It was June of this past year, Trent and I were with some friends on our way to the annual pride parade in downtown SLC. I had heard rumors of a group that was planning to lead the parade that year. This was a group of members of the LDS church (Mormons Building Bridges) a church that most of us were raised in. This had not been the best year in LGBT and LDS relations, and the thought of such a group leading the parade made me feel a bit anxious. I wasn’t sure how the onlookers would react to the new group. I knew I would treat them with respect and graciously accept what they were “trying” to do. We got to the corner of main and 3rd East. I looked up and down the street in awe. There were thousands of brightly dressed people. People on the sidewalk, people looking from windows, and people on the tops of buildings… It was a beautiful sight. The feeling in the air was electric. These were all people like me, people who had been through the ringer like I had. It was time for the parade to start, the police motorcycles were clearing the route. A nervous feeling took root in my stomach as I saw the group a few blocks away. I watched carefully as they made there way up the street. As they got closer I began to read their signs and see the tears on their faces. There was an elderly lady being pushed in a wheel chair holding a sign that read “God made you this way, and I love you” she had tears running down her face. As they passed a huge cheer rose up from the crowed (a roar that would rival any BYU-UT game) the tears fell from my eyes as I began to clap and cheer as well. In that moment there was no judgement, no separation, no us and them. We were united. The difference in belief, political history, and inability to understand one another were forgotten. I felt like this moment was great, history being made. This deserved to be next to Martin Luthers “I Have Dream” speech, or Ronald Ragan “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” in the history books. I knew this feeling, this moment was going to bring about true and irrevocable equality. The ability of people at opposite ends of the spectrum to see that we are, maybe, not so different after all.
The parade past and time went on. The pollution of the media and other influences seeped in, and yet that fire that was ignited that day still burns within me, as it burns within everyone that was lucky enough to witness it.