American Pride

American PridePride parades were held across America today, just two days after the supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 US states.

“They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” — Justice Anthony Kennedy

American PrideAll of San Francisco was out in celebration today with the city’s American Pridelargest-ever turnout for a Pride parade. More than one million spectators participated, compared with 100,000 last year.

San Franciscans love nothing more than a party that gives them an excuse to wear a costume (or go naked, which is legal at certain events like the Pride parade), and this year was no exception. Rainbow flags, headgear and tutus could be found everywhere on spectators of all ages, races and gender. Even Burger King handed out rainbow-colored paper crowns.

American Pride

Heard in San Francisco: “We’re sixteen years old. We’re not gay but we have friends who are. Even if we didn’t, we’d still come out in support. They try to teach us about democracy and government in school, but this is our first chance to really see the system in action.”

The court ruling made the celebration a victory party, and as a San Francisco local, I was thrilled to feel like part of history. I was far from alone. In the crowd, along with a huge turnout from the LGBT community, were families and friends of LGBT as well as Americans and international visitors celebrating the system of democracy.

American Pride

Heard in San Francisco: “We are visiting from China. We don’t have democracy there, so this is a new experience for us. It is good to see that so many Americans appreciate what they have here.”

There was a common theme among everyone I spoke with that matches my own feelings, and it transcends gay rights and even love: Our system worked. Democracy worked. Our system of checks and balances worked. People got to vote in their own states, and their vote counted. But the top law in the land gets the final word, and it’s that our Constitution was specifically designed to protect the rights of everyone — regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation.

American Pride

Heard in San Francisco: “I kind of threw this outfit together for the occasion. I bought the jacket last week and sewed the leg warmers this week. I’ve had the hair forever. This Supreme Court ruling is a really momentous occasion for me. My husband and I were one of the first couples to challenge the state of California to marry and we even got our picture in Time Magazine because we’re also mixed race. All of a sudden I was like holy shit, what have I taken on? So even though we already went through our trials, this a great thing for our country. This ruling is the equivalent of the one in 1967 that finally made it legal in all 50 states for mixed-race couple to marry, and today no one even thinks twice about that. This is how democracy is supposed to work and why our Constitution was written the way it was. I’m sorry it took so long, but I’m also proud to be American this week and it gives the Pride celebration that much more meaning.”

I am not gay. People I love are gay, but as far as I know, none were prevented from getting married. So why did I support this cause and why did I celebrate? Because next time it could be me in the crosshairs. Next time someone might decide that redheads can’t marry, or that women have no choice in who they marry, or any other cause that might hurt me. And if I don’t stand up for the system now when it doesn’t affect me, who will stand up for me when it does? At the end of the day, that’s why our system works. That’s American Pride.

American Pride

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About Testarossa Travel

Testarossa Travel is a collection of stories about the amazing people of the world and the places they live. Adventurous, funny, and often humbling or downright embarrassing, these stories capture my experiences with authenticity and are meant to inspire readers to get out there and see the world. Each tale is designed to give the reader a true sense of a place, its sights, sounds and smells, and most of all, its people.

2 Comments

  1. Just found your blog on the Travel Blog Success Facebook group. Love this post :). It must have been so fantastic to be in America for this – what a celebration.

    Love has won.

    • Thanks Gabby, that means a lot – it’s always so much easier to post things about “where to eat in Seville” than it is to be heartfelt and vulnerable! And yes, it was fantastic to be in the US for it.

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