Young eyes gaze upon the sea of colors as the parade moves closer. A bellowing roar emerging from the front, “R.I.S.E. UP! Loud & Proud!”. The crowd takes a step closer, all reciprocating to the chant and cheers. The smells of high end products and hairspray fill the air. You feel the emotions in the air build as a mass. Acceptance and understanding are plentiful today for the colors of the freeing flag wave high.
The Portland Pride Parade is a big event in the city of Portland, ME. The parade is just one day but the whole week is filled with local businesses participating in the festivities. Schools, restaurants, art galleries to bars/ nightclubs all host special events for the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) community of Portland. It’s a tidal wave of joy and laughter; some surprises and tears will be shared. At the end of it all you see we are loving humans.
The Parade starts in the center of Portland on Congress street and makes its way down the streets ending in Deering Oaks Park. Food trucks are plentiful to get the energy back needed for the hours ahead. Artists set up shop; vending fashion wear if you came looking drab. Face painting booths and bounce houses pop up. Some set a one person drag show and are eager to take pictures with fans. Music takes center stage against the pond as the crowd flows in and gathers. Glowing faces, mesmerized by the energy of the stage as the sit in the park watching the local musicians.The festival continues into the night.
Peace is found. The children running and playing in the joy. The teachings of how we treat one another is passed onto them. Acceptance of gender. Acceptance of race. Equality for all. This is what we need to pass down to the next generation. The race of humans is ever evolving, and for us to move forward we must accept and be accepting; otherwise we will never find reconciliation.
(Film: Revolog – Kolor, Tesla, Kosmos; Kodak – Portra 400 )