I just got home and I'm having a late dinner so tonight I'm only going to touch on a few thoughts about the pride parade today, I will make a proper post about it tomorrow or Tuesday. First.. it.. was.. HUGE! I haven't gone for about eight years and I was utterly gobsmacked by the size of the parade. Also the crowds were incredible, thanks to all the straight people who came out to support us... and thanks for bringing hundreds upon hundreds of children, who will now grow up accepting of the LGBTQ community. The parade used to take less than an hour, today it started at 1:30 and finished after 4:00. There were times when I would look up and down the street and see nothing but people for as far as I could see. There were plenty of older moms and dads there to give love to lonely LGBTQ children.
The Ottawa pride parade is a lot more tame than most pride parades. It is family friendly, a lot of the group's have children marching in them. My sister said something to me Thursday and it seems to be true from what I saw today. She said the Ottawa parade is boring because it's too political and too commercial. She said that's why she stopped going, she is thinking about taking in a larger parade next year like Montreal or Toronto pride. True, I don't want to see a group of union reps protesting some work grievance or one political party sniping at the other. Even though I enjoyed the day, I personally wouldn't recommend anyone traveling here just to see the Ottawa parade, it was lame at times. There just isn't the floats or fabulous-ness you see else where. There are mostly groups walking, waving flags. You spend all afternoon watching groups representing the major banks, unions, insurance companies, Starbucks, political parties blah blah blah! I want to see drag Queens, I want to see men in leather, I want to see the gay hockey teams, I want big scary dykes on bikes! There were times when I felt that everyone around me and everyone in the parade were straight and I was the only gay person. Fortunately those times didn't happen long...
I was alone again, my fault; however I moved around where ever I wanted to. It's hard not to notice everyone else in groups having a lot of fun. Another thing that can almost ruin it for a person is smoke. I was so glad years ago when they started banning smoking from buildings, parks, public places etc. I hate the smell of smoke. Unfortunately since they made smoking pot legal, everyone does it everywhere. Even though I was outside yesterday, I could smell it in my car this morning. The car was parked off site, my clothes absorbed the stink enough to transfer it to my car.
I never saw a single person I knew, it's possible that we didn't cross paths but I remember a time when I would meet a lot of my friends. The old farts probably didn't want to come out anymore. I was thinking how opposite of the old days. I used to be terrified of meeting someone, I remember once almost bumping into a friend of a friend. A huge drag queen stepped between us and I slipped away before being seen, scurrying home before I was outed. Now I don't care at all. I was hoping to see a bunch from work, there are a group of guys I was suspecting to be gay, I thought they might be there.
I decided to leave after five, the crowds were large and I didn't feel like waiting an hour for everything. You can't dance alone and if you talk to someone they think something is wrong with you. Another thing that was very pleasing, at the end of the parade, we didn't have the usual haters with their signs and bible thumping. Although some people came prepared with some songs of their own.. lol.
It's too bad the picture didn't include it but they had a huge rainbow flag bolted to the back of the truck.