Jeremy and I went to our local pride parade last June. It was… small. The entire parade was three blocks long and took less than five minutes. Most of the audience were under the age of five with the majority of the rest being their mothers. Jeremy was underwhelmed.
“That parade was really boring,” he muttered as kids ran around us clutching rainbow flags and wrist bands.
I shrugged. “It’s bigger than the non-existent one we used to have. Besides, you can’t expect it to be as big as the Toronto Pride parade.”
He turned around so quickly my first thought was he’d been stung. “Wait! What Pride parade?” he blurted.
“Umm… the Toronto parade,” I replied. “It’s a big parade, they have it every June.”
“Can we go next year?” he asked hopefully. He grinned as I nodded.
Jeremy came out as bisexual a few weeks later only to go back in the closet that winter.
“Are you still wanting to go to the Pride parade?” I asked one evening after Jeremy (once again) loudly informed me he was 100% straight.
“Of course,” he replied, as if that was obvious. Perhaps to him it was.
Then I started getting notices in my Facebook ads about World Pride. Yes, I share and like enough LGBTQ posts on Facebook to get Pride advertisements plus helpful suggestions on how to make my same sex wedding more special. Jeremy finds this hilarious. That being said, I had no idea what World Pride was. So I asked on Facebook and quickly discovered the whole freaking world’s been invited to go hang out in Toronto this week. Great.
I am not a people person. I like people in small doses and with lots of downtime so I can recharge. When I take those Introvert/Extrovert tests, I hang out right at the very edge of the introvert scale. The only way to score higher than me as an introvert is to extend the scale a bit more.
I posted this question on Facebook:
Are any of my friends going to the Toronto Pride parade next Sunday? Jeremy wants to go and I wondered if anyone wants to meet us. He’ll be the one with long purple hair and I’ll be the one hyperventilating into a paper bag (because I love crowds *that* much).
I knew my description of him was vague, heck this might be the only time ever that “long purple hair” does not immediately pinpoint him in a crowd. But I also share tonnes of photos of him on Facebook so I figured everyone there knows what he looks like.
The two replies I got about the parade were:
I’ve * thought* about it…but….it’s World Pride this year….it’s going to be SUPER busy!!
As much as I support PRIDE you can not convince me to go down there with that many people.
My friend P pretty much told me the same thing via the phone. There was no way he was going, he found the regular pride parade too crowded.
Then I got an email from our UU minister saying that anyone who wished to march in World Pride could march with the Toronto First Unitarian church; they have space for 100 people. That sounded perfect. I wouldn’t have to stand around waiting for hours, instead I’d be with a group. And I wouldn’t need to worry about being too crowded because I’d be walking in the parade. I excitedly told this to Jeremy.
“I don’t want to march,” he said dismissively. “I don’t like walking, it’s too much work.”
Okay, that ticked me off. I can handle a lot of reasons for not doing something but laziness isn’t one of them. I left the room to cool down then approached Jeremy later.
“Mom,” he said earnestly. “We wouldn’t see anything if we were in the parade. We’d see the backs of the people in front of us and maybe the people behind us if we turned around but that’s it. We wouldn’t see any floats or anything.”
“We’d see everyone who came,” I pointed out. “People are coming from all over the world to attend.”
Jeremy snorted. “Like I go to parades to watch the audience. I want to see the floats.”
Okay, he had a point.
So we’ve got a week to go until the World Pride parade. I went online last night and searched out the parade route. It apparently starts somewhere I’ve never been before and ends just north of the Eaton Centre. I know where the Eaton Centre is at least. There’s a park right beside the Eaton Centre with a waterfall and a meditation garden. We can eat lunch there and I can hyperventilate in relative peace.
I figure I’ll pack plenty of sunscreen and fill our water bottles. I’ll pack plenty of pre-washed fruits and vegetables, make wraps, and bake an entire batch of cupcakes. I figure if we’re going to be sitting beside the same people for two or more hours, I might as well have extra cupcakes to share. And I’ll take a tonne of photos.
Is anyone else attending?