Last Sunday, Oakland Pride held the 2017 Oakland Pride PARADE in downtown Oakland. This year was either my third or fourth year attending the parade.
I posted after attending the 2014 parade and again after the 2016 parade. Both years I started the parade with my church, but last year I lost the group early. This year, I stayed with our church group for the Sunday curbside service while other groups prepared for the parade.
While we held our service, I felt part of the crowd and part of the counterculture simultaneously. I imagine that the #peetniks felt similarly. Their counterculture was commercial yet retro.
The older I get, the less I understand about Progress. Some days, the hare wins; other days Slow and Steady wins. Progress moves slowly and swiftly, if it moves at all.
September 10th was also World Suicide Prevention Day. (The first WSPD was held the September before my father committed suicide.) Even though I did not see anyone from a suicide awareness organization at the parade, an organization could have attended Oakland Pride. In recent years, the suicide prevention community has become more involved in the LGBTQ community. Here is one example from AFSP about LGBTQ+. I do not believe that this level of collaboration existed when I graduated from college.
After my father died, I realized that I needed to deal with his suicide so that I could continue hiding my epilepsy. I guess I was lucky, because I learned how to deal with shame and find support. The Pride Parade was part of a similar process of finding support and moving forward. Progress.