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.… Read the rest
What do we remember when we say that we will “never forget?”
I spent the 15 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks at the Oakland Pride Parade. I found my church (and then lost them) and then joined the denomination that baptized me as a baby (the Methodists). I did not want to be alone this 9/11.
While many Americans will never forget 9/11, most Americans did not know someone who died on 9/11. I knew Mark Bingham, one of the passengers on Flight 93. Mark was an incredible man who has become an American icon and symbol for the LGBT community.
I met Mark shortly after I moved to the Bay Area. Mark organized a weekly football game at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Five years ago, I wrote more about how we knew each other. He was one of the best athletes and one of the best leaders I have known. He was many things, and if you met him, you would not forget him.… Read the rest
This recent Labor Day weekend, I took my kids and my camera to the Oakland Pride Parade. We walked with our Episcopal Church and several other religious groups. Many mayoral candidates, including Mayor Jean Quan, attended the parade. I took pictures. (HERE is my photo gallery!) While I was walking around before the parade, somebody asked my affiliation. Perhaps the person wanted to know if I worked for a publication or politician. I interpreted their question differently, “How did I become a member of a church group at a pride parade?”
Here is the oversimplified version:
I joined a political campaign, because a politician offended me by something she said in a church.
I joined a church because of something my candidate said while campaigning for Congress.
Yesterday was Labor Day. Besides being an official holiday, Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial last weekend of Summer. When I was a kid, Labor Day was the last day before school.… Read the rest