With a reputation for being a weird city, you should expect that the Pride festival in Portland would be big, but it has grown to be bigger than the Rose Parade in many respects. This year it had 137 floats or groups of people and many of those groups were large. The floats were just as lavish as those of the floral parade, without as many flowers, but with just as many colorful people.
Companies, mayoral candidates, politicians all wanted to show their support for lesbian, gay bi and trans communities. Organized groups proudly wanted to show other members of the community what they were about and some were just out there to have fun.
Political agendas dotted some groups, and there were many churches, of almost all denominations, in attendance, often with their religious leaders standing in front. A growing number of ethnic communities are also represented and the walkers are made up of young and old alike. Music, dancing and marching bands provided a continuous form of entertainment.
Portland should be proud of being so open and accepting and I hope it continues because its past was despicable. Portland is the city for people who have open hearts and minds and I am proud to say I live in Portland.
Brought to you by Brian Bailey