I love a parade. Always have. Always will. There is just something about the pomp (no matter the circumstance). I can’t help but smile when I see streets lined with lawn chairs, properly positioned for the pageantry.
So you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to ride in PRIDE.
I’m talking about the Pride Parade, of course. Specifically the one that marches right through the heart of West Hollywood. Pride Parades pop up all over the world during the month of June celebrating all things LGBT. They are the most colorful parades you will ever see—both literally and figuratively. And while there are those who call Pride Parades a spectacle…I consider them to be spectacular.
Let me give it to you straight (which happens to be both my preference and my sexual orientation). This parade is a road full of rainbows (and some speedos and some chaps). It floats, dances and even prances along for miles. There are boas and there are bubbles and more disco balls than you can count.
And this year, I wasn’t just going to be IN the parade. I was going to be on top of it. My friends at Wells Fargo Bank asked me to ride on their iconic stagecoach. (It’s a big deal for the big bank to give back, and they have donated millions to LGBT causes).
So I did what any proud Pride Parade participant would do: I laced up my bustiers, pulled on some fishnet stockings and climbed on board my horse drawn carriage. (Not bad for a woman who just gave birth to a baby five months ago).
And it was from high a top my perch, that I gained a whole different view of my gay and lesbian neighbors. Although the parade is unique in countless ways…there is one thing that makes it just like any other. The parade route is lined with families.
Maybe I pay closer attention to people with kids, because I have now one of my own…or maybe it’s because the light shines more brightly on babies. Whatever the reason, I was quick to spot the strollers and the proud parents along that rainbow route. On the corner of Crescent Heights, there were the two dads applying sunscreen to their toddler. On La Cienega there was the Lesbian couple who lifted up their little one and shouted that he was the same age as my baby, Brady. By the time we rounded the corner of Robertson, I’d lost count of the kids who I saw sitting on the shoulders of their parent—parents who all found ways to create their own kind of family.
I asked my friends at the Southern California Reproductive Center what percentage of their population is from the LGBT community. Would you believe 25 to 30 percent? That’s right. Nearly a third of the patients who seek fertility treatments from these experts are from so-called non-traditional families. That number gave me a new perspective. As an IVF mom, I’ve now got something remarkable in common with countless gay and lesbian couples.
So strike up the band, hitch a ride and wave with pride. No matter what direction your life may take, if your dream is to have a family—then, by all means, do whatever it takes to make sure the parade doesn’t pass you by.