Sunday, 10 June 2012

mormon pride! aka: I LOVE A PARADE!!

yesterday i marched with mormons for equality in the capital pride parade.  it was an amazing experience for me.  i almost didn't go because i wasn't sure i wanted to be identified as mormon again, yet in the middle of the parade i was jumping up and down with a bunch of people in rainbow boas cheering for mormons.  it was beautiful!

i cried as i cycled over.  i was on the edge, and it felt much the same way it felt driving to my baptism, i kinda didn't want to do it, but i felt like it was the right thing to do.  the result was the same as it was my baptismal day, i felt legitimately and physically lighter.  i felt love and understanding.  i felt like i had become part of a cause that was on a mission to spread love.  i felt like i could help just by being my most loving and optimistic self.

so i decked out my bike in obama wear, snacks, water and sunblock and headed out.  we were all going to wear sunday dress, but i just didn't want to.

  1. i wanted to wear my new prideful shorts
  2. it was saturday 
  3. i don't go to church and i'm not sure i want to look like i do
  4. aren't i misrepresenting myself if i look like i go but don't?
it was probably just being defiant.  i'm just so glad i went.

the greatest american hero ... is the name of my bike.  then its just me and cheryl looking like a cute couple ... ;)

this song was going through my head all day:
The day dawn is breaking, the world is awaking,
The clouds of night’s darkness are fleeing away.
The worldwide commotion, from ocean to ocean,
Now heralds the time of the beautiful day.
Beautiful day of peace and rest,
Bright be thy dawn from east to west.
Hail to thine earliest welcome ray,
Beautiful, bright, millennial day.

one night in bangkok and the world's your oyster

i get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine!

can't be too careful with your company
i can see an angel flying up to me

he called himself the angel gabriel.  then he decided the archangel michael.  
i told him as mormons, we believe he is the same guy.
he led the armies of helaman
and paved the way
for mormons 4 equality

armies of helaman?

me and the armies of helaman?
they were wearing carpets and they didn't look particularly blood thirsty ...??

we were a happy throng!

just before blast off

i was asked why i marched on the facebook site for the event.  i responded quickly just from my gut with:
  •  i want to set the record straight
    6 hours ago · 

  • i'm also a libra and i believe in fairness and equality.
    6 hours ago · 

  • and also because i believe that my rights end where yours begin. your rights end where mine begin. i just can't see how the government or someone else's dogma can have any impact on how or who i love.

Cheryl came with HEAPS of pride!
and reminded us what it was all about

there were so many amazing moments.   i really didn't know what to expect.  i hadn't really thought through what it might be like.  it was like when i did my first century ride, no prep or forethought, just do it.  when we first got on the parade route i was standing next to john the organizer in the front with my bike.   people started cheering!  i heard people shout "THANK-YOU!"  "We love you Mormons"
i saw others turn to their friends in amazement and say, "look, the mormons are hear?"  and then this shock and surprise settle in to see that they weren't dreaming ... it happened over and over and over again.  when people realized it was real, they would jump up and shout MORMONS!! it was nuts.

this happened alot.
people hugging and thanking us

this southern baptist minister was thrilled to see us.
he brought the sacrament and grape juice (specially for us)
it was a sweet gesture!

i felt like a cheer leader.  i was hooting and hollerin' like a cowgirl.  we chanted "Love is Love!"  "Come from the Heart or Don't Come at ALL"

i have to confess. (because of these little ones) i said a swear. i said a few swears actually.  

each time someone would ask where mitt romney was, which happened about a million (exaggerated estimate) times.  each time they'd ask i said something to the effect of "FUscrew MITT ROMNEY".  people seemed to resonate with that idea ;)  

wha? HUH?!
i was pretty spaced out the whole time.  it felt so surreal!

this was the most amazing moment!

when we were on 17th near P st (if i'm remembering right) a beautiful man in a blue shirt (above) lept through 2-3 rows of people jumping up and down with tears in his eyes shouting "I'M A MORMON!!!!" he hugged this one guy for a really long time saying how grateful he was to see us. we all stopped and cheered and told him we loved him and that we were his brothers and sisters. it felt like a deep deep wound healed a bit more, just by us showing up. it was humbling to see that pain. ridiculous, useless, misguided culture, religiously inflicted pain. the shunning and the condemning of identity is deeply painful. if you haven't experienced it, its hard to describe. its like salt. it does something that nothing else does. it is a pain like unto no other. i think it is because it is such a large number of people unified against you as you. they are shunning the core of your identity.

one of the other marchers in this picture described the scene like this:

The most moving moment: when one guy in a dark blue shirt ran up to us, gave me and a few others HUGE hugs and with tears in his eyes said, "Oh my gosh, the Mormons are here!... I'm Mormon! I can't believe you're here. THANK YOU, SO MUCH" He just kept repeating, "I can't believe it... thank you!" as he cried softly on my shoulder. 
It felt like he'd probably been estranged from his heritage for a while, and had doubtless experienced much rejection in the past. Who knows when the last time was that he had proclaimed, "I'm Mormon!" But because we were there, it was a sudden and unexpected homecoming. I held him for several seconds that felt like a blissful eternity and just said, "Yes, we're here and we love you." 
What a beautiful privilege that was. It made me recall Joseph Smith's words of reconciliation to W.W. Phelps, "Come on, dear brother, since the war is past, for friends at first, are friends again at last."

i got a few kisses, which were surprising!  corbin saved me from being mauled.  thanks corb!!!
i also gave so many high fives and told so many people i loved them, i'm still buzzing.  it was just amazing.

marriage really is the unifying of souls.  you are to become one in purpose and in love.  you are a team, fighting against the world for your cause ... which ideally is just love anyway so no big deal, right? which means who you love is an indication of who you are.  it is core to one's being.  being shunned because your identity is soul crushing (at least) for many.


it was an amazing day!  thanks everyone!  the crowd and the people who i marched with.  it was a day i will never forget!  thanQ for sharing it with me :)


CorbanTD said...

I love this.

Marching with you was an honor, and a blast! It was up there with the best days of my mission in terms of feeling I'd done something good.

Thank you so much for marching with us Kimberly. Randal spoke in sacrament today too. It was a great weekend!

Kristine said...

Thanks for posting this and all the pictures! So, so great.