Transgender and Proud Forever!

For Atlanta Pride, Saturday, October 10, and Sunday, October 11, the transgender and gender-queer people from Georgia and all over the southeast made their presence known. For the third year, Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth (TILTT) hosted a booth in Piedmont Park. For the second year, TILTT also took part in the Pride parade.

Setting up the booth with my sisters and brothers at Piedmont Park, October 10, 2015.

Setting up the booth with my sisters and brothers at Piedmont Park, October 10, 2015.

Everyone in TILTT, transgender women and men, plus supportive family members, contributed to setting up the booth around 8:30 am Saturday morning. Though the day started off overcast and drizzly we presented positive, successful faces of transgender. To honor the Divine Feminine, I played my drums beside Lake Clara Meer. A positive energy filled me with each drumbeat, building my strength and confidence for what was to be a busy weekend.

The next day, Sunday morning, around 8 am, we began decorating a U-Haul pickup and trailer to use as our float. We taped together disposable tablecloths in light blue, pastel pink, and white to drape out the U-Haul in colors of the Transgender Pride Flag.

Draping Transgender Pride colors onto the U-Haul pickup and trailer, October 11, 2015.

Draping Transgender Pride colors onto the U-Haul pickup and trailer, October 11, 2015.

After decorating our float, we gingerly drove it towards the corner of West Peachtree and Ivan Allen, where we lined up to await the start of the parade.

Camp Drag performers at Pride 2015.  They turned down my offer to help them become girls full-time!?

Camp Drag performers at Pride 2015. They turned down my offer to help them become girls full-time!?

Over the next few hours, other affinity groups in the parade fell in and well-wishers mingled among the resplendent diversity on display.

With Lynne, a dear sister.

With Lynne, a dear sister.

With Raquel, an activist for #BlackLivesMatter

With Raquel, an activist for #BlackLivesMatter

The wait for the start of the parade did not seem long, for I found so many lovely people with whom to acquaint myself. I reserved most intense of my affections for my sisters, buxom Roxanne and elegant Lynne, with TILTT, plus sultry Raquel, marching with another group.

Roxanne, Queen of TILLT, holding court!

Roxanne, Queen of TILLT, holding court!

I met other affinity groups, with Atlanta Angel Action making the greatest impression on me. Later in the day, towards the end of the march, Angel Action was to make the most profound and eloquent statement for GLBT acceptance I have witnessed in years.

Atlanta Angel Action with their facilitator, Meredith, guiding preparations.

Atlanta Angel Action with their facilitator, Meredith, guiding preparations.

Around 2 pm, our section of the march moved forth in the procession. I started from the truck bed of our float. Then, as we turned the corner at Peachtree Street, I could not contain my longing to connect up close and personal with the crowds lining the street.

In truck bed of the float after starting in the parade.

In truck bed of the float after starting in the parade.

Roxanne, our “Queen”, remained poised upon the cab of the float, drawing admiration from afar. By contrast, I hugged and shook hands with as many of the spectators along the street, being dressed in my humble medical scrubs.

The trailer of the TILTT float during the parade with Atlanta Angel Action following.

The trailer of the TILTT float during the parade with Atlanta Angel Action following.

There were many more transgender participants and spectators at 2015 Pride than in previous years. A spirit of unconditional love and acceptance animated the city. The few right-wing extremists who preached anti-gay and transphobic hate were verbally treading water. When Angel Action marched to confront them, their cold, toxic message faded amidst the warmth of True Love.

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