Yesterday was the Canal Parade, marking the finale of Pride. This year, Amsterdam was also host to Euro Pride so the celebrations and events were even higher. There was also alot of worry that this would be a very big target for people who had definite disagreements with Western thinking and norms. I think this is probably what motivated me to go most – being able to celebrate and be visible in the world.
There were 80 boats going through the parade. The one that struck me the most was the one from the COC. Compared to some of the others, it was positively plain and boring. And that’s exactly what made the message so important. This was the boat that made me tear up a little, overwhelmed by the fact that I could be openly celebrating yesterday or any other day with my chosen significant other. That we have as much right to live under the same laws and privileges that are accorded everyone here. We’re not special or an exception, we’re just us. There are so many places in the world where this is not an option or that people don’t have that kind of freedom. I was a little verklemmt as they used to say on Saturday Night Live.
This message is more than LGBT oriented, it is a very simple fact – nothing else we do is as important as loving others. The ability to love shapes our thoughts, our words and our actions. If it is not at the basis of each thing we do, then things begin to go wrong. Whether it’s for your partner, your child, your parent, your pets, your friendly neighborhood barista, it doesn’t matter – it only needs to be and to be brought to life. From there, it will take shape and change the world in it’s own way.
I thought of Raven alot yesterday. In part because he often worried that love had some sort of rationing system – 10% to you and 10% to so and so. I used to tell him that love is something that grows through use, it doesn’t get smaller. The more you love, the more love you will have to give.
Pride ends today.I spent it in a way that I was free to do so – reading the paper and watching the Olympics with GG, walking the dogs, taking my bike to get a new tire and simply enjoying my life. And if that’s not a fine way to celebrate Pride and acceptance, I don’t know what is – it is the freedom to be who you are, whomever that may be 🙂