Photos of Portland Gay Pride Parade 2011
Took a few photographs with my camcorder during the 2011 Gay Pride Parade this afternoon. This parade was part of a three day celebration, from June 17th through June 19th, organized by Pride North West.|
I had no idea this annual parade was such an extravaganza!|
It took about 1 1/2 hours for the parade to pass, and people were lined up on both sides of the street, probably for the entire route, which ended at Waterfront Park, where the celebration continued with booths, music and much ado about something.
Festive, jubilant and in your face, celebrating diverse humanity, marriage equality and the true freedom to chose one's life style, friends and romantic partners. There seemed no end to the parade of participants supporting gay people, whether in or out of the closet, whether Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer. (GLBTQ)
This list is long, and surprisingly,(at least to me)included banks, Port of Portland, a Mortgage Company, Portland General Electric, New Seasons, and a smattering of other businesses.
But not so surprising was the presence of groups like Northwest Gender Alliance, Basic Rights Oregon, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, Dykes on Bikes, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, PDX Gay Yellow Pages, AIDS Lifecycle, Cascade AIDS Project(CAP), PIVOT & CAMP STARLIGHT, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Outside Inn & Queerzone, Portland Two Spirit Society (Native American), Gay basketball, Portland Gay Chorus as well as the Confluence LGBT Chorus, Gay and Grey, and Pride @ Work and Oregon AFL-CIO.
Also in attendance were various religious organizations, including the SGI International Buddhist Organization and many Christian denominations, such as the First Unitarian Church, First Church of Christ and First Untied Methodist Church.
Various politicians also made a high profile appearance: Rep. Blumenauer; Portland City Council; Metro Council; and a few State Legislators, including State Representative Jefferson Smith with a group of spirited young people representing the Bus Project
And, let's not forget that Portland Oregon is a dog town. Seems like everyone had a dog companion on a leash. Big dogs, little dogs, dogs adorned in pink fluff or white leather chaps.
This is not by any means an exhaustive list, just a few to give a feeling on the depth and breadth of the Portland and statewide community participation and support for Gay rights.
There were 114 participants listed on the Pride North West Website.
Many of the floats played music and all along the route there was interplay between parade participants and the crowd, cheering, dancing, screaming, greeting friends, hugging and enjoying the company of people mutually celebrating the human being.
Though same sex relationships and marriage have long been subjects of derision and persecution in this "land of the free, home of the brave," where all people are constitutionally guaranteed the right of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," the general mood of the country is turning towards more tolerance and acceptance of diversity.
The political, religious and social chains which have estranged and alienated this segment of our culture are slowly giving way. Perhaps sometime in the near future sexual diversity will be accepted as the matter of fact that it is, and that it is not a matter of disease or aberration, but a matter of being, as many in today's parade exclaimed, "born this way."
More so than in most other cities, in Portland this diversity is accepted, and today was celebrated with vigor, glee and wild abandon. Having shot about and hour and a half of footage, hopefully video will be forthcoming sometime in the future.
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