Saturday, June 27, 2015

HR Pride Block Party - Gays Have Come a Long Way

A thorn between two roses

Last night's HR Pride  Block Party which was moved to Scope - Norfolk's concert and sports arena - because of threatening weather.  The event was so over the top compared to anything ever seen before outside of the actual PrideFest event in Town Point Park.  Perhaps because of yesterday's historic marriage ruling, people may have been in an extra celebratory mood.  Whatever the reason, the place was packed with thousands of people, a huge dance floor, great music, a wonderful decor - including a full moon and "moonlit" seating areas for those not wanting to dance - and, of course, adult refreshments.  One thing that was amazing is how the city of Norfolk stepped up and made Scope available on basically a day's notice.  The entire event was something that no one in the LGBT community would have imagined ever being held in Norfolk just five to ten years ago, especially with massive cooperation with the city.     While there, I had the opportunity to speak with the Grand Marshal for today's event, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts (who was a local reporter years ago) and his husband, Patrick.

The weather forecast today is less than wonderful but the husband and I will be aboard the American Rover for the PrideFest boat parade - the only one in America - with friends before spending the afternoon at PrideFest.  I encourage local readers to attend.  More details can be found here

This year's Pride celebration has truly turned into a Pride week with events virtually every day all week.  Just 12 years ago when I attended my first Hampton Roads Pride, the event was tucked back out of sight in a Norfolk city park with the number of attendees being in the hundreds.  Now, we are celebrating in Norfolk's premier waterfront venue and the attendees number in the many thousands.  We have truly come a long way in Norfolk and across the nation.

On a side note, one of my daughters posted this on her Facebook page and really touched me:
This is probably not the most mature thing but....if you don't agree with today's ruling please either go ahead and unfriend yourself, or comment so I can unfriend you. Today's ruling was just the first step of many needed to provide our LGBTQ brothers and sisters with the rights they are due.
The Christofascists and Republican Party are truly alienating the Millennials with their anti-gay animus and bigotry. 

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