by Sheila Path McMahon
I know, I know, I’m supposed to be writing my memories of Michael Jackson today, but the only thing I have is that my cousin had the Thriller album, and I loved it so much that I got my parents to buy it for me for Christmas in the seventh grade. And one of my other friends had his pictures up in her locker. She kissed his picture, and I remember being shocked. I think kissing a photograph is very intimate. Silly, since it’s one way, but that’s how I still feel.
What I am actually writing about today, after the non-related intro paragraph, is Gay Pride in Minneapolis. As you may know, it’s set mostly in Loring Park, across from the Walker Art Center. I love that area – Loring Park, the Irene Whitney bridge and the Sculpture Garden serve as the setting for the climax of my novel, Someotherville. *ahem, still seeking representation* There’s something about Loring Park that is just very comfortable.
I can’t say that I had any Earth-shattering insights, it was just a nice day where I met a lot of nice people. I was especially gratified to see that there were at least three booths specifically for Transgender people. I have had the honor of serving several Transgender students over the years, and I’m glad to see that their community is being served by at least a few non-profits.
I also thought it was great that such a wide variety of Minnesota was represented. Corporations, small independent artists, churches (lots of churches.) and in the middle of religion row, a booth from Minnesota Atheists. A man was holding a ‘hug an Atheist today’ sign. I was so happy to see him that I did run up and hug him. So did Jay. The people running the booth said that they were working hard to present a positive image of us. It seemed to be working. We are definitely joining that group.
I also saw students and old friends, signed about a dozen petitions, picked up great resources for future students, walked through a well-done exhibit about the history of homosexual persecution and ate a falafel. It was a great day. We are still waiting until Gay marriage is legal in Minnesota to wear our wedding rings, but Jay and I held hands alot, and for once it felt like our Gay friends were free to do the same.
I have to close now, but a big thank you to the organizers of Minnesota’s Pride events this year – it was really great.