I spent the weekend in WeHo for all the kids I know. We went to the PRIDE Festival on Saturday and I suddenly wished I was 20. After a burger and 30 minutes of an amazing experience, I left and went to bed! (#old) Sunday morning when we joined the Resist March, I paused for a minute to thank the police officers and sheriffs standing by. Through a few unexpected tears, I told them if it weren’t for their presence, I couldn’t try to make the world a better place for my son and that I needed a peaceful, safe place to do just that! So my makeup was a mess from the start! Then Coop and I met our newly married gay friends plus more of their friends and we stood at the pre-march rally. After many a speech, they held a moment of silence and released enormous purple balloons. Each balloon represented one of the Pulse Orlando victims. The balloons were released by high school students with the hope that they will remember the history of the lgbtq community, see how far it has come, hold on to hope for equality. They encouraged us all to respond to unkind and even hateful people with love, standing firm in the knowledge that they are more than ok and that together we can continue to make great strides for all of humanity. We paused to remember the Pulse victims, the 12 transgender people of color who were murdered this last year, and even some individuals like the “young man” who years ago was tortured and left to die all alone tied on a fence. It was not that long ago. Matthew Shephard’s name a face flashed through my mind and tears spilled onto my face at the thought of his precious and harmless life being cut short in such a horrific way while my own gay little guy was running around in a diaper. All those who have passed so tragically still matter today. Tears welled up and you can bet I marched for that young man! I NEVER want another story like Matthew Shepherd’s to exist again. We sang the national anthem and BOY did they sing pretty! For the first time singing that song, the words, “land of the free and the home of the brave” meant more to me than citizens and our soldiers. It meant to me, everyone responsibly trying to make a good life for themselves AND of course those who are willing to defend us all. WE MARCHED and I held a sign asking on one side for people to stop shaming each other, and on the other side reminding them that tolerance is not love.
It is a disappointment to say the least to realize the parade was cancelled because the need for the Resist March was greater. By the way, to those of you who think the pride parades are just a bunch of naked people, you are misinformed. So how on earth has equality come down to politics? And yet it wasn’t that long ago that even I was so busy in my happy bubble that I couldn’t see to need to recognize that injustice was all around me and
deserves a chance to live without fear of judgement from others, in freedom and truth, able to say, “THIS IS WHO I AM.” It feels like yesterday in a bad way and I still have blind spots! I asked myself why was it so hard for me to simply focus on myself and let others walk their own path without judgment, and yet it is so easy now? The answer has far less to do with Cooper being gay and far more to do with my expectations of humanity, and my own life’s circumstances forcing me to look humbly at myself and faith from a more honest place. I see a lot of people less willing to simply buy into what they’ve been told. They are doing the heavy lifting of reconsidering. I believe one day at a time, we mobilize together and step towards progress! It’s a GREAT TIME to be ALIVE! It really is!
We were just about to march when I saw this little friend! Her sign choked me right up! I peered into her quiet eyes and sensed a gentle heart. I met her calmness with a tempered version of the same (for as long as I could hold back) and I pointed to her sign and told her, “You are right and I am SO proud of you.” I hugged her. When I stepped back, I realized there were three young girls together. In classic, slightly loud, and very excited Allie fashion, I said, “Oh my gosh there are three of you!!! AND YOU’RE KIDS!!! I’m SO excited you’re here!!!! HAPPY PRIDE!!” They all smiled and I literally wrapped my arms around all three of them. They looked a bit surprised but I could feel the love in their arms as they held me tightly. I want so badly for our kids to have an increasingly kind world. Asking someone to pray away the gay is like saying you can pray away your freckles! I LOVE THAT SHE KNOWS SHE IS EXACTLY AS SHE SHOULD BE. I want “the land of the free and the home of the brave” to have more people like that, gay or straight! Be you, bold in your own way, and full of courage!! Sometimes we parents and adults need a little time to slow down and remember how important it is that you be free to be who YOU want to be, who you were created to be, not who we have expected you to be from the day you were born, living out the future we think is best! How boring! Fear and arrogance is often the driver of that kind of thinking, wanting everything to be just so. Been there, done that! Still do it sometimes!Trials will come and go but equality shouldn’t be one of them! There are many ways to overcome and stand up strong after being knocked down! I love the verse this young lesbian has on her arm as a reminder that life can be hard but freedom from fear is coming, and in her case it involves her faith. “I SOUGHT THE LORD, HE ANSWERED ME AND DELIVERED ME FROM ALL MY FEARS.” Yes, you can be gay and be a person of faith. Some people are afraid they can’t and this girl obviously reconciled the two. YAY!
The march finally ended and I hit the festival and some clubs! You know, I never even went to a bar until last year! As much fun as I am, I left one really rigid life, friends! I laughed inside at how five years ago I would have been leading a bible study and now I’m out living it. Unafraid for the most part and thinking for myself. I am so incredibly grateful for my imperfect life and the freedom I give myself and others to not have everything figured out! It’s free, full of irresistible grace, love, and even peace. I know this the most when I am with people who are marginalized. All I can say is I feel alive and right in the center of part of my purpose. So the fun continued! I got a few pics with people of various ages who know I’d do any thing for them…. and they all come from Christian homes (some accepting and some not). We stopped on the streets and talked to homeless people and gave hugs and love. We danced (and I have no business dancing)! We sang. We sat while some shared with me in such vulnerable ways, that I am forever marked by them as individuals on the whole.
I ran into a few people I barely know but share a depth with like *Brian Terada (you know young people…..always snap chatting! I think it is so funny when they want to take a pic for their Snapchat so I play along in an unpolished way loving every second)! We had a GREAT day!
Wrapping up this post, I would never push my belief on you, but I would like to think we all belong to a divine creator who made us with great purpose and incredible potential! We can make a world that allows space for each to be free and to walk with Pride in who they are every day! Go create the life you want for yourself in this world and CHASE IT, my friends! XO
❤️*NOT EVERYONE who is gay has difficulty in their social circles or their churches. Check out my friend Brian’s video and you will BE SOOOOO HAPPY AND HOPEFUL! His upbeat ways and loving heart are nearly tangible and I promise you will be happy for him!!! Let’s end this on a good note!!❤️