More than 4,500 people showed up to take in the speakers, entertainment and all the vendors. The crowd spanned all ages, races and religions. The many open and affirming local houses of worship far outnumbered the few tired protesters who showed up with their "turn or burn" signs.
In fact, one of the men who showed up with a giant sign saying "3 gay rights: AIDS, HELL, SALVATION" was an import from Primrose, Ga. -- Pastor Billy Ball, who has sent me repeated barely-tethered-to-reality hilarious e-mails over the years because of my blog, so his presence was for my benefit, I suppose. He wasted who knows how much gas driving up here for an hour-long parade.
...I talked about the LGBT community's inability to handle its own discomfort in dealing with race and religion, and the self-segregation that goes on that prevents mutual understanding. One good sign I saw was the many people of color who were present at Pride, particularly black and Latino members of the community.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Durham News column drops today: 'Taking the stage at Pride'
'Taking the stage at Pride' is a short write up on what happened at NC Pride when I keynoted before a festive crowd, despite the rain. A snippet: