The World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i contingent in the 2015 Pride Parade wasn’t our biggest ever, and our decorations weren’t as “over the top” as some, but we got a tremendous response from the crowd lining Kalakaua Blvd as we passed. As we approached we could see people reading our lead banner:
To the racists and women haters,
to the gay-bashers and welfare slashers,
to the prison builders and executioners,
we say: THE FUTURE IS NOT YOURS!
We’ve carried this banner in the Pride Parade for almost 25 years, and this year the response seemed greater than ever, possibly reflecting growing anger over these issues. Then when seeing our “World Can’t Wait” banner on the front of the truck, someone yelled “Thanks for everything you do!” and another said to her friend: “World Can’t Wait is in Honolulu too!”
As our pick-up went by we could hear some responding to our “Free Chelsea Manning” poster saying “Who’s Chelsea Manning?” Fortunately, we also heard people in the crowd holding impromptu teaching sessions on Chelsea’s case, and more than a few yelled “Yeah Chelsea” and “Free Chelsea.” Some seemed especially energized by the “Stop Patriarchy” stop sign and there were some enthusiastic shouts of “Fuck Patriarchy” and “Yeah…Patriarchy’s gotta go!” Sadly, we also heard a few asking “What’s Patriarchy?” After the parade ended a transgender woman thanked us for our signs reading “Stop Trans Discrimination,” saying “even in this parade, hardly anyone says anything about that. Three of my good friends committed suicide — they just couldn’t handle the discrimination.”
The Pride Parade is primarily a celebration – and this has been overwhelmingly so since the LGBT community has realized more legal rights. However, this has not eliminated bullying in the schools, and the suicide rate among LGBT teens has increased. Anti-gay laws are enforced with imprisonment and even death in some countries, and the right-wing fundamentalists are continuing their vicious attacks (as was evidenced by disgusting signs held at the end of the parade route by a pack of fascist christian fundamentalists).
The Pride Parade tends to be a single-issue event but we think it’s important that World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i is in the mix – speaking out against LGBT discrimination and linking that to other issues of discrimination and oppression. We were limited to what we could speak to by our numbers, and our contingent could have been much stronger if we’d had enough people to bring even more issues of oppression and discrimination into the mix. Nonetheless, we definitely had a presence!
Get in touch with the Hawai’i Chapter of World Can’t Wait.