prideflag.jpgCaleb and I were rounding the corner onto 14th street when we saw a group of revelers waving rainbow flags, headed for the Gay Pride parade on 6th avenue.

“Dat’s cool flags,” said Caleb. “Dey celebratin’ dere country, I think.”

I remember my first Pride parade, almost twenty years ago, watching as the marchers went past the Washington Square Arch. My brother – who had just come out – walked with Tom Duane, now a New York Senator, but back then only a city councilman. My brother marched; I cried. He looked so happy – and, yes, proud – to be “celebratin’ dere country.” 

Unfortunately, of course, Caleb is only almost right, as Frank Rich details in his Op-Ed piece today. “Dere country” is not “our country” because gays and lesbians are still second-class citizens. Those flags symbolize only the promise of unity, not unity itself.

Given the recent spate of hiking trips taken by members of the conservative right (who knew these guys were such an outdoorsy bunch), I wonder how much longer the whole “sanctity of (heterosexual) marriage” argument is going to last. Seriously? If gays and lesbians want to get married so that they, too, can get bored and go on separate hiking trips in Appalachia – where’s the harm in that?

I know Obama’s only been in office for five months and he inherited a plate full of crap, blah blah blah, but wouldn’t it be great if he could usher in the summer with some dramatic statement that would help make those rainbow flags a reality?

I mean, they really are cool flags. Let’s not let them go to waste.