Thinking today about our first large-scale festival, last summer. I stood amongst a crowd, under the tent of our vending booth, filled with a sense of purpose and ease, which is an odd feeling for me while being surrounded by so much action. People were cheering as a mass of individuals, linked arm in arm, came gallivanting down the alley, encircling the single float in the parade. On top we could see a man, enveloped in gold and jewels, a crown upon his head. People shared kisses, held hands, and waved, and in an instant, my family had been individually painted with rainbow tattoos. Our teenage son, wore his proudest,his young, open-mind possibly the most accepting of us all. But what I still remember most vividly, was the energy that engulfed me, physically, even before the people moved past us, energy that filled my every pore until it spilled out of my eyes in the form of tears. I could feel their pride and their freedom, their sense of safety in our company. I felt so much empathy towards all of those jubilant people, who continue to overcome such adversity, and I admired their strength. Later, when Wildflower asked why “those people covered us in rainbows”, we told her that it was a celebration of love, to remind us that love is made for everyone regardless of whether the lovers are boys or girls or or or. My words were carefully chosen, in order to be clear in what I meant, while still delivering an age-appropriate response. Her reaction was so simplistic; in fact, I think it fell somewhere along the lines of “uh, yeah, of course!” It pleases me to think that is what she remembers from the event, not the powerful images of men dressed in flamboyant dresses and swimsuits, not the women kissing, or the man with the tiara. These things don’t phase our children if they don’t phase us. To her, there is no need for the lesson of acceptance, just stories of rainbows carrying the message of love.