Time truly changes things. It just does. The events today were a definite showing of just how well time can do when given a chance.
It was Orlando Pride today. The parade, the festival, the vendors, the speakers... everything Pride. Today.
And I got to bring kids. Seriously. I brought my daughter but she's no stranger to Pride events. She attended her first at a mere three months old in Atlanta. She's been to quite a few since then, even if we don't go every year.
Even more remarkable was that we got to bring her boyfriend with us. And another friend. These parents didn't bat an eye at the idea of me taking their 13 and 14 year old kids to Pride. Not a flinch.
But when I was 13... I didn't know what Pride events were. I remember "sneaking" to my first one when I was in high school here in Orlando when it was at a small park off of Red Bug Road in Casselberry... for all of Orlando. It was just a picnic back then but I'm sure I wasn't forthright in telling my parents where I was going. I'm sure I said I was just out with friends. I remember the lift in the parking lot area and the police were video taping the cars in the lot. We all swore that it was so they could run the plates so they could know who the gays were. It wasn't unheard of at that point. Even my high school had a list of the gay folks just in case they needed to know, you know, because we stirred up oh so much trouble.
But thankfully things have changed.
For the better.