Friday, July 2, 2010


This beautiful location is a downtown Baton Rouge building of brick and glass made even more beautiful by the bright sunshine and hundreds of people inside. It's also the location of my Saturday scoot adventure.

People of all ages, colors and sizes were there, from the little ones with their painted, giggling faces to older couples finding a quiet spot on a remote bench to talk. Faces would light up when friends saw each other across the venue. Lots of hugs and smiles were exchanged, the room was vibrating with energy.

It was like being at a family reunion -- if you could choose your family.

Welcome to my first PRIDE event. Made possible by my TravelScoot and the dedicated folks at Baton Rouge PrideFest.

One of the highlights of my day, I made sure I was there in time to hear the New Orleans Gay Mens Chorus.
Being on my TravelScoot gave me the best seat in the house -- the one near an air conditioner vent!

The pianist made me reminisce about Kerry, my best friend from high school, who I hadn't seen in years.
Fifteen seconds later I heard him calling my name! :-)

Almost as soon as I arrived a couple
stopped me to quiz me about my scoot.
They were funny because one of the women
thought her partner was asking about
it for her, but instead she was inquiring
for her mother.

A couple of hours later another
couple came up to me and asked about it
too. They were also asking for one of
their mothers, who likes going places,
but just can't walk very far.

Later on a friend (waves to Rachel) with
an injury questioned me too. She was
jealous of how easily I was zipping around!

Beep! Beep!

I don't think this little girl's feet stopped moving all day. She was delightful to watch.

This pretty girl is my younger sister Rae, and the reason I'm here today. I'm not normally allowed to "out" her, but since she was performing at Pride, I think she'll be okay with me doing it, just this once.

Rae is my person. I don't even have any memories before she was born except being 3 years old and arguing with my brother Sam about whether the baby was going to be a girl or a boy. I won.

I'm really proud of her for singing her heart out for the crowd today, but I'm even prouder of what it took her to get to where she is now. Gays and lesbians face a lot of adversity, probably the hardest of it is coming out to the people who are supposed to love them the most. I'd like to say our family took it in stride and just kept going, but it took us awhile to get to that point.

That was 30 years ago. My hopes are that it's easier for gay and lesbian teenagers today, but judging from the reactions I got from some people over just attending a Pride event makes me wonder. It wasn't anything overt, just some dead air and a deer in the headlights look.

PrideFest was a family event, with entertainment for the kids (of all ages), and an opportunity to open our minds and hearts to a group of people who face far too much adversity just to live their lives.

So take a look. This is what gay looks like. My hopes for my family and yours is that we accept the whole gay and lesbian community, not just our family members. ~~

Here's Rae with Daphne MuShatt, singing their hearts out. And not only
can Daph sing, she was also the very first instructor for the
Women of Size fitness classes in Baton Rouge. She's a woman
accustomed to blazing trails!

Stephanie, Rae, and Daphne

And finally, one picture of me to prove I was actually there! This one was taken right after the performance was over, and I had just (accidentally!) run into Daphne's foot. I don't think she ever did get to finish that cupcake.
That's Laurie with me and Daph. You might remember her from the Women of Size Scooter Party.


  1. Elizabeth, this is a really lovely story! What a beautiful group of people!!

    Thanks for sharing your fabulous pictures!!


  2. Thanks, Sandie! It's so good to "see" you!

  3. Nice story. I am glad you are like me: I value family. I also don't believe other people's sexuality is my business so don't approve of people disapproving of others. Good stuff!!!!!