Going to the Pride March with our children has always been a very moving and empowering experience for me. The first one we went to was in Galway and our kids were only a few months old. At the time, gay marriage in Ireland was still a dream for the future and the MarriageEquality campaign was only beginning to gain strength. It was exhilarating to walk the march pushing our double twin buggy at a time when children were quite rare on a Pride march. I felt proud of my rainbow family and of the LGBT comunity. There we were, showing off our love, our beautiful babies, entering proud and strong into the family arena that has been for centuries forbidden to us. We were slowly dismantling the exclusive hetero baby club!
After that we have been to a few Pride marches mainly in Valencia (Spain) where we usually join with the Lambda Families Group (Lambda is Valencia ‘s LGBT association). The kids really enjoyed the time when there was a children´s bus with balloons, clowns, conffetti and face painting, they were only 3 and they thought it was great craic. Other marches, when there was no bus and no pram they found the walking a little bit tiring. I recommend bringing scooters, bikes or skates along as well as a backpack with water and snacks. The kids were curious about what was written on the different banners and who the different groups were. A lot of learning about politics, social movements, LGBT activism has taken place on these Pride marches, as well as a little glimpse into LGBT nightlife…I personally think it is brilliant for children to be exposed to the diversity of people that come together on a Pride march, a mind widening experience for all ages.
The Pride march this year though, has been very powerful for me as it was the first pride where the kids were really aware of why Pride marches happen. A month before the march a bishop from Valencia had made a public attack on the “gay empire” (these were his actual words). Therefore, the Pride organisers decided to stand up to this with a bit of a joke using the popular Darth Vader image. As our kids love Star Wars they loved the idea of the rainbow T-Shirts with Darth Vader on it. Thay also understood what had happened with the bishop and the opression that his words represented. So they joined the march with all their powerful young energy shouting in spanish “injusticia! manifestacion!” (injustice!demonstrate!) while they raised their fists in the air as if they had been raised in the middle of heated street protests. It was both cute and moving. These kids are proud of who they are and who their two mums are. They were also joined by an adopted friend of theirs from Mali. The new generation. Diverse, open and free. Bring it on!