Marching up Market Street in San Francisco yesterday was a wonderful group that honored those killed in Orlando. This contingent happens to also be a marvelous example of people working together, and I am told that there are already plans to duplicate this group in other cities for their upcoming Pride parades.
It seems a man named Richard Palmer Sizemore decided to create 49 signs with the faces of those killed in the Orlando massacre, at his own expense, and he was hoping to find 49 San Franciscans to carry them in the Pride Parade there. Marsha Levine, the coordinator of the annual event had been working on a large banner and a plan for a moment of silence. They were actually going to stop the entire parade in its tracks, and pause for a moment. Well Marsha's ideas and Richard's signs came together to form a memorial contingent.
I wasn't there, but saw video of it, and it was very moving. With onlookers lining Market Street and with the We Are Orlando contingent leading the marchers, lined up right behind the infamous Dykes on Bikes and other two-wheeled contingents, the Parade came to a complete stop at 7th Street, and for about 30 seconds, stood in complete silence. With a shout of "We Are Orlando" to end the moment, met with respectful clapping, the Parade started up once again.
Guns have killed, and they continue to even after that horrible Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida. Gay men and women continue to be attacked too, simply for being who they are. Yesterday though, there was nothing but respect in downtown San Francisco. If only we could spread that everywhere!