Happy Pride, Mom and Dad!

My parents may be gayer than I am. My mom and dad – married 40 years in July (Congratulations!) – have marched in more Pride parades than me and are quite involved in the community.

Last week I was talking with my dad about schedules, seeing if I could get him to babysit one evening. He told me he soon would be at a conference out of state. He was disappointed about having to go. “The conference was planned 9 months ago,” he lamented. I didn’t know why he was upset. He goes to lots of conferences.

And then I realized – he was apologetic because he was going to miss Pride.

He invited me to walk with his church group in the parade. My parents belong to an LGBTQA Outreach group through their church, St. John’s Methodist. They participate in community events and help make their church a welcoming place to be. They’ve had tables and booths at Celebration of Change and PrideFest. They helped host students for Pride Conference. They are a nice group of folks and do a lot of positive work.

Author's Mother
Big Wild Mother of a Lesbian

It hasn’t been easy for my parents though. They and their group have dealt with resistance within their church and without. My mom and dad love me and my partner so much that they take homophobia personally.

At that first assembly meeting during the summer of hate in 2009, when the size and venom of the opposition stunned us, my dad held my hand. He walked beside me as we passed people calling my love and myself hideous things. My dad is a trustee at his church, an Eagle Scout and honest to the core. The red shirts would have welcomed him with open arms, but he stood by me and always has. That night, it was my mom that spoke at the podium, not me.

On Saturday, my mom will be at the Alaska Run for Women to support her daughter-in-law, my sister-in-law, who is battling (and winning!) breast cancer, and then she will go the PrideFest and march in the parade with her group.

Yes, I’m proud of who I am. I am seen and I am heard. I came out to my company’s new CEO recently like it was no big thing.

But I am also proud of my parents. I appreciate that they fight for me when I do not have the time or strength. I am proud at how fiercely they protect and support their children and grandchildren.

Thank you, Mom and Dad. Happy Pride.

Author's parents
I love you guys.

Check out tomorrow night’s Pride event, “On These Shoulders We Stand,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, UAA Rasmussen Hall Room 110. An illuminating historical account of gay life and activism before Stonewall. Followed by a conversation with the filmmaker, Glenne McElhinney, and local activists. Free event. All ages.


5 thoughts on “Happy Pride, Mom and Dad!

  1. Your parents ARE the “Best Prideful Parents” and loving of all people. Last weekend while watching our shared grandchildren they called me on my birthday which allowed my grand-children to sing “Happy Birthday Grandma” on my phone. I will never erase that message! Without the loving support of YOUR family, I would have a much more difficult time having to live so far away from mine. Two years ago my husband & I moved into a smaller home & the very next day I was doing CPR on him. He died that hour. My daughter is the one fighting & winning breast cancer at age 35 with 2 beautiful children. Your brother is MY wonderful son-in-law! I can’t be there to march in my daughter’s Cancer Run/Walk For Women but your Mother will be there! I can’t be there to march in your Pride Parade, but your parent’s will be by your side. Just know my LOVE will be there for ALL of you. And I will also will be attending Church on Sunday.

  2. I knew your parents when they attended UMC-Vista. They are wonderful loving people and I was so glad that I got to know them if only for a short while. God bless all of you, and I know he does because he LOVES ALL OF HIS CHILDREN!

  3. I have also been inspired by both your Mom and Dad. They are loving, accepting, honest and loyal to all people and I have always found them to be two of the people in my circle to try to emulate! Love you to all and God loves all his people!

  4. I’m proud to be your folks’ pastor at Saint John. We have much work to do to transform the church into a community that welcomes all… they are faithful workers for justice both in and out of the church. And your blog here is a great testimony to the love you all share for one another. Thanks for writing it!

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