PFLAG Crystal Lake 4th of July Parade Entry Gets Chicago Newspaper Notice

As I read the Chicago papers early this week, I didn’t see any reference to the McHenry County Peace Group’s exclusion from Crystal Lake’s 4th of July Parade.

But it turns out that the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays participation in the Crystal Lake Gala Committee’s parade did merit a story, albeit in a homosexual and lesbian publication.

The Windy City Times published an article, complete with photos and links to even more.

The article was even by Tracy Baim—publisher of the Windy City Times.
It says that the march was inspired by last July 16th’s Gay Games Rowing Regatta.

A woman identified as a Catholic mother from Harvard, “who has a lesbian daughter (who lives in Oregon) and a gay and lesbian niece and nephew,” came up with the idea, “inspired by the visibility in the region caused by the Gay Games controversy,” the article says.

The woman, the article says, is driving the car in front of those walking.

Just as at the Gay Games, a Crystal Lake Police presence was noticeable, although I admit to not noticing it until after I looked at the pictures for this story.

While local police rode all sorts of conveyances at the Gay Games Regatta, here they were represented by a policeman on a bicycle.

There was a sign saying, “Come Walk with Us.” The Windy City Times says 15 joined the original 28 marchers.

One woman with a dog waved at me, but my photo of the dog is not nearly as good as the one at the Windy City Times web site.

In the same photograph can be seen a person carrying a sign saying, “We’re a PFLAG Family.”

I asked the woman holding the web site sign for the group to hold it up toward me so I could get a better picture. As you can see, she obliged.

After a little break in the flow, there next was a couple with multi- colored balloons. And another person pulling a little red wagon with balloons attached.

At the back of the group was a rainbow flag being carried, the article says, by her son, holding up one end and her daughter holding up the other end with one hand and her girlfriend’s hand with the other.

The article points out that the contingent was near the end of the parade.

It does not reveal that PFLAG was in front of a Living Waters Lutheran Church float.

And, lest you think PFLAG was at the very end of the parade, here’s what came after it:

  • Living Waters Living Church,
  • TLS Massage, Ltd.,
  • Immanuel Lutheran Church’s marchers (featuring “Old Time Religion at the Pointe” and its elementary school),
  • South Shore Drill of Chicago,
  • American Taxi, and
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran Church’s My Father’s Way Pre-School,

By the way, the two teens leading the Living Waters Lutheran Church contingent were not holding hands.

And, although the back of the church float did have multi-hued bunting, it was in red, white and blue.

One final observation.

The McHenry County Democratic Party Central Committee decided to boycott the parade because the McHenry County Peace Group had been banned for carrying some sign that the Gala Parade Committee decided broke its rules last year.

That, of course, did not mean that Democrats were not in the parade. I found a picture of a car with the license plate PFLAG 1 on the Windy City Times gallery of photos from this year’s parade. Its bumper stickers reminded me of those that were on the car most prominently parked in a handicapped parking space at the Main Beach the day of the Gay Games Regatta last year. John Kerry bumper stickers below their license plates.

It may be the same car with a different license plate and with some new bumper stickers. I wonder if last year’s had an “I (heart) Womyn” bumper sticker, as this year’s did.

All photographs can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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