Anyone who has ever been to a Pride parade knows that there is so much love on those floats, and in the crowds of people cheering on the sidelines, that for a few blissful hours, it's like we're living in a parallel universe where hate doesn't exist. Where people are free. And where it's impossible for your outfit to be too much (or too little).
The fact that a church of "god" sees that love as something evil, sordid and wrong is shameful enough, but to have that church promote violent acts against that love is simply disgraceful. Jesus is bowing his head, and not just because his crown of thorns is heavy!
The Pride parade in Sofia, Bulgaria, is happening this Saturday, and similar to previous parades in the country, there are threats of violence. Last year, paradegoers were beaten, and in 2008, a group of skinheads threw Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs) into the street. This year, Father Evgenii Yankiev is encouraging members of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to throw stones at parade participants.
When outraged activists demanded a retraction, the church released a defiant statement saying, "Homosexuality is an unnatural passion that undoubtedly harms the personality, the family and the society."
During Vancouver Pride, all you have to worry about is being hit with beads, water guns and glitter. Not rocks and bombs. Come out for our Pride parade, Aug 5, if only because it's essential we celebrate not only WHO WE ARE, DAMN IT, but our right to be who we are, damn it.
If you don't want to be there for yourself — be there for our brothers and sisters across the sea who don't have the luxury of celebrating their lives without risking them.