I’m not exactly sure, but I’m reasonably positive an 8-year-old’s selective hearing contained the following bits from church last Sunday:
… parade …
… we’ll all wear special T-shirts …
… we’ll walk in the parade! …
… T-shirts are just $10 …
“I’ll be famous!” Grace whispered to me upon processing all she needed.
It’ll be her first parade from the inside, beyond the cart peddlers and creepy clowns, just beyond where Shriners’ go-karts whiz by your feet. Grace, a champ at hoarding 80 percent of candy and coozies tossed her way on any given parade route, is ready for her debut.
She doesn’t know what the parade is about, and she doesn’t really care.
But she should. And she will. Because it’s a Gay Pride parade here in Charlotte she’ll march in.Google search the terms Coach Daddy and Republican and unemployed, and you’ll find this.
Fiscally responsible and socially aware
Google search Coach Daddy and Libertarian, and you’ll find this.
My red looks more purple now, and I’m OK with that. “Fiscally responsible and socially aware.” I’ll live that profile. In fact, I’ll get to model that as I march alongside Grace in this parade. We’ll wear red. We’ll have fun.
We’ll meet new people, march with friends, and see the parade from the inside.
I’ll first have to teach her what it means to be gay. I want Grace to know why we march. Not to become famous, as she envisions. (Cute, isn’t it?) Not out of obligation. We’ll march to support people really not unlike us.
I don’t remember my heterosexuality ever being a choice.
It’s who I am. So it stands to reason it’s who they are too. I could insert the obligatory tale of “I worked for a gay man!” or “the lesbian couple in our apartment complex is soooo nice,” but I won’t. It doesn’t matter what percentage of my friends are gay, or not gay.
A hetero man and loving daughter chose not to stay home
What will matter most is that my words convey to Grace how I feel about participating in a march that can bring a degree validation someone in the crowd might so essentially be searching for. Simply by being there, or a simple smile and wave.
To demonstrate the community that banded together that day has support from within and from without. That a hetero man and his people-loving daughter can choose not to stay at home on this important day for them
WE can claim our spot in their community as well. We are a part of it.
We were part of it before a tuned-in 8-year-old jutted her hand in the air when the pastor asked who would participate, in an instant volunteering her entire family. I’ll have to tell her, but not worry her, about those we might encounter who aren’t as accepting.
That although there’s love and acceptance out there, there’s hate out there, too.
We’ll be there, wearing red. In support of those we know and those we don’t. We’ll even bring a little diversity to an already diverse crowd, with our multi-nationality kids whose parents have voted Republican all their lives.
There’ll be questions, observations, discussion
I recognize the irony of wearing red shirts that day, too.
I won’t disclose what I’ll say to my parade marcher before we hit the street, or how she’ll react. There’ll be questions. There’ll be observations. There’ll be a discussion. There always is, with these kids.
I love that.
I also know there’ll be learning as part of our discussion. If I’m lucky, she’ll learn something, too.