Parade Day

Photograph by Carole Ann Borges

Today I took my place in Knoxville’s Pride Parade, the colorful jump-start to PrideFest, an annual event to promote equality and inclusion of all people. Our group, KnoxZine, stood behind a float loaded with young, gyrating lesbians and in front of very tall crossdressing Carmen Miranda imitator. 

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Photograph by Stacey Diamond

The only attention getters for us were the t-shirts we wore and Bruno, our handsome 14-month old Newfoundland who calmly took in the ooohs and aahhhs of the cheering crowd.

What drew me, a straight person, to join in this parade?  I like being in the middle of something different from my norm. Participating is an easy way to absorb the unfamiliar, and an informal, fun event like today’s is very inviting.

An unexpected plus was watching the people on the sidelines, waving and cheering us on  This euphoric feeling came over me–like I was Pat Summit leading all the Lady Vol athletes on a victory march.  I’m glad to live in a city that promotes the rights of individuals to express themselves without fear.

The parade turned off Gay Street onto Clinch Avenue and I stepped up beside another crossdressing beauty, happy his macaca wasn’t running and singing, “Love is all we need.”  To which I replied, “You are right about that, Honey.”

Published by Judytwiga

I am a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys living close to the action in Knoxville, Tennessee. In the 1980s I created and published Zoo Connections, an international networking publication for non-animal zoo departments. Jobs over the years include working with the developmentally disabled, night front desk at a motel, assistant in development and membership at the NC Zoological Society, Customer Relations manager at Regal Entertainment Group, census enumerator, concessions at University of Tennessee, house cleaner, substitute teacher, sitter for children, houses, and pets. Freelance work at Knoxville News Sentinel and KnoxZine. Contributor to A Knoxville Christmas (2008,2007), and articles for the North Carolina Zoo website. Interested in anything except humorless people and politics. Enjoy reading, Scrabble, Catan, camping. I hold dear family (human and animal), friends, Kenya, Sunset Beach, NC and the Keys.

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