HATE IS NOT A FAMILY
10 June 2002
An otherwise lovely afternoon was marred by an unfortunate ending.
Today was Davis' Gay Pride celebration, always a
joyous occasion. The gay community is strongly supported in this town, evidenced by the
rainbow flag flying from the tall flagpole over the community park where the event was
held, and the proclamations read by the mayor, a county supervisor, and a state
assemblywoman. It was also announced that the County Board of Supervisors had declared
June as Gay Pride month in Yolo county.
The theme of this year's event was gay families, and support for gay families.
The park was decorated with posters containing photos of Davis gay families. Many
gay couples (and gay single parents) came out, bringing their children with them for a day
of fun in the sun.
A photographer was on hand to take free portraits of parents and their kids, there
was an area set aside for kids to do craft projects, play with bubble soap, go fishing for
prizes, or to have their faces painted. Parents sat with their kids to listen
to music, enjoy a picnic lunch, and talk with friends.
In the middle of the afternoon there was a water balloon toss. The
park carousel was going all afternoon. Parents took their kids to play in the nearby
playground. Taiko drummers came to perform and spent time teaching the kids how to
play the Taiko drums.
Local merchants had overwhelmingly supported the event by donating hundreds of dollars
worth of door prizes. I helped work the prize table and we gave away something like 130
different dinners, theatre tickets, certificates for massage, for music, for books, etc.,
Many different musical artists performed (last year Steve performed at this
event), and since the prize table was positioned right next to the stage, we had a great
view of everything, including the chance to take close up pictures of the little kids in
My friends Sam and Coco, from Breaking Barriers, set up a fantastic picnic
and fixed up a plate of food for me to eat (and later delivered some watermelon for me to
the prize table).
All in all, it was a wonderful day of friendship, camaraderie, entertainment, and joy.
Until the teenagers showed up.
The teens who threw glass bottles containing some sort of smelling substance. The
bottles broke and spread glass all over the place.
When a security guard asked them to stop and pointed out that there were little kids who
could get hurt, the kids said, "We don't care; we hate gays." What in the world
was so threatening to these adolescents about a family picnic that they had to callously put the health of small children in jeopardy?
I will never understand hate. Or bigotry.