I was hoping to make it out to the Gay Pride Parade this year. Which – as it turns out – has apparently been shortened to the more politically correct Pride Parade, in recognizing the entire GBLT community out there, along with a number of others.
Though not a member of any one of these groups myself, like many others – I have friends and family members who are.
Though why anyone should feel obliged to clarify this, is itself suspect – I suppose.
But I am an atheist. And had hoped to maybe share in the festive atmosphere with Dan Ellis, and a number of the other Atheists of Utah, participating in the parade.
Maybe get a few pictures, take a few notes, feel the love, and come away with some unique perspective to write about.
Photo, Callie Birdsall – Atheists of Utah, facebook.
But, like I said – I wasn’t able to get down there this morning.
But I was given pause, while reminiscing about one particular speed bump on my own road to self-discovery – of who I am, and what I believe. After having first arrived at the personal realization, that God simply doesn’t exist. And the horribly awkward position I suddenly found myself in.
Of having to interact with people, who would have felt uncomfortable – if not downright repulsed – at having to interact with an avowed atheist. (Oh, I came out alright. But it was awkward.)
This is a subject I hope to come back to – directly – as I rather look forward to sharing the somewhat unusual circumstances, surrounding how I came to have a particularly moving, drug-free, epiphany. The very moment that the scales fell from my eyes. That changed who I was, and how I came to see myself – and the rest of humanity – forever.
But I’ve since come to realize that there are large numbers of folks out there, who’re living lives either uncomfortably cloistered – or secluded behind one closet door or another. Because of personal ideologies, beliefs, behaviors, or relationships that society has been unwilling to readily accept. But also due to the cultural intimidation that religious and political bodies often impose, on the larger parts of society. Or otherwise coerced – through fear of reprisals – into not standing up for who they are, or what they believe.
One thing about it, this years Pride Parade would seem to be a harbinger of better, more open times to come. For that reason alone, we can all share in the bigger idea embodied in the Pride Festival.
We can all be proud.