2022 Pride Parade: more important than ever

cardboard jesus

2017
2017

The 2022 Pride Parade occurred in Albany, NY, on June 12. When I came to church, I could see Molly, the youth coordinator, and others decorating a car. I’ve participated, off and on, at least since 2007. (COVID put the kibosh on the event in 2020, e.g.)

By 2010, I dragged along my daughter, but by 2017, and surely long before, she was participating independently.

In my 2013 post, I worried about an antigay backlash that I thought was always around the corner. I felt that there was a certain unfortunate “We made it to the mountaintop” thinking in conversations. And after the SCOTUS affirmed marriage equality in 2016, it would be reasonable to assume that the battle had been won, or at least nearly so.

The last six years have proven that to be anything but true. Antigay violence, book banning, and your basic bigotry, often in the false name of Christianity, have distressed me.

Corporate America doesn’t know what to do. State Farm was criticized after celebrating Pride and then dropping a program supporting LGBTQ books in schools. Disney’s initial response to Florida’s Don’t Say Gay distressed its employees. As the company became less cowardly, Florida governor Ron DeSantis decided, with the state legislature’s support, to punish Disney (and probably Florida taxpayers as well.)

Not according to plan

After church, my daughter and I went to find our church’s car/float, walking on the sidewalk in the opposite direction of the parade. Finally, we discovered the car stuck at its launch location. The car’s starter failed to engage. Worse, the two people waiting were stuck there because they couldn’t even close the windows.

But I was told that one of our group took our cardboard Jesus, put it on a hand cart, and walked it through the parade. (A photo appears on the Times Union website Were You Seen. It is near the end of the 2022 Albany Capital Pride Festival and Parade album.) Coincidentally, I saw photographer Jay Zhang driving behind the parade. I thought he needed help getting out of the park, but he said he needed to get a few shots of the parade; he took more than “a few.”

I briefly marched with the Albany Public Library contingent, because LIBRARY, before stopping back at my church so my wife could take me to the train station. Perhaps my daughter would come with us to see me off? Nah, she hung out with her friends at the Festival in Washington Park after the march, which, BTW, was fine with me.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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