Contributed by Thomas Kingery.
On Sunday, August 29th, Avenidas Rainbow Collective took part in the Silicon Valley Pride Festival in downtown San Jose and we had a blast.
This was our first year with a booth at the festival and we were not sure what to expect. Our intention was to be present in community, educate the public about the challenges of older adults in the LGBTQ community, and to spread the word about our program as a resource for a segment of the LGBTQ community that is sometimes forgotten about.
We had such a wonderful time engaging with community members. To be honest, it was quite refreshing to be surrounded by community members who have come together in the spirit of love, acceptance, and happiness. I am not exaggerating when I say that every single person who came to the our table was very kind and friendly. I had a smile on my face all day. So many people with dogs, too. I was in heaven. If my dog knew how many other dogs I petted that day I would be sleeping at the foot of the bed.
We met so many wonderful people who wanted to join our program and/or volunteer to help promote it. It was amazing. I had a great time with Monica, Jyllian, and Jenn working the table at the event. I appreciate all the hard work they put in making our table a success at the event. When the event was nearly over, Jyllian and I joined the crowd dancing in front of the stage. It was such a great time that I will never forget.
The event was great fun and we were successful in spreading the word about the Avenidas Rainbow Collective. For that I am thankful.
However, the one thing that I shall never forget was when I saw a man walking around with a shirt that read “Free Dad Hugs”. These three young people walked up with their arms out. Without out word the Dad opened his arms. The young person being hugged broke down in tears. I imagine that person has not had a “Dad Hug” for a very long time. It made me think how we take some things for granted, like our family members, acceptance, and a simple hug.
Pride is where magic happens. I got to witness a little magic at Silicon Valley Pride and experience a lot of fun to boot.
Did you attend the Silicon Valley Pride parade or festival? If so, let us know what you thought of the event. Did you have a good time? Make any new friends? Witness a little magic?