I've marched in the parade in past years as part of my congregation or as part of my lesbian/gay parenting group, but decided that this would be a good year to be a spectator. I hadn't really noticed protesters before, but we had a trio of religious protesters this year with huge "Got AIDS Yet?"-like signs in a triangle formation at the intersection of Dubuque and Washington. It was interesting to watch them. One would engage participants and get into silly confrontations about gays, hellfire, and shrimp. Meanwhile, one of the others would videotape the exchange. Then another of the three would engage another participant and this exchange would get videotaped. This went on over and over until the parade came through. Once the parade ended, the three packed up their signs and headed off to parts unknown. I guess we gays should be proud that people care enough about our souls to protest our parades. Makes you wonder why they don't care enough to protest the University of Iowa's annual Homecoming parades.
I'd mentioned Des Moines' 2010 Pridefest event earlier this week and how they had several celebrities at their event. We didn't have TV celebrities, but we did have several politicians at the event and I did get to discuss "Extreme Poodles" with three different folks. It would be nice to have a Pride event with some star-power, but it's also nice to be content with what you do have. Many communities our size have nothing when it comes to Pride. We have a parade and a month of different events. We have local politicians who support our lives and loves. We have several churches in our area who are more than happy to hang with a bunch of homos and not feel like we need to be proselytized against. And we have an active Pride committee that does a lot with a modest budget. All of this is a lot to be Proud of. Thanks Iowa City Pride!