So, yeah… Wow! What a day.
I’m honestly way too exhausted to type much. Event after event today. And I’m too wiped to think. So, here’s a quick video of the girl practicing, as we sit on the ACC’s float, before the parade got moving. And I promise, once I’ve had some sleep and transferred the photos to my computer? I’ll share more. 😀
Well, here we are. The end of Pride week here in Saskatoon. It really is my favourite week of the year. A chance to make some new friends, and connect with those I rarely see the other 11 and 3/4 months of the year. Pride week fills me with hope, and I truly KNOW that things are getting better. Each year our numbers are stronger and our colours brighter. I look forward to the time when we can live PRIDE every day – and I know that it is coming.
Want to see my post post-parade last year? Here it is: Leave the Politics at the Door.
Being at the parade and fair in an official capacity was a new experience for me this year. As coordinator for Camp fYrefly I was there to set up our booth, organize volunteers, and get our group all set up to march in the parade. It was a lot of fun, but it meant we were there a lot earlier than we’re used to. And it also meant that I didn’t get to do my usual tour of tables. I kinda missed out on hunting down all the coolest stuff, and checking out all the latest from the fair vendors… which I confess, I do regret. And after the parade, the girlie had just had enough, so we weren’t able to stay till the end as I’d originally planned. Thankfully Derrick was there, and so graciously offered to man the table for the last couple of hours without me. I am sooo grateful for his help today. He was awesome!
The girlie was tired before we even arrived. She has her “sleepover night” with my parents every Friday… which meant she was up SUPER early today (they wake up WAY too freakin’ early at that house). So by 10:00 when we swung by to grab her, she was already several hours into her day (at home she wakes up about 8:30 or 9:00). So yeah… tired girl before we even got started – which made for a much harder day than I’d have liked.
Thankfully (because he was there to help with the girlie) this was Damon’s first year at the Pride Parade and Street Fair. He has always had to work the Saturday it was held, but this year, the start of his holidays coincided with the event. So it was a real treat to have him there. He’s not much for crowds, so I know he felt totally out of his element, but I appreciated that he came. I think he’d have loved Pride back in the day when there were only a couple hundred folk out. LOL
So… here are a few pictures. I’d hoped to grab a family photo with the three of us all in our Camp fYrefly gear: Lily-Ann in the dress I made, me in my altered t-shirt, and Damon in his… but, like I said: cranky girlie. LMAO And without being free to wander at will, pretty much all my photos were of the fYrefly crew. But I snapped away, just the same. 🙂
Long day. Seriously long day.
Run the girlie to my mom.
Run home to get some stuff taken care of.
Run to the U of S for a photo shoot.
Run back to my parent’s place to grab the girlie.
Run back home again.
Run off to get a tour of the place where Camp fYrefly will be held (Thanks for driving Herb!).
Run back home again.
Run to pick up Damon from work.
Run back home again to grab our library books.
Run to the library.
Run home – yet again – to let the dogs out for a potty break.
Run back to my parent’s place again (because we always go for a visit on “library day” aka Tuesday).
Run out to do some grocery and craft supply shopping while the girlie hangs with my parents.
Run back to their place.
Run amok in the yard with loads of balloons, flour, water, newspaper, and sticks for a couple hours.
Run back home (for the last time).
Run the dogs back out into the yard.
Run the girlie straight into bed for a chapter and sleep.
But we got a good start on our paper mache fireflies. They should look great! *knock on wood* Still a couple more days of work to go on them – AND I still need to sew the girlie’s outfit for the parade. But we’ll get it all done and be ready for Satuday. LOVE LOVE LOVE being a part of the PRIDE parade every year. 😀 I may be going a little batty just now, but it’s going to be soooo worth it if these fireflies work out. How totally cute will they be! Seriously. 😀
Pride Week is one of my favourite weeks of the year. In Saskatoon the organizers and volunteers put on event after event, and they just keep getting bigger and better. So many hours, so many dedicated people, all working together with a common vision.
We make a point of getting out to at least a few Pride events every year. We always have an amazing time, and love being surrounded by such incredible people – all devoted to diversity. This years PRIDE week was no exception. We had a lovely time at the family day in the park, at the second annual Welcome to the Gaybourhood block party, and today marching in the parade and then celebrating with everyone at the community stage.
This year, a couple different politicians were invited to speak before the stage was opened up for the incredible musical line up. And honestly? There is a reason folks hate politicians. This event is not about politics, and it’s not about scoring brownie points that can be redeemed at election time. I was so disappointed with the MLA who was invited to represent our provincial government… actually, I was beyond disappointed.
The NDP MLA made a point of recognizing the very few NDP representatives who were present (including mentioning one MLA who had ALREADY LEFT despite the fact that the event had only just begun). He encouraged people to vote NDP. And then went on to blast the current Sask Party government. Personally, I found this appalling. It was not the time OR the place for this kind of political maneuvering.
There are times when politics should be left at home, or checked at the door, and this was one of those times. Yes! Come as an elected official who represents the current government and who is proud to see how large the PRIDE movement has become. But don’t treat it as a chance to earn votes. Be there in the spirit of the day. Celebrate with us! But don’t pretend to be a part of a movement you choose to ignore the other 364 days a year just to earn a vote. It insults our intelligence. We see your party’s record, we can read all about your stance, see what you’ve done to promote equality, and we know that you aren’t there the rest of the year… And judging by the rumblings in the crowd I’m not the only one who found him offensive.
The Green Party did not have a float in the parade, we weren’t attending with an agenda like the Liberal and NDP representatives. But we were there. Because we are always there. Because PRIDE is something that is deeply important to us… and that has NOTHING to do with earning votes or ensuring we are noticed as representatives of a political party.
Pride is about believing in yourself, being true to who you are, and being PROUD. It is about the discrimination we have overcome and still face by being open, by sharing the truth. It is about fighting for a world where PRIDE is NORMAL. Where gender has nothing to do with a persons sex. Where love is love regardless if it’s shared between women, between men, or between a man and a woman. It’s about truth.
How many of those politicians there today have truly been there? How many know what it means? How many have seen the dark side of humanity where
… … Sorry. This is difficult. Sometimes I get emotional. … …
I have had friends, bloodied and in the hospital, beaten for being who they are. How many of those politicians have been there? How many have experienced that side of PRIDE? Pride is about coming back from that, and knowing it’s worth it to keep fighting. Pride is about the idea that my daughter will grow up not knowing that ugliness. Pride is about how far we’ve come.
So I’m glad the politicians came… but sometimes? It would be nice to see them leave the politics at home.
Want to know what PRIDE is really about?
It’s about Gabriella and Lily-Ann… two little girls who met only two minutes previously, holding hands. Two little girls who will never know a world where diversity isn’t totally, completely, natural and normal.
Happy Pride Day!