Saturday, May 15, 2010

Charleston, S.C.! (To Be Sung to the Tune of Y,M,C,A!)

I kept remembering that I wasn't just walking.

I was marching.

Today, Charleston started a tradition, a movement of love. The first annual Pride Festival paraded its way down East Montague down to Riverfront Park.

Before the event started, I listened to reasons of why gay pride parades are important, how they change and promote growth in a community. Tracey, a parade-goer, says, "When you're coming out to people, they learn something about you, and you learn something about them too. By how they respond."

The same can be said of the parade: You learn something about those that show up and those who don't, the positive and the negative. Well, it's almost that cut and dry. Surprisingly, and thankfully, no protesters showed up. Their absence was positive.

Charleston as a whole showed up in full force.

Churches marched with their banners.

The Lowcountry Highrollers--Charleston's own derby team--skated as Roy G. Biv.

A local politician made a huge, and very commendable, statement. He was also handing out bottles of water, so if nothing else, he's smart enough to think ahead. (I can't say the same for myself.)

We asked around, "About how many people do you think are here?"

"I'd say a 1,000," said one lady.

"At least 4, 500," said another.

So, we'll go with anywhere between 400 and 1,000 marched for gay rights in Charleston over the weekend.

That's a start.

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