Philly Pride!

So I’ve never been to a Pride parade. Or any kind of Pride event, really. I came out two years ago or so and since then I’ve been on a really long personal journey discovering how diverse the human population really is, and how much culture is associated with each group. It’s really fascinating.

So this morning I woke up at like 11:30. Jose and I had planned on leaving to go to Pride around 11:00 because the parade started at noon, but we were able to make it and catch up with the parade before it got anywhere near the end. There were dads with their kids in their strollers everywhere, lots of people with signs, a lot of music, and a ton of drag queens. Oh, and of course the shirtless people walking around all over the place.

The Parade itself ended at about 2, but afterwards there was a party at the Penn Landing. Some of the people from the floats were there, but it was mostly the people who were standing on the street and hanging out. There were SO MANY PEOPLE. I put a couple photos below but they really don’t do the place justice. There were a lot of sections of the park I just didn’t take pictures of, but they were all full of people.

This is where all the performances went down. Some people sang, there were a  few drag shows, etc. It was really hard to see over people.

Cute. I wish I could do this in Missouri with my partner. 🙁 Missouri sucks. 

 Well, Missouri doesn’t exactly suck. In my opinion it’s a matter of visibility. I guarantee nearly every person on earth knows at least one LGBT individual, though they may not know it. When we spend our lives in the closet it doesn’t do anyone any good. So in the context of today’s civil rights movement, I would say the most important thing we can do is come out and let people know we’re here. We are friends, family, and neighbors to everyone from every walk of life. Those who are afraid of that type of diversity quickly get over their prejudices when they see we’re like everyone else.

Except when we’re on parade, of course. Then we’re way more fabulous

The river there is gorgeous, so I snapped a pic of it as we were leaving. I was too tired after 4 hours of walking and being in the sun to do anything else, so we headed back up to where the buses ran and headed back to the dorms. We had some dinner with the rest of the IRCS group, and it was then that I realized (because of how many people commented on it) that I was red as a cherry. I’d applied one layer of sunblock after the parade, but it evidently wasn’t enough to keep my skin from roasting like a papaya.

I’m not sure how well you can pick out the red all over my body in this picture, but suffice it to say I’m in a lot of pain. Lesson learned. Maybe.

After dinner I came back to my room to clean it up. Over the past 8 days it has become a mess of papers, articles, clothing, receipts, and poptart packages.

So after some cleaning I’ve managed to get everything trash-related into a big plastic bag that’s just going to sit here for the next few days. On the group’s Facebook page (our main method of group communication at this point) someone mentioned watching some documentary called Human Planet on the third floor lounge, so naturally I went down and watched a couple episodes with some people. It covers several environments where humans live in extreme conditions and how they overcome them. The most memorable part was the nomadic tribe living in the desert in Africa during the dry season. The people follow elephants around (because elephants are evidently very good at finding underground water), and then they draw the water out from the ground, leave some for the elephants, and then continue on their way. It’s crazy!

Then sleep.

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