I went to Chicago’s Pride Parade yesterday, braving the loaded sidewalks, following doggedly behind a friend of mine from my building, trying not to lose sight of her red hair through the mob. I hadn’t wanted to go, really. I’ve gone many, many times, and I simply didn’t feel like it, not yesterday.
But I hadn’t seen her in a while, and she wanted to go, so I agreed. And then I watched history unfold its long and immovable limbs in front of me, and I wondered how I thought about not going.
It was the first Pride Parade since same-sex marriage became legal in Illinois.
Someone turned to me, sarcastically, a pile of years ago, and said, “So do you think men should be able marry men and women should be able to marry women?” I’d never really thought about it before that moment, the idea of same-sex marriage. It wasn’t something that would affect me, one way or another, so it hadn’t come to my consciousness through the realization of denial. But I took a second and thought about it.
“Why not?” was my response. Why not?
Equality and justice always, for me, are sacred concepts. Why should love between capable, consenting adults be the catalyst for anyone to treat another as less than? In what seemed like a post-civil-rights world (trust me, I know better now) there was this group that people could use to take out their frustrations.At whom they could wag their fingers and tell them they a wrong simply for existing.
Yesterday, I saw evidence that the world had changed. The parade had politicians, religious groups, mainstream businesses, sports teams. The first same sex couples married in the state.
How rare it is to know a momentous flash when you see it.
Want to read more on this topic? Check out this article I wrote.
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