Mormon Allies in Twin Cities Pride Parade

I participated in the Twin Cities Pride parade today, walking with a group of Mormons. Our group was called “Mormon Allies”, and we had somewhere between 25 and 30 people in our group. My friend John posted a recap of the day.

Parades are not exactly an environment where I thrive socially, if you know what I mean. As an introvert – an awkwardly shy introvert – I’m about as exciting in a parade as an episode of Law & Order. Crowds gathering along a street edge to watch me walk by is a bit like popping some popcorn and getting out a lawn chair to sit on the sidewalk and watch a worm slither by. I’m a bit of a disappointment. My primary function in the parade was just to be a warm body, and I’m mostly ok with it since that’s what my wife has been telling me for a couple years now.

For most parade-watchers, I’m sure our smallish group was mostly overlooked. We didn’t have a fancy car, loud music, candy, or bags or schwag to toss out to the crowd. We were even overshadowed by the group of nuns in the group immediately in front of us if only because they were like 80 or something and they had a handmade rainbow flag that was awesome. But I hope that at least a few people were happily surprised to see a group of Mormons in the parade. And I hope at least a few people were forced to question what they know about Mormons and what Mormonism is all about.

I want to post more about the parade, why I chose to participate, and what I hoped to accomplish by doing so, but for the time being, here are a few photos:

Mormon Allies. Where love is, there God is also.

I love my gay Daughter & her girlfriend And I’m a Mormon.

Mormon Allies.

I heart my Mormon Husband.

Charity never Faileth (photo by @wr3n).

Pretty good group.

12 comments to Mormon Allies in Twin Cities Pride Parade

  • That is awesome. If we had something like that around here I would like to participate. In related news, I watched this podcast the other day which was very interesting: http://mormonstories.org/350-352-dance-champion-benji-schwimmer/

  • Voni

    Don’t worry Rueben, your group was not over looked. Almost all of my gay friends posted something on fb about it and everyone loved the ‘sorry we’re late’ sign. And there was a group in the parade here in Chicago that was well received as well!

  • Raina

    This is rad and we’re so bummed we missed it. :( I love, love, love the ‘sorry we’re late’ sign.

  • Raina

    Get me a t-shirt. Please.

  • santorio

    what can I say? you really walk the walk

  • Kassie

    This is how you change the world! Me marching in the parade, with my liberal group and my liberal friends doesn’t make a difference.

    But, not your group. No one expected your group to be there. You didn’t have to be there.

    And somewhere in that crowd was a young, Mormon, gay man or woman whose heart swelled with pride and hope when they saw you walk by. Maybe no longer afraid. Maybe no longer feeling alone. Maybe no longer feeling they need to choose between their religion and their identity, but can have both

    And somewhere in that crowd, in fact lots of places in that crowd, were other people who had written off your religion as a bunch of zealots and haters who can now see that there are beautiful people who are Mormon. And that they can’t judge someone just by their religion. And that moving forward means including all people, not just the ones you think support you, because support and love can come from the last place you expect it.

  • Ren

    You carried the Relief Society motto well! We were not overshadowed or overlooked. Trust me, I’m a veteran of this parade. I watched the crowd. I still need to write a post about my reflections on it. Your shyness always takes me by surprise, given your candor online.

  • Reuben – GREAT pics… Thanks for posting.

    Whatever the parade meant to anybody else, for me it was HUGE. I spent most of the rest of that evening weeping for joy. Thanks for being a “warm body.” (It was warm out, wasn’t it?)

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