My First Time…

…going to the Pride Parade.

Can you believe I’ve never before attended Albany’s Pride Parade? Crazy, right? Prior to this weekend, my favorite outdoor Lark Street event was Winter Wonder Lark. But Sunday might have been a game changer.

There’s something to be said for standing on the sidewalk in a pair of cut-offs and a tank top instead of a North Face, trust me.

I don’t know if I can describe what the experience was like, but let me try. It was rainbows and unicorns and joy and laughter and stomping heels. There was community and welcome and acceptance and a fierce sense of celebration.

And smiles – so many damn smiles.

The crowd was diverse and spanned decades and generations, yet, while there was no shortage of people, there remained the undeniable fact that there were people missing.

Absent were those lost along the way – the ones that homophobia and violence and AIDS took long before their time. While they may not have been there in the flesh, they were remembered and missed. I felt the presence of their spirits. They’re not forgotten.

It may have been my first Pride Parade, but it was most certainly was not my last. See you next year!

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