Out Of The Closet And Into The Streets!

It was a beautiful rainbow filled occasion in Providence, Rhode Island and we were proud to be a part of what was both a poignant and unifying event, with the young, old and everyone in between showing their PRIDE. There were no boundaries.

PVD Equality March - City Hall - Rhode Island
PVD Equality March - City Hall - Rhode Island

For over a decade Laurie and I have shown our true colors and constantly fight for equal rights and now, more than ever, we knew we wanted to be a part of the Equality March to show our solidarity with those marching in DC. We were so glad we joined the PVD Equality March for Unity and Pride and organizers Joe Di Mauro, Joe Wilson Jr and Tim Rondeau did a terrific job bringing it all together.

Tim Rondeau
Tim Rondeau

As soon as we mentioned that we were attending our youngest son, Leo (16), wanted to join us without any prompting, which was so wonderful. Then seeing him put hours of work into making his sign and proudly holding it high during the march, was very emotive for us.

PVD Equality March for Unity and Pride Supporters - Caroline and Laurie Hart, Top Left, Leo Bottom Right
PVD Equality March for Unity and Pride Supporters - Caroline and Laurie Hart, Top Left, Leo Bottom Right

The crowd gathered at the foot of the Rhode Island State House, it was a marvelous sight of extremes, seeing young children using their rainbow flags as capes running up and down the steps to the elderly, proving superheroe’s come be all ages. All wanting to share in this unifying moment. We heard from some great speakers who reflected on the Pulse Night Club massacre, honoring those who lost their lives along with the loss of life in the transgender community, heads were bowed and silence swept the crowd. But the overwhelming sense was that of unification, of being part of a community that is still strong and who will keep fighting and who will not go back in the closet.

Our Rainbow Superhero’s
Our Rainbow Superhero’s

After the speeches were made the gathered crowd marched behind the enormous rainbow flag, it felt empowering as we chanted our way through the streets, cars tooting, people stopping to clap and take videoclips. We arrived at the foot of Rhode Island City Hall, with the rainbow flag taking up the entire width of the steps where both the Mayor, Jorge Elorza, and Governor, Gina Raimondo, of Rhode Island gave impassioned speeches. The crowd cheered as Governor Raimondo, with her young son by her side, officially proclaimed “the entire month of June is PRIDE month here in the state of Rhode Island.”

RI Mayor, Jorge Elorza - RI Governor, Gina Raimondo and son
RI Mayor, Jorge Elorza - RI Governor, Gina Raimondo and son

Laurie explains “As I sat the night before the march, coloring in the words “Not Special Rights Human Rights” on the banner my wife and I had made, emotions ran through my blood as the word HUMAN kept haunting me. A word so small, yet so powerful! As we marched through the streets of Providence, RI with others for the LGBTQ community, all I could see were HUMANS, protesting the right to resist, resist all those who think they have the right to discriminate. As the chants grew louder “Out Of The Closet And Into The Streets” my heart beat faster, a sense of PRIDE filled me and right then and there I knew I will never stop advocating for myself and the group of people I’m PROUD to call my family!”

Marching - Leo, Caroline and Laurie Hart
Marching - Leo, Caroline and Laurie Hart

The sense of family and acceptance is so important, Pride is important and hearing these words from Leo was inspiring to me. “I wanted to go to the march to show my unconditional support for my mom’s. I also wanted to show support for my friends who belong to the LGBTQ community. Now having done the march, I feel as though I belong to a much larger, more loving community than I thought possible.”

We may be bombarded by news of an anti-LGBTQ administration but we have incredible rainbow clad superhero’s fighting for equality, human rights and inclusion on our side. Freedom and justice will win the day, I bet my rainbow filled heart on it!

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