  I’d rather my kids love everyone equally and piss in their pants forever than the other way around.

Protesting Proposition 8, Violet in the womb
Fighting anti-gay protesters at Temple Square in Salt Lake City
Violet, showing her gay pride in 2009
Gay Pride Parade, Salt Lake City, 2011
Violet and Dad watch the parade.

Even though my babies won’t remember, at least not yet, they will see the pictures and know that they, along with mom and dad, stood on the right side of history, arm in arm with others, fighting for the persecuted.   Because the persecuted are fighting for your rights every day.  Thousands of gay men and women are in our military fighting for freedoms that they aren’t entirely afforded.  But there I go again, huffing and puffing to the top of my soap box.

Henry contemplates gay rights for a brief, waking moment.

Anyway, it was Henry’s first rally and although he slept through most of it I am hopeful that the thunderous speeches, especially the one by grand marshal, fellow Utah native and my idol, Roseanne Barr, reverberated through his tiny body and took up root in his brain.  As the great Roseanne opined, “We’re here, we’re queer, and we drink beer!” Which, I think we can all agree that beer is an important element in almost every get together.

The inimitable Roseanne Barr

More photos here.

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