Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

About time

For those not counting, this year is not merely the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, but the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. It seemed to me that I'd skipped enough Boston Pride parades and, being out of excuses, I went.

That was the good idea. Deciding that I could "walk off" the aforementioned produce injury by getting off at Aquarium and working my way through the festival at City Hall Plaza and back along the parade route was the dumb idea. However, the exuberance of the day overcame the inconvenience until I got back home.

I picked a vantage point that I found iconic: Beacon Street, in front of the State House, where the pro-gay marriage rallies took place five (yikes! Five!) years ago. The weather (40 degrees warmer) and the atmosphere could not have been more different. The festive atmosphere on the pro-equality side was strained at times during the rallies, chosen as the most appropriate act of defiance to the army of hate ranged in front of us. I don't doubt that some of the haters remained in today's crowd (I saw one I recognised), but they were crushed by numbers and enthusiasm.

It ain't over, of course. And it perhaps never will be entirely. Maine's equal rights have still to withstand assault by the haters, and so the equality chant I last heard on this ground from 5000 frozen voices was again raised there today by the Maine contingent.

There were moments, during those frozen, windy hours in the winter of 2004, when it seemed like supporters of equality, although numerically stronger on the picket line, were doomed to fail. There have been plenty of such moments since and there will be more. Justice spreads by fits and starts. Five years on and there is already enough difference to make me look around for the Tardis. One difference is that the younger participants and spectators today have as little use for anti-equality cant as they would for someone advocating a return to miscegenation laws. The sole benefit of Proposition 8 is its reminder that ground once won must still be defended. I think no one today had any illusions on that.

The transition would be astounding if one were time-warped from June, 1969, and the context of the Stonewall riots. It would be hardly less amazing if the time machine took off from Boston's first gay pride parades some 30 years ago. The one change I'd like to see is a time when pride can just be an occasion for a party.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home