As I walked through the Pride festival this weekend, holding hands with my boyfriend and one of my best friends, a few steps behind my "gay boyfriend" holding his boyfriend's hand, so much joy washed over me.
Each of us had a story, a journey that led us to the place we were, all together loving one another.
My best friend Christian grew up around pride and with two Moms, two of the best Moms I have ever heard of.
I grew up sheltered and used to believe gay people should not be allowed to have children, but eventually turned a complete 180. Now, you can't shut me up about the importance of all families, and I declared being a part of the parade that day was better even than waving and smiling atop fancy cars as a potential princess. (Read more about my journey in the previous blog post)
My "gay boyfriend" spent much of his life attempting to be straight, living in fear of disapproval of his mother. There are a lot of things that could have kept him from being there that day, but his perfect happiness, fingers intertwined with someone who made him so very happy, somehow prevailed.
And again I am struck by stories.
Because those are three. And they are the most simplified versions I could tell you. But we were there among thousands upon thousands of people, and each of those people come with thousands and thousands of stories. And it is so beautiful to think about each of those stories, from the those belonging to the nuns there to promote loving your neighbor without distinction to those of the drag queens, the stories of the adorable little children to those belonging to each person who requested purple beads, all coming together in the same place.
Each of those people, arriving for the same reason, in spite of or because of all the stories that led up to their arrival. All of us, becoming a part of the same story. A story of joy and love and acceptance from everyone and for everyone, no matter their story.... even if only for a weekend, a day, a few hours, a conversation, a smile, a moment. That's something to be proud of.