Monday, June 25, 2007

Religious groups no longer at the back of the parade

In every pride parade I participated in when I lived in Atlanta, the religious groups were always in the very back. We were the afterthought - the red-headed step children of the pride parade. The organizers showed their discomfort with our very presence by placing us so far in the back that most of the party was over by the time we reached Piedmont Park. They just didn't want to be bothered by those religious types.

My, how times have changed.

NEW YORK -- Religious groups led the city's gay pride parade on Sunday, lending gravity to an often outrageous event that also featured a jumble of drag queens in feather boas, marching bands, motorcycle-riding lesbians, rugby players and samba dancers.


As in past years, exhibitionists were also on display as the parade inched down Fifth Avenue and into Greenwich Village. Some revelers gyrated in bikini briefs and pranced in spike heels.

But the placement of the Christian, Jewish and Buddhist religious organizations near the head of the march - ahead of AIDS service groups and political advocacy groups - gave them unaccustomed prominence.

This truly is a significant development in our movement. I predicted a long time ago that our push for civil right would never be won unless we gave prominence to our religious groups, and perhaps, finally, the powers that be in our movement are listening.

I hope this is and enduring trend, and religion is not just the new black - to be tossed out with the next fad.

1 comment:

gratefulbear said...

I just posted 10 pics from the Atlanta parade at my Blog of the Grateful Bear. The religious groups were scattered throughout the parade, some near the beginning, others near the middle. The "corporate" groups (banks, etc.) and local politicians seemed to be positioned near the end. As it should be!