Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another Summer of Love

"No government has the right to tell its citizens whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody."
--Rita Mae BrownForty years ago the world celebrated the summer of love in San Fransisco and Monterey and Los Angeles, fifteen summers later Tulsa, Oklahoma celebrated its first Gay Pride event in Mohawk Park. Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the Gay Pride Parade and Diversity Festival here in Tulsa. The Parade displayed and honored Tulsa's Native heritage as the Grand Marshall was John Hawk Cocke, former Director of Tulsa's Two Spirits Society. Cocke rode in the first vehicle and the Tulsa Two Spirits Society followed as second in the parade lineup. Following the parade, somewhere between 15,000 and 18,000 people came out to Veterans Park in downtown Tulsa to celebrate love, lust, and fun. There was the Logcabin Republicans booth that seemed forlorn compared to the Lambda Legal Defense Fund booth where they were giving away a nifty canvas tote bag if a person signed a petition to promote workplace equality. I brought my boyz who were remarkably well-behaved (that is until Dylan relieved himself on his mom's leg - eeeew!). We even paraded across the stage where I introduced both Tulsey and Dylan to the crowd and received a roar of applause when I mentioned that they were both SPCA rescue pups. We ran into old friends and politicians and other folks that we were happy to see at the Pride event. We were also glad that several of the booths provided water bowls for the many, many doggies that attended the event with their humans. Dylan, of course, decided to take a bath in one of the larger bowls and splashed most of the water out of the bowl - but the good-natured folks who were staffing that particular booth just laughed and refilled the bowl as I was dragging the boyz away. I took photos of the parade and of friends at the festival, and although there was nothing as flamboyant or as massive as the Pride festivities in other cities, Tulsa has come a long way in the past 25 years. Yet those of us who live here in this still very red state understand that we still have a long way to go. Just wanted to report on the beginning of another summer of love.

Tulsa Pride and Diversity Festival 2007

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