I went with a group of people, and we spent most of our time trying to keep together, searching for one another, signaling to one another where we were, sending up flares.
I went with my to-be husband. We got bored, grabbed dinner at a route-adjacent restaurant, and went home.
I went with friends and the to-be husband, had a panic attack, and vowed I'd never go again.
I made that vow, which was half-assed, five years ago. But whatever. I'll be going alone this Pride.
Alone, because my now-husband will be working. Alone, because it really cuts down on my social anxiety--I don't feel the need to keep track of anyone, and I don't panic when I get lost in the crowd.
Alone, because there is no way I'd miss this particular parade. It's only been a year since Obergfell v. Hodges, and it's only been three years since US v. Windsor. And less than two weeks since the Pulse slaughter.
I know the parade will be loud and crowded. It will also be a nice time for me--alone--to take a moment for myself. Odd, I know, in that it should be a time to be among friends, and one with a community, but this year? This year it just seems right to be there alone, and consider everything it means to be gay in the US, and appreciate the LBQT, and remember less than a decade ago my now-husband and I were worthless in the eyes of the law.
Maybe I'll take the dog.