I love a para-a-a-ade!
A group of soldiers appeared early on, with an anti-DADT banner. At least one seemed to be wearing a hood to conceal identity -- a sad necessity perhaps.
Another participant was our Congressman, Earl Blumenauer:
(Click pictures for bigger versions.)
My impression is that the majority of the watching crowd (who were highly supportive, waving and clapping with enthusiasm) weren't gay; there were plenty of male-female couples and swarms of children. No one showed any sign of discomfort at their kids watching the event or interacting with the marchers. The "gay = anti-family" meme clearly had no resonance.
Even dogs got into the spirit of the thing:
There were a lot of churches represented, with banners bearing "welcome all" messages -- so much for the recent timorousness of "Sojourners". Many major companies, local or with local branches, had contingents too. Wells Fargo had a stagecoach drawn by real horses (I'm not sure whether the horses were gay). The group that got the most applause, though, was Planned Parenthood.
The view down Davis Street was a sea of people:
And what's a parade without costumes?
I wasn't aware that SlutWalks had spread to Portland -- perhaps this was their local debut:
Not sure what the "Prepare for combat" thing was about. Maybe in case Fred Phelps showed up?
There was also the martially-impressive "Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers", of whom I unfortunately don't have a photo, though I got them on video.
In a sign of how far things have come since Stonewall, there was plenty of police participation, including the Multnomah County Sheriff's Department:
The police also provided abundant security -- I saw them shoo away a couple of cars that had somehow gotten onto the blocked- off streets, but no actual hostility or negativity from anyone.
A familiar-looking person standing just six feet from me turned out to be fellow Portland blogger Murr Brewster. I can hardly wait for her parade post, if she writes one.