It was cloudy and overcast as we drove around the Duke campus looking for parking. I was extremely surprised to see all the people there. It was a record turnout for the event. Several news agencies were there and I heard reports of over 14,000 people turning out to see the festivities.
As always with many LGBT Pride events there were numerous Animal and dog rescues there. We saw Boxers, Greyhounds and even a Yorkie with fairy wings in attendance. The Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus preformed and North Carolina Pride Band was counted as one of the many sponsors.
Many voting drives were happening with the concerns over the latest amendment banning LGBT Marriage and the recognition of any other relationships that are not opposite sex in nature. Equality NC was on-hand as well as Get Equal, the ACLU and Safe Schools NC to name a few.
I was excited to see the many family groups there, Triangle Families, PFLAG and the one Gay/Straight Alliance – from Reynolds High school.
As with any event in North Carolina there were many religious groups out and about with Pride this weekend. I was thrilled to see so many families there walking with their prospective religions. I even saw many Goddess worshipers much like myself. I was completely delighted when I saw the float for Triangle Atheist Meetup. They had a huge float with a flying spaghetti monster on it. Their were kids on the float and everyone seemed to be having an amazing time. This is a perfect example of what makes our country great. Everyone coming together for a common goal but able to be who they are how they are without apology. We should keep this in mind as we have information coming in regarding a prayer vigil directed to remove the first amendment rights from us and destroy the separation of church and state. For more information on the DC40 inititive click here.
I was a little disappointed at the lack of activities directed to families and children. I saw that many participated in the NO H8 campaign and took photos with their families there. I wish that we could have a group come up to organize some sort of events that are very specific to our families needs. I also was a little disappointed that I could not find anything related to our Transgender members. No medical booth information, or coming out at work for this group. I would hope to see something like this in the coming years.
I would also have liked to see more information on the event regarding the speakers. It was only after this event, while I was getting my research notes prepped to write this article that I found out one of my heroes Minnie Bruce Pratt, was at the Duke Campus taking part in “Out in the South: Writers in Conversation” on Friday the 23rd. I would have loved to go in listen to her speak and then be able to have her sign one of her books for me. Minnie Bruce Pratt is an amazing individual and I encourage my readers to pick up one of her books and get lost in the amazement that will follow. Her website offers a preview of them, you can find it here. Some of you may know her partner author and activist Leslie Feinberg. Being in a relationships with a gender non-conforming person can be challenging. Minnie Bruce handles this with dignity and grace. I have used many of her writings as an inspiration for my own struggles with my husband’s transition and recommend them to others, not just to get past the transition but to understand what other’s go through as well.
Just as the last floats were pulling into the lineup for the parade the sky opened up and we had a bit of rain come down to find us. It wasn’t horrible. It was actually a nice refreshing rain. I always believe that rain is delivering life waters to the earth and nourishing her with the ability to give life. Looking at the many different groups that came to this event, from the Gay Straight Alliance to the Gay and Gray group I can’t tell you how much my heart was filled with joy at the sight of all these LGBT people joining together under the sign of North Carolina LGBT Pride.