Last year was my first year participating in the San Francisco Pride Parade. I was motivated to join with others who were marching together under the banner of the Union for Reform Judaism. Before we all set-out, it was fun to meet-up with rabbinic colleagues from around the region and to schmooze with folks I know from various synagogues. But the camaraderie only part of the reason why I was so uplifted by the experience.
That day was amazing for its energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. Everything felt so positive: the parade’s celebration of diversity; the joyful acclamation of the Supreme Court decision affirming same-sex marriage; the cheers for our Jewish contingent as we marched down Market Street. And then there was the dancing! At our head were teenagers from Camp Newman who danced the entire length of the parade. They were wonderful!
This year’s march will be influenced by the horror that took place in Orlando two weeks ago. 49 people were murdered in a gay nightclub. It was a hate crime of the worst magnitude. It is my conviction that participating in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade is a statement that we will not be cowed by hatred. Those of us who are straight stand together with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters at a time of vulnerability and pain.
As I anticipate participating in this year’s parade, a passage from our prayer book comes to mind:
“Standing on the parted shores of history
We still believe what we were taught
Before ever we stood at Sinai’s foot;
That wherever we go, it is eternally Egypt
That there is a better place, a promised land;
That the winding way to that promise
Passes through the wilderness.
That there is no way to get from here to there
Except by joining hands, marching
For anyone wishing to register for the Parade, go to URJ's Parade Registration Link.