Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

MGLCC at Memphis St. Patrick's Parade

Participants in the 35th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Beale Street included the grand krewes of Carnival Memphis, the Tiger Blue Fire Crew, the Gallowglass Bagpipers, the Dead Elvis Society, and many other regulars.

The Beale Street Merchant's Association invited the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center to enter the parade this year for the first time. Since GLBT groups are prohibited from entering St. Patrick's Day Parades in other cities like New York City, the invitation was a big deal.

MGLCC entered as a walking group of about 20 people and carried a banner and rainbow flag. Having never attended this parade in the past, I was surprised to see such a large crowd lining the streets of Beale Street on either side. MGLCC's walking group was warmly received with only one "boo" reported from the crowd. The booing boor was chastised by other members of the crowd.

I am no stranger to marching in gay pride parades in Memphis, but this was a different experience. When people come to a gay pride parade they know to expect several GLBT groups and organizations in the procession. People who came to the St. Patrick's parade probably did not expect to see us yesterday. So I was pleased that MGLCC gained some welcomed visibility in the festivities. Maybe there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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