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Warning: naked butts and boobs ahead.

It’s Pride month!

Gay pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.

Vancouver’s annual parade and festival celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their allies, is one of the largest in North America. A loud, colourful and joyous gaggle of cars, floats and marching units, the parade includes regulars like the Vancouver Police and Fire Departments and Dykes on Bikes, as well as every political party except the Conservatives.

From the Vancouver Pride Society: Pride is more than a parade or a festival – every year members of our communities reach out to tell us this. Pride is the first time they felt truly able to be their full selves. Pride is the day they felt unafraid in public. Pride is where they feel able to fully exist in a world that isn’t designed for them. Pride is holding hands and sharing a kiss free of fear, it is first dates and family members coming around, it is political, it is dancing till dawn, it is unabashedly taking up space.

Don has lived in Vancouver for over thirty years and me for over twenty and we’d never been to the pride parade. Last summer we finally made it. What a joyous experience. I was frequently moved to tears, in a good way, as the message of inclusiveness resounded over and over. It was as if I was watching a giant rainbow flower unfolding, and unfolding, and unfolding, in an endless celebration of life, of sharing, of inclusiveness, of joy, of unrestrained authenticity. The flower unfurled in all its uninhibited magnificence, an utterly abandoned carnival of I am here in all my glory!

Here then is my photo essay of the Vancouver Pride Parade, 2019. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Being gay is like being left handed. Some people are, most people aren’t and nobody really knows why. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just the way things are!

Love is a human experience, not a political statement.

Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start. Jason Collins, first openly gay athlete in U.S. pro sports

The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody. Rita Mae Brown

This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. Ellen Page

Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? Author Ernest J. Gaines

It takes some intelligence and insight to figure out you’re gay and then a tremendous amount of balls to live it and live it proudly. Jason Bateman

I think being gay is a blessing, and it’s something I am thankful for every single day. Anderson Cooper

Somebody, your father or mine, should have told us that not many people have ever died of love. Author James Baldwin

We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity. George Takei

Next post: back to Japan – a traditional tea ceremony and geisha performance.

All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted
© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2020.