As a member of the local LGBTQIA+ community, my husband and I were pleased to see the turnout, I would guess several hundred, of all sorts of folks celebrating Pride in this city, where my husband and I love to live, worship and play.
It was magical.
Decades ago, I was pleased to attend one of the very first Pride Parades in Chicago; decades later, I was proud to attend one of the early, if not the first, Pride Parades here in Port Angeles.
We walked from the courthouse, down Lincoln, around the block, and over to the dock area, with many cars and trucks tooting their horns at us to share their happiness with us.
It was a beautiful thing, but had, as its organizers noted, its somber moments: they helped us remember the AIDS pandemic in which so many of my Chicago friends died, and the mass shooting at a queer nightclub, PULSE, where 49 people were killed and 53 injured, many of whom were people of color, with today being the fifth anniversary of the event.
I remember other losses as well, the other shootings, the torched buildings including arson at the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans’ French Quarter, which killed 49 people.
As a queer person who has been out since 1975, I both mourn those losses and celebrate my community, my people here in Port Angeles.
Congratulations to the event’s organizers, and my profound thanks at being able to see so many folks there of all ages.