shout.

070516

describe in detail a float you have seen in a parade.

It’s been a long while since I attended a parade. At least on purpose.

Living in Waterloo for so long I used to spend Thanksgiving parading at the second largest Oktoberfest in the world.

Now living in Calgary, its impossible to avoid the parade that kicks of Western Canada’s gemstone festival; The Stampede. Not only does this kick off Stampede, but it shuts down most of downtown’s main artery.

As such, my recollection of details from floats in parades I either deliberately attended more than a decade or deliberately skipped is a little less than stellar. I will base the description off of a photograph from a really wicked parade that just took place recently in Toronto.

Pride festivals in any city are exciting and entertaining. and at the same time they are tremendously integral and important. In a year where a Canadian Prime Minister marched in a pride celebration for the first time in history, I’d say that much has been cemented.

and that was moving to experience. For all the shit humankind has pulled on one another, and for what we are capable of pulling, it was nice to see some friendship, kindness, dignity, and respect this past weekend.

It was perhaps greater to note that we did not witness hate. In the midst of political uncertainty in North America and a continued battle with prejudice and judgement, a little less hate for the weekend is a calming thing.

As for the float’s appearance. It appeared as though the foundation for this float was an industrial, flat-bed truck. That wasn’t really even disguised much at all. But the bed of the truck was plastered in balloons. Hundreds, if not tens of hundreds of balloons bearing a gas that will metaphorically aid in a rising. and they spanned the whole of the prism’s spectrum.

For a float with a certain “we just threw something together” aura about it, the message could not have been stronger. Spelled out in a splash of helium and ROYGBIV was a name that has become sickeningly and unjustly synonymous with despair. Much like Columbine before it, it’s a name that will forever be footnoted with the nightmarish captions associated with violence and terror.

O R L A N D O.

and ever since I woke up one morning and realized how sick the human race still can be, this place has been in the pit of my stomach and the bottom of my heart.

Now here’s the cool thing about Pride. An issue so fuelled by hatred. An event so dictated by ignorance. and an attack gruesome enough to confuse. and yet we spell out a city’s namesake in rainbow and we celebrate that this will not conquer the LGBTQ community. People have rallied and people have grieved, but over this past weekend, people danced, people laughed, and people loved. They loved exactly who they wanted. If there’s any reason for a community to be proud. it has to be that. The world sent a demon and it damn near crushed us, but with the support of every community member and honorary community member we can square up against that demon, toe-to-toe, and give it a big old “fuck off.” That doesn’t erase tragedy, but it helps preserve legacy and it helps promote happiness.

If there are any adjectives here for those who need.

Proud. Pride. Persistence. Perseverance.

Grit. Gaul. and heart.

That’s what I have learned from a great community.

Love is right. Love is proud. Love is cool. Love is love. no matter what.

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