Second, Happy PRIDE!
The Pride Interfaith Service felt a lot like last year's.
"God of the Ages, Who With Sure Command"
Sounding of the Shofar
Welcome from Old South Church
Rev. Quinn Caldwell did the same spiel he did last year -- which is still a good spiel.
The Lighting of the Rainbow Candle
The guy from Dignity/Boston started talking and then paused and it was like, Oh yeah, responsive reading. Liturgyfail.
 Anthem: "We Shall Be Free" (Voices Rising)
At the line "When the last thing we notice / is the color of skin / and the first thing we look for / is the beauty within" I winced. I remembered DeepaD's post on seeing race, and I understood it in a way I think I hadn't before. When I heard that line, I thought, "But I want people to see my body and think me beautiful" (not in a shallow self-centered way, but in that way in which we are an embodied people; the body is important and valuable). [/edit]
Greetings from Pride Interfaith Coalition
The Pride Interfaith Award this year was given to the Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The guy giving the award (Rev. Quinn Caldwell of Old South Church?) said that every year it's a difficult decision whom to give the award to, but this year it was easy. I thought, "Why? Because this is the only transgender-related organization in Boston?" He didn't say anything about why the decision was easy this year. He said something about the Planning Committee being "diverse" and I thought, "I see three white women and one white man. Where are the people of color? Aren't murdered transfolks disproportionately women of color?"
Accepting the award, one of the women talked about how the TDOR started in 1998 when a trans woman in Brighton, Rita Hester, was murdered and the community came together to hold a vigil. (My sidebar: How is the TDOR only
1011 years old?) The woman talked about Rita's mother, Kathleen, keening so that it echoed off the buildings and she said that she was so moved that this woman was "so generous with her grief, to share it so publicly and so loudly."
The woman also talked about Transcend, supporting young people of color, who are disproportionately victims of violence.
She talked about Chanel Pickett and said that no murder of a transgender person in this state has ever been solved by a police investigation.
Hebrew Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-11
A guy davened it in Hebrew, and then two women read it in English.
Christian Scripture Reading: Matthew 19:11-15
Hymn: "I've Got Peace Like a River"
I really would have liked the tempo stepped up for this, especially for "I've got joy like a fountain."
Buddhist Chant and Reading
I thought I remembered there being a Buddhist element in the service last year, but apparently not.
Contemporary Reading: from "Song of the Open Road" from Leaves of Grass
I was most struck by: "I did not know I held so much goodness"
Sermon: Dr. Justin E. Tanis
He went to Mt. Holyoke and came out in 1984 and went to his first Pride Parade in 1985 at Northampton and talked about "stepping out into the sunshine." As a college student, going to the March on Washington -- so on the way down, they sang a mix of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" and "We Are a Gentle, Angry People." He talked about a civil rights bill for gay people getting dropped on the last day of the legislative session and phone calls going through the community and people converging on the State House and I got all choked up (the bill passed the next year).
He talked about the passage from 1 Samuel and how, "The voice of God was rare in those days and he wasn't expecting it" and "he was guided by someone who had been there before."
He talked about Chastity Bono coming out as trans (news to me) and mentioned a couple radio DJs and I braced myself, but his story was that the DJs were running through the day's celebrity gossip items and said, "I don't understand, but whatever makes her, I mean him, happy, next item..."
Hymn: "We Limit Not the Truth of God"
Meditation and Prayer: Rabbi Howard A. Bernan (Boston Jewish Spirit, Reform Judaism)
He talked about how at Passover we tell the story of our enslavement and liberation, and as we list the ten plagues we drop wine from our glasses, reminding ourselves that our joy is diminished, even when it is our enemies who are suffering.
He mentioned the murder on Sunday of Dr. George Tiller and on Wednesday the attack at the Holocaust Museum, and it bothered me that the murdered guard didn't get named. (Note: He was not naming either of these murdered men as our "enemies" but rather the opposite -- just in case that wasn't clear in my lack of transition.)
Anthem: Mi Shebeyrach - Blessing of Thanksgiving (Cantorial Soloist, Boston Jewish Spirit)
Offering: "Love Who You Love" from A Man of No Importance
"A portion of today's offering will be donated to support Transgender Youth Summit, a program of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Youth."
Benediction: Dr. Justin Tanis ended his Benediction saying, "Blessed Be." Allie had been noting earlier that there were no queer pagans taking over the service :) (Though the Parade did include the Independent Pagans of Massachusetts.)
Throughout the service, people largely talked about "The Holy" or "The Divine" instead of saying "God."
Recessional Hymn: "In the Midst of New Dimensions" (verses 1, 2, 3, and 5 -- I'm guessing verse 4 with its "we are man and we are woman" was eliminated out of respect for transgender folks; I think Tallessyn rewrites that line as "we are many genders")
We got second breakfast at the Dunkin' Donuts by Boylston and came back and watched the Parade from about where we did last year. Unfortunately we didn't manage to meet up with Roza.
Five minutes after I left my house, I realized I totally hadn't thought to bring a camera. (Allie didn't either, which we both regretted a bit.)
[Parade was about 12:20pm-1:20pm where we were.]
I think it was the Roller Derby girls who had pretty girls (shimmery midrif-baring outfits and brightly colored hair) holding their banner.
We also saw a costumed contingent from comicopia incl. Dazzler.
I liked that not all the politicians were white men. I also liked how many groups there were of middle-aged/retired folks (including a couple drag queens).
There was a group of Indian (as in, Indian subcontinent) folks, which we didn't remember from last year.
One of the trucks representing a gay club had folks with whips and floggers, but I think that was the only BDSM representation.
I saw First Pres Waltham and LizL looked hott in her clerical collar. I also recognized RevSteph with The Crossing and Desmond from ASC and recognized lots of FCS folks (marching as one among many UCC congregations). I didn't see ANTS, but I did see their banner hung up at the Interfaith Service.
[official website: parade route and participants]
City Hall Plaza seemed even more crowded than in years past. We hit the Bisexual Resource Center booth (Ellyn -- formerly of Teen Voices, now living with her partner in Brockton -- and I chatted catching up) and I considered getting a "It's not a phase It's my life" t-shirt. We regretted not stopping at the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" booth. I bought a black messenger bag with a beautiful tree picture on it. $45. I love my cheap black backpack for weekdays when I need to carry a change of clothes (gym) along with a book and water bottle and etc, but it feels a bit much on weekends when I'm only carrying a book and water bottle and etc. We found CWM's booth but didn't stay long (though I did take a pin which I'll put on my backpack) because Carolyn wanted to see about maybe buying a bag like mine and then we were meeting up with offbalance and j_bkl. (So I also didn't get to hit the Poly-Amory booth.)
We wanted sit-down lunch, so we headed toward Faneuil Hall. J. mentioned that if there was anywhere we wanted to go but couldn't 'cause we're locals we could use them for the tourist excuse. When we got to Sam's Cafe at Cheers, Allie and I mentioned that neither of us had been there before, so J. decreed that's where we were going. He explained, "As a heterosexual male, it's my job to enforce the patriarchy" (though he also said he's a lesbian). Yeah, I like J. (I've heard lots of "Awesome boyfriend is awesome" stories and I didn't have any reason to disbelieve, but this was the first time I'd actually met him.) And then at one point we were talking about Buffy and he made a cutting remark about Dawn and I flipped him off and he shook my hand -- "Stand up for your girl."
There are 3 ATMs in Quincy Market. We hit all three of them (the first two were broken -- "Throat Error" said the first one) and Erica(?) from the Hav said hi to me during our travels (I was really impressed that she remembered my name). We sat down at the restauarant about 3pm. We hit the bathrooms on the way out of Sam's and hey, ATM. Anyway, I got Pasta Caprese (included artichoke hearts) and a Blueberry Ale (look at me, drinking beer and not minding it at all).
I hadn't seen Sharon in two years, and Allie didn't know either of them, but the four of us easily geeked out together -- plus, bonus, Sharon really likes Boston :)
Allie and I hit Million Year Picnic and Herrell's on the way back.
Getting off the train at Davis, we saw a guy wearing this t-shirt. Allie and I frequently lamented that we passed as straight (and we didn't even get any stickers or beads or anything); we kept seeing all these people who clearly had come from Pride, but we didn't so code to an outsider. Clearly next year we need to plan our outfits better (today we were mostly going for "what will make us overheat least").
Also, apparently I need to take the ferry out to Provincetown with Allie one of these days. And we also need to do the Freedom Trail.
Walking home, we saw the little girl on stilts from the Parade. She was selling lemonade, complete with blue heart-shaped ice cubes. (Yes, we bought some.)
I got home around 6pm and washed the sunscreen off me (Mom, you can be so proud: not only did I remember to put sunscreen on, but I put the bottle in my bag, which meant not only could I put some on my chest -- which I had forgotten initially -- but Allie got to put sunscreen on -- she'd forgotten to put any on until she was too far from her house to go back) ... and napped a bit. Apparently I was more tired than I realized. I probably would have just stayed in bed except I wanted to get this written (parents' anniversary and all).