Have you ever stopped to think how fortunate you are to live in a society like ours? Take a moment to think about it. We find reasons to celebrate together, despite being in a moment in history which could push us completely in the other direction, if we let it. I had the opportunity to participate in this year’s Come Out With Pride Orlando parade and I was amazed to see all of the people out there celebrating together.
I was hired to cover the event for a client who wanted commercial photos of the company’s float for promotional purposes, and my initial thought when I landed the job was “Great! More photos to add to my portfolio!” Much to my surprise, the experience enriched me so much more than a few extra photos in my portfolio. As the float roamed along the streets of downtown Orlando, I ran alongside it capturing the hyper-positive vibes that everyone diffused into the air.
Their excitement and joy was contagious! I soon found myself exuberant, with a huge smile plastered on my face reaching from cheek-to-cheek. At that moment, nothing else seemed to matter. We were in the moment- celebrating life, celebrating freedom, celebrating choice, celebrating comradery, celebrating love… celebrating people!
We forgot all of our fears. We didn’t think about the risk that unfortunately, in today’s world, comes with unhindered self-expression. We weren’t afraid or concerned. We left the past in the past, and let the future stay in the future. And we focused on each other, in the present, united by our confidence in who we are and what we stand for in life- regardless of our sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or sex. There were people of all walks of life, lgbt and non-lgbt individuals. We were people, celebrating people.