Love Wins – Gay Wedding Kicks Off Awesome Nashville Pride
A SUPREME CELEBRATION |Darrin & Sharon Henry
Front and centre photographing Al and Toby’s first kiss at one of the first same-sex weddings in Tennessee was not on the script for our pilgrimage to Nashville, but this is the annual Pride Festival and today when the sun came up it did so over a brand new America.
Just yesterday the US Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage is now a right throughout the United States of America, adding a special zing and a wider smile to this 27th Nashville Pride celebration.
Tennessee was one of the 13 states that had continued to ban same-sex marriage, but the historic ruling has meant ceremonies like today’s can now take place throughout the country.
Check out the ABC news video here of Al and Toby’s wedding – you can spot Sharon at 0:36 in!
Nashville Pride – Taking To The Streets
Nuptials and congratulatory hugs complete the Nashville Pride parade sets off on a loop around a small part of the city.
Gay Pride or LGBT Pride (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Parades have been taking place on the last Saturday in June for 46 years, since the first one in 1970. Today the event is referred to simply as ‘Pride’ and the participants come from all walks of life, not just the LGBT community.
The dark skies unsurprisingly turn to drizzle for a short period, but there are enough rainbows around to ensure the rain is soon banished as the party moves into the Public Square Park.
Nashville Pride – Party In The Park
As festive atmospheres go there is a real buzz in the air. We are greeted with warm smiles and friendly conversations throughout the park. It’s a superb event. Tickets at the gate were $5 but there is so much to see and do and enjoy.
We end up sitting on the grass at the main stage as Ms Nashville Pride, Venus Knight, pouts and struts her way through a string of riveting Beyoncé performances, miming some of the singer’s biggest hits. By the time she’s doing the ‘uh-oh’ booty shake to ‘Crazy Right Now’ the growing crowd are screaming their approval.
This is followed by country music styled performances by Mr Nashville Pride, Skylar Wlyde, who entertains the crowd with an energetic and humorous boot stomping display. By the time Mr Nashville urges the crowd to ‘Save a horse, ride a cowboy,’ everyone has already joined in with raucous enthusiasm.
It’s loud and unashamedly full on and fun, just what you would expect at a Pride Festival.
Then came the highlight of the day for us. While the stage was being reconfigured to host a live band performance, DJ ‘Remedy’ took over. A single young girl, draped in rainbow colours, got up and started dancing in front of the stage. Completely lost in the moment her energy triggered a couple more people to join her. Then a few more, and a few more until suddenly the whole place was full of trance like dancers, smiling and laughing and having fun. It was the ultimate, spontaneous flash mob with no agenda but to have a good time.
To use a popular American expression, it was simply, “Awesome.”
And so the day unfolded. Fantastic entertainment and great company set against the vibrant Pride colours.
Yesterday after the Supreme Court ruling, President Barack Obama said, “Today, we can say, in no uncertain terms, that we have made our union a little more perfect.”
I think the Nashville Pride organisers and the estimated 18,000 people attending this year’s event, may well agree.