Today there was a Pride Parade in my city. This means it is a GLBT pride parade. There was one last week in San Francisco. I thought I would see something interesting so I went to watch, but everything was just normal. Nothing queer, except for the placards shouting pro-GLBT slogans.
One slogan read: Queer Muslims Welcome.
I thought it weird to call a Muslim queer. Isn't that offending?
Only later did I realize that "queer" was an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities. It is a word originally used against them but later was reclaimed by those people and was now associated with pride.
On this Saturday morning, I had planned to go to the library early when it opened at 9 am, but as I learned there was such a parade at 11 am and it was near my home, I thought I had better check it out. So I did some yard chores after getting up at 7 am. Lots of work. Then I drove to Sand City to handle something. After that it was already 11:06. I drove through Sand City to get as close to Broadway as I could, where the parade would be held, but I parked in the wrong place. I stepped out of the car and saw an empty Broadway half blocked due to roadwork. This section was between Noche Buena and DelMonte and was never used for parades. I went back to my car to check in the newspaper and learned that the parade started at Noche Buena @ Broadway. That had always been the starting spot for any parade in this city. I drove back home, grabbed my bike and rode to the cross section. Alas! it was empty. Then I saw blinking red and blue lights of a police car and realized that the parade had started and was now a distance from me. It was a downward street, though, so I glided down Broadway to catch up with the parade and took pictures. Afterwards I biked home to eat a quick lunch and rode to the city's activity center to see more activities there. There was an indoor rally. The hall was fully packed. Of course they were not all sexual minorities. There were stands of propaganda and a free photo taking with fancy dress accessories. I took one, wearing a glossy hat, a pinkish paper necklace and holding a heart shaped coushion to block the "ARMY" on my T-shirt (by the way, the military now accepts LGBT). Then I need to pee. I knew that center inside and out, so I headed towards the men's room. Alas, as I arrived there were women inside. I noticed there was a new sign at the door indicating it was now an all gender restroom. I asked a lady at a stand next to it wether was only for today. She said enthusiastically yes and explained the importance to let people be aware of the rights of sexual minorities. I said I would hesitate to pee in front of ladies. She said well treat the restroom as your house and the toilets as a restroom in the house. I said why not, I would experience it, so I walked in. But the ladies had already left. One young girl came out of one toilet as I walked into the other one. As I was peeing, I heard someone was using the neighboring toilet but I did not know if it was a man or woman. It made no difference to me whatsoever. As I came out, a pretty miss came out too. But to my surprise, a young man was using the waterless loo right there in the "sitting room "area. Fortunately he was facing the wall and had his back towards the washing basins. The young lady shew no expression on her face as if everyone in the restroom was the same sex, or , as the truth had it, the same human beings.
I found Pride Day fun, because people wore colorful clothes in a hot summer. It was like a party.
I went there for another reason. The book room there was always closed after 5 pm. I got no chance to visit it. I was sure it was open today and I wanted to check if there were interesting books. I had donated lots of book to the book room and now there was a note saying Take One and Bring One back. I found three classics and took them away: Lady Chatterley's Love, Of Human bondage and Coningsby by Disreali. I do not need to bring any back since I had donated but I still plan to, not knowing when. I have plenty books to give.