We had a ball marching with the atheist contingent at the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade yesterday! Lots of love from the crowd — a little hostility here and there, including one woman who Booed us and gave us the thumbs down (who does that at the Pride Parade?), but mostly a lot of cheers and hoots and waves and thumbs-up. Some from people who were clearly cheering and hooting at anything that went by, and would probably cheer and hoot at a contingent of gay exterminators (although come to think of it, that’d be pretty cool, I’d probably cheer and hoot at a contingent of gay exterminators)… but a lot from people who saw our signs, saw who we were, and lit up with happiness. It was awesome. Visibility in action.
Here are pictures. I’d say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but if I really believed that I’d be a photographer and not a writer — and besides, most of these pictures are of signs and T-shirts with words on them. (Even when I take pictures, I take pictures of words.)
One of my very favorite signs. It has an image of a fifties housewife talking on an old-style phone, and it reads: “My son told me today that he is gay. I was so relieved. I thought he was going to tell me he wanted to be a priest or some perverted shit like that!”
More pics below the jump.
This sign was the clear winner, the belle of the ball. It has a picture of a Bible, and reads, “I only want one thing shoved down my throat! And this ain’t it!”
Older gentleman with a T-shirt with a rainbow flag, and the word, “Gaytheist.”
T-shirt with a picture of the Bible, with a warning label on it reading “Warning: May Impair Judgment.”
Two people. One sign reading “Love is greater than faith” (actually, a picture of a heart, the word “faith,” and the “greater than” symbol); another sign reading “Homophobia: A Disease Transmitted By Religion.” (I really like this one — it neatly conveys the idea that people can be homophobic without religion, but religion is uniquely good at perpetuating it.)
Ingrid and our friend Anne. Ingrid has a sign saying “Gaytheist” and a pink T-shirt reading, “I’m an atheist, and I’m also other things.” Anne is wearing the T-shirt that lots of people were wearing, one of the paraders printed out a bunch and gave them out for free, reading on the front, “Atheists Support Gay Rights.” With the “A” in “Atheists” written in the scarlet letter font.
The back of the “Atheists Support Gay Rights” T-shirt. It reads, “The Bible Supports:
Homophobia. Slavery. Genocide. Infanticide. Rape. Misogyny. Incest. Racism. Murder. Torture. Child Abuse.”
David Byars, with his always crowd-pleasing sign, “Leviticus Says…Crazy Shit.”
Sign reading “Bigotry is a lifestyle choice.” With the word “Bigotry” written in religious symbols, a la those “Coexist” bumper stickers.
Two people, one with a sign reading, “All men are created equal,” with the word “men” crossed out and replaced with “people,” and the word “created” crossed out and replaced with “born.” The other sign reading, “The Bible says: Slavery good. Gays bad. Snakes talk.”
T-shirt reading “Born Again Atheist.”
Gentleman in gold lame briefs and covered in gold body paint, with sign written on his chest saying, “Science Is Golden.”
This was one of my favorites. Sign reading, “Claiming that someone else’s marriage is against your religion is like being angry at someone for eating a doughnut because you’re on a diet.”
Sign saying, “Gaytheist – Proud To Be Good Without God.” (I like the meta of this one – the photo of the person taking pictures.)
Sign reading, “Keep Your Invisible Friend Out Of My Life.”
And speaking of invisible friends:
Big banner reading, “The Invisible Pink Unicorn Loves U!”
We had some debate about whether anyone who isn’t already in the atheist movement would get that one… but I think a lot of people would. It just takes a second to think about. And in the context of the other atheist signs, it probably would only take half a second.
And finally, me and Ingrid — Ingrid with her “Gaytheist” sign, me with my “Happy Godless Queer” sign.
Happy Pride, everyone!