I think it's the bubbles blasting out of leaf-blower-style bubble machines or the feathery frothy angel wings some people are wearing. The rainbow signs. The balloon-festooned floats blaring party music. And the dancers and the strutters and the flag wavers.
Maybe all of the over-the-top things you expect to see at a Pride Parade. And maybe all of the things you don’t expect?
Like, the moms and dads pushing babies in strollers. The grandparents offering free hugs. The children sporting face paint and plastic Mardi gras beads.
Church group marching after church group. The preachers wearing colorful vestments. The elderly women carrying banners. We love you. You are welcome here. It shouldn’t have to be said, but let's say it.
Something I’ve noticed lately, every shop I walk into, a clerk smiling and chirping out: Welcome in! I don’t know when this became a Thing or why it surprises me every time, but every time, I love it.
People are kind. Nearly all of them. Even the ones who are strangers.
The others-- can we offer them grace? Hope that one day they’ll come around. Okay, maybe not so far around that they’ll be joining the 700,000 people at the Pride Parade in Columbus Ohio, but around enough that when they catch a glimpse of a bubble whirling past, the flick of a colorful flag, a happy dog trotting by,
they will do like the rest of us