“Some people are gay. Get over it.” The message printed on a Dallas Pride Parade attendee’s shirt seemed to capture the mood of the crowd, as well as the message people wanted to convey for a celebration of their sexuality.
The parade down Cedar Springs in the Oak Lawn neighborhood of Dallas drew crowds that watched the festivities from the barricades and along theroute from windows and balconies. The parade began at Wycliff Avenue.and ended at Turtle Creek Street.
The “soundtrack” for the parade amplified the feeling of having fun. Tents with DJs played artists like Madonna, Lady Gaga, Lil Jon, The Black Eyed Peas and Britney Spears. Floats displayed rainbow logos and featured corporate sponsers including Liberty Mutual, T-Mobile, Fidelity and Hilton. People on each float showered the crowds with beaded necklaces and wristbands. Orbitz offered floral necklaces with tags promoting not only the company but their “Gay Travel” website.
Merchandise sold along the parade route featured rainbow clothing, buttons and flags. There were also accessories with twists on President Donald Trump’s election tagline such as “Make America Gay Again” and “Make America Love Again.” Canadian and Mexican pride flags waved along the parade route in an effort to reach LGBT people of other nationalities.
The unanimous feeling of freedom and fun among those attending the parade also brought feelings of contemplation about the apprehension a person feels when they come to terms with who they are and the “sit down with the parents” moment many have faced.
“I knew by kindergarten,” said James Flores, a five-time veteran of the parade. “Parents pretty much know before you.”
Such events show what it means to feel accepted but it makes one think about what happens the next day when the flags come down and the parade route returns to an ordinary road. There are those who may feel alone because they have not experienced such a day of pride and shared the experience with their peers.
“I wish I could have my students experience this event,” said middle school teacher Shea Nicole, a first-time attendee.
Some of the parade attendees experienced an underlying sense of dread as if something unfortunate might ruin the day. Dallas has sadly seen such gatherings overshadowed by hidden agendas. Fortunately no such conflict arose this day. This showed that storm clouds do not have to be present for a rainbow to be revealed.