It almost did rain on our Pride parade, and it did a little bit. We got an outside table at one of the restaurants on the parade route. As we were waiting for the parade to start, it rained slightly off an on, but the rain stopped once the parade started and held off until just after the parade finished passing us by. Then, it began to rain in earnest. My back was just outside the umbrella above our table. I was getting soaked as we waited for our waiter to bring us the check. By the time we paid, I was wet enough that I could feel the cold rain water runny through the crack of my ass. The back of my shirt and shorts were soaked. We decided that with the rain, we would not be going to any of the post parade festivities since they were all scheduled to be outside.
Even with the rain, the parade was as fun as always. Vermont’s sole congressman, Peter Welch, who’s running for Patrick Leahy’s Senate seat, marched in the parade as did the Democratic nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and the open House of Representatives seat. All of the local television stations had a contingent along with numerous LGBTQ+ organizations. Actor and comedian Alec Mapa was the grand marshal. Saint Michael’s College (Vermont’s only Catholic college) and Champlain College had large groups marching in the parade. While the University of Vermont may have been represented, I did not see them. Saint Michael’s is run by the Society of Saint Edmund, aka the Edmundites, one of the smallest (24 members) and most liberal Catholic orders. The Edmundites are only found in Colchester and Swanton, Vermont and Selma, Alabama. Saint Michael’s is always the largest group of marchers in the parade, which includes the men’s and women’s hockey teams.
The first pride parade I ever attended was in Paris in 2005 while I was on a study abroad trip. The only other pride parades I have attended have been in Burlington. When I was growing up, there were no pride parades nearby. I don’t think I could have ever imagined being able to attend a pride parade. Because of this, pride parades always make me a little emotional. I get a little choked up watching the parade go by. My life has come a long way since that first pride parade seventeen years ago, especially since I moved to Vermont seven years ago. I know a lot of people may take pride parades for granted, but for me, they give me hope for a better future for LGBTQ+ people everywhere.
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