Thinking about those youths in a car parade through a storm
Evanston, Ill. -
It was quite poetic watching, in the rain, enthusiastic youths drive their SUVs and sedans, waving their rainbow banners and pinwheels, making the hump over Ridge Ave. and down onto Noyes St.—as queer-affirming owners and staff of Coffee Lab and Roasters hollered their support.
They were jumping in the wet, waving their own rainbow banners on the sidewalks, drenched from the all-morning deluge that cascaded in waves across Chicago—and this Evanston neighborhood.
With streams of water splashing from downspouts, rainbow kites hanging above the shopfront doors swirled and pirouetted in their own dance of glee.
Though laden in the heaviness of storm clouds, the youths and their onlookers found that moment to deliver their expressions of joy—as the rainy-day car parade made its way to the downtown environs of Fountain Square.
Rain can be a magical thing.
The downpour washes away the muck and junk that gathers over time. It bathes and cleanses—it renews.
So must we think of this Pride month.
We are celebrating all the clouds that have gathered over us in previous seasons of Pride—each year a struggle for more civil rights, and more, and more. Each season of Pride was another storm and another.
But after every storm came the sun. After every storm came renewal, a clarity of thought of what has happened, and what has yet to be done.
The flower bushes are in bloom, the lawns deeper and fuller in greenery—but there are more places in the garden to plant, to be nourished for the next storm.
I like to think of those gleeful youths that overcame gray skies and the struggle in a storm—to enthusiastically share their joy in being themselves. Each season is a season of Pride for them.
We're always doing it for the youth, the next generation of rain bathers—garden beds yet to bloom.
I like to think of those onlookers—the older ones, the seasoned ones. They're still enduring the same storm; they know they can overcome. They're cheering the younger ones along their way; they're cheering their newer spirits to overcome.
Let's keep their parade going. Let's be there along the path cheering them on through wind and storm and whatever turbulence yet to come. Let's cheer them on through the sunshine that comes in the months after this Pride.