I like the name of this festival. There has always been something unseemly about the idea of feeling either pride or shame regarding being gay -- something that is neither an accomplishment nor a failing. "Stonewall Pride" reminds you of the incident that, along with decades of hard work and struggle, led to the freedoms we enjoy today in the United States. If you're going to be proud about something, be proud of that achievement, begun by a handful of gay men outside a bar in New York City.
As a recovering shy person, I tend to sit on the sidelines and watch the parade go by. This time, though, something strange happened. When that lovely rainbow flag that stretches for what seems like miles went by, I noticed a place where it dipped almost to the ground. Something moved me to jump up and support that flag, which I held aloft for the rest of the parade route. If you were there, you might have thought it odd to see a tiny man with tears streaming down his face stretching to keep that flag from dragging in the street. They were not tears of pride, but tears of gratitude -- for the men and women who have given so much to the noble cause of human rights.