This weekend is the Cork LGBT Pride Weekend. There’s a massive list of things on for the last few days, culminating in the parade which took place this afternoon. We went along after a lovely brunch in town, buggy and all, and brought E to his first parade. We were afraid he’d freak out with the loud music. We had nothing to worry about, he slept through the blasts of “Euphoria”, a song I realised I had only ever heard playing on the dance floor of the gay bar whose float was blasting it today.
It was a really feel good atmosphere in town. As always with the LGBT Pride weekend, the rainbow was everywhere to be seen. The parade consisted of political party representatives with big bright banners and t-shirts, floats from the LGBT pub and club scene, and lots of happy dancing and marching from all. There was even a pro-Palestine faction out in support of the LGBT pride. As to be expected from any big event, there was a heavier than normal Garda presence in town as well, but they seemed fairly unnecessary from what I was seeing.
I guess this officially adds E to the list of LGBT Allies. In being there today, I felt good. I felt good that he would be brought up in an environment where being gay is okay, accepted, not something considered a disease or defect or negative. Yes, I am aware there is much work to be done but in comparison to the area where I grew up, he is growing up in a more open, welcoming society, one that I didn’t hit until college called. There is something, unfortunately, about the rural mindset in some parts of Ireland that still doesn’t seem to get it, and I am gald that he will not be surrounded by that negativity. I don’t think it is anything deliberate, but rather something just set in its way that hasn’t changed along with the times. The fact that we are not to vote until next year as to whether or not same sex couples may marry and entail of the same rights as opposite sex couples is down to this set in its way attitude, but thankfully it seems that where we are, we are on the progressive liberal side.
As a mother, I want my son to be able to grow up to be whatever he wants to be (although if he decides at age 3 that a bus is what he wants to be when he grows up, like a child I once knew, he may be disappointed). I don’t want any barriers put in his way, as long as what he is doing is not harmful to others and makes him happy. Whether he grows up loving women or men, or both, is not my concern, but whether or not they make him happy and he makes them happy – that is what is truly important. The parade today was filled with people, some of whom I knew, more of them that I did not, who are just living their lives, being who they are and making each other happy.
And for that, I have quite a bit of pride in the society in which I currently live. The only way is up from here.
(Picture taken from www.corkpride.com)