Now, I’ve Done Mardi Gras!

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When I find myself saying, “I’ve never done…”, that’s my cue to possibly add the activity to my DID list.

Lately, lots of people have been talking about Mardi Gras, otherwise known as “Gay Christmas”. The parade always looks like great fun, so this year, rather than just talk about possibly going at some time in the undefined future, we actually went.

Both Chris and I are Mardi Gras virgins, so we were excited to experience our first! We were meant to meet up with friends, but as can happen with changing schedules and big events, we missed actually connecting.

The energy, the colours, the outfits, the people were all dusted in the glitter of celebration. The positive vibes were palpable.

Here are a few photos 

We were part of a large, fun, yet well behaved, polite and inclusive crowd. It almost felt Canadian. It didn’t matter whether you were gay or straight, young or old, short (OMG little Asian girls actually brought plastic milk crates to stand on!) or tall, alcohol-infused or stone-cold sober, everyone was equal. Everyone was welcome. Everyone was being nice. Everyone was having fun. And, everyone was celebrating equality, inclusion and basic human rights and that we’ve reached a point where so many are now comfortable being openly gay — and they were having fun doing it!

I learned a few things that I’d do differently next time I go, though. I’d definitely dress better for it, get there early to get a front row spot to better connect with the energy of the parade participants.

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While we had a lot of fun seeing the costumes (on those in the parade and in the crowds who looked on) I couldn’t help but be saddened by the reality of what being gay in our country still means. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be denied so many of the rights that, as a heterosexual, I take for granted.

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The solution is simple. Why do politicians and religious groups and other conservative traditionalists need to make it so damned difficult?

With all the hate that’s growing like a cancer throughout our world today, why can’t we embrace, support, and legislate a little more love?

Wouldn’t that be the right thing to do?

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