Pride is alive along the Mother Road!

Pride is alive along the Mother Road!

One of the community celebrations that make this the most conservative segment of Old Route 66 habitable took place this past weekend.  Yes, the 33rd annual Tulsa Pride celebration attracted thousands to Downtown Tulsa on Saturday afternoon and evening culminating in the Pride Parade.  This is an annual festival sponsored by Oklahomans for Equality.

TulsaPride2015

Yours truly was on hand to staff the Tulsa County Democratic Party tent where we were able to register a few dozen new voters and hand out Hillary and Bernie Sanders buttons for a small donation.

TCDPPride2015

No, I am not gay but like everyone who may be reading this blog post I have a gay family member and know several people who identify as LGBT, some of whom I consider personal friends.  Like most of the rest of America that does not now have a problem with this characteristic, it took me several years to evolve on it.  I have my religious upbringing and military career to thank for holding me back for so long and for doing a fair amount of damage to otherwise healthy relationships with otherwise honorable people who are every bit worthy of all dignity and respect I can now muster.  Leaving organized religion and eventually departing from belief in deity made me a lot more accepting of those opting out of tradition attractions and those who struggle for acceptance for whatever reason.

The liberal religious community was well represented as well as the non-religious community in the Dennis Neill Equality Center exhibit hall.

ACTbooth

The Pride celebration ran the gamut from stand up comedy routines, drag queen shows, and numerous bands including 80’s star, Tiffany.

SheilaNaifeh

Now I don’t think that San Francisco’s Castro District needs to worry about being upstaged by Tulsa Pride any more than Austin needs to worry about being displaced as the Southwest’s #1 music venue but events like Saturday’s festival demonstrate the presence of a strong progressive population that practices inclusion of all people.  This population lives for things like Tulsa Pride.  Even the practitioners of cafeteria style Christianity seemed to have less of a presence than in past years.  I shudder to think about how stupid they are going to look in fifty years time.

For anyone who may be planning a trip down Old Route 66, I highly recommend a visit to the longest running Pride function in Oklahoma!  Motor on down for an experience like none other you’ll have on the Mother Road.

TulsaPride