Our Lesson in Compassion From Men Wearing Dresses


“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Mother Teresa

 Saturday started out a rush as I was notified late about the Gay Pride Parade and consecutive celebration in downtown Sleepytown. The night prior had me dredging the streets, ending up at a local coffee house for open mic night. That left me in a state which should have had me sleeping well past noon but somehow I managed to shake off the fog and head for downtown in order to catch the morning display of grandiose floats and men wearing dresses. Last year had me attending the Gay Pride celebration in Denver, Colorado, but now here I was in Indianapolis and knowing there is a booming GLBT community here I expected a good turnout; I was not disappointed.

 The first part of my trek downtown to Massachusetts Avenue (where the parade route runs) reminded me that there is still some prejudice and narrow minded individuals in this world. Ignorance and the lack of exposure to various people and situations in life leave some people to remain real stupid assholes. A few blocks away from the parade route on a side suburb street, four motorcycle police officers were practicing intricate maneuvers on their bikes with their sirens on – practice for leading the parade I assumed and as if to agree with me, a scroungy looking man walked by me going the opposite direction and smiled. “They’re practicing to be in that faggot day parade they’re having.” he said and went by before I could come up with a snappy retort; I knew it wouldn’t matter to him anyway. The breed of slime that still hates ‘faggots’ and ‘niggers’ and all other forms of things they won’t accept is thankfully dieing out in this country. They still exist but their numbers are diminishing….thank god.

 Another detour along the way was a lady with a mental condition who needed help toting an extremely heavy bag to some location she was supposed to move to. I offered to help her and she took me up on it – even proposed paying me to help her. It became evident after lugging this forty or fifty pound bag around for seven blocks, backtracking and trying desperately to pinpoint her destination on my phone, that she didn’t have a clue where she was going and really wasn’t even that sure who she was. I had no time for this and certainly no trained skills to help her so all I could do was wish her well and continue back on my way to the parade.

 The festivities of the Gay Pride parade were vibrant and happy from the word go. Costumed men in dresses and wigs, rainbow bracelets everywhere, women walking hand in hand with other women, men with their arms around each other – love was everywhere and not an ounce of hatred to be seen anywhere along the surrounding route. The parade itself had sponsors like Walgreens Drug Stores and local banks, Cummins Engines, politicians, churches, our armed forces – so many people have turned that back-wood prejudiced stance against people different than themselves and the streets hummed with understanding and acceptance. Smart businesses have aligned themselves to know that the communities we live in are made up of myriad lifestyles and it is not enough to merely sit quiet, you need to let the public know that you support who they are and embrace them into your stores….smart business folks.

 So if you did not attend this year’s celebration, make it a point to go next year and feel the energy that’s created by being in a crowd of thousands that are all loving and accepting of one another. I felt optimistic considering the ratio of people against the celebration consisted of that on guy I passed on the way to the parade and one other guy on his cheap microphone doling out verses from the Bible….I put the odds at two haters to a few thousand non-haters…there’s hope for us after all.


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