One of the more important events for us in May is Long Beach Pride!! I first attended Long Beach Pride back in 1988. It was truly a life changing experience for me at the time. The year before my sister Trixie had attended, it was his first one and told me that the next year (1988) I had to go with him. So, I did.
Never in my life had I been in the presence of so many Gay and Lesbian people. I cried through most of the parade and as the end of the parade came to where we were, we joined the many hundreds of other people in the street and followed the parade to the Festival grounds. It was one of the most exciting times of my life. The parade went down Ocean Ave there in Long Beach and then turned left at Pine Ave, went down the hill to the Festival on the "island" (where the Aquarium of the Pacific is now). As the parade made left on Pine to go down the hill, along with all the people following it, I came to the corner and stopped dead in my tracks. Looking down on those thousands of Gay and Lesbian people, together in once place to celebrate who we are, was just too emotional for me, and I really started to cry. An older gentleman (well older for me at the time, he was probably the age I am now) came up to me, put his arm around my shoulder and hugged me to him for a moment and said," This is your first festival isn't it?". He told me he had a similar experience the first time he went to one. That was 1988, when it still was not a good thing to be Gay and out. It was a wonderful, wonderful time for me that day. Since that time,
I have missed very few of the Long Beach Pride Festivals. I have attended with different friends through the years and have MANY wonderful memories of things that happened in Long Beach as we got together to celebrate who we are as the LGBT community.
This year we attended a Brunch after the Parade at the home of our Wonderful friend, Phillip, who graced us all by wearing his Pride Fairy hat during the brunch!
He is a gracious host and as you can tell, everyone had a marvelous time!!
THANK YOU PHILIP!!