I’m an Angeleno these days–and a loud Dodgers fan at that–but this summer, I’m taking an extended staycation in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Saturday, June 22 was Knoxville’s Pride…and my hometown done did me proud, y’all! It was impossible not to get emotional over seeing how much people have grown and changed since I last lived here, over a decade ago.
Knoxville’s Pride parade had a record attendance of roughly 6,000 people, over double 2018’s turnout, which was the previous record. The subsequent fairground festivities took place at Mary Costa Plaza, named after the singer and actress who voiced Princess Aurora in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. She’s a celebrated native of the area.
I’ll let these pics mostly speak for themselves. Among the highlights of Knoxville’s Pride: lots of hotties, cute dogs, irresistible full-fat Southern eats, a family-fun aisle for face-painting and body glitter, an adults-only booth, and Jack Daniels in rainbow cups.
The pièce de résistance was the float in the likeness of our most famous Smoky Mountain hometown girl: the incomparable icon and ally, Dolly Parton.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this.
I’m sharing this one to illustrate that not even these two bozos could dampen the joy at Knox Pride. These were the two (2 in total) inevitable protestors I encountered in a very full day, yelling on a megaphone about how gay stuff and gaysex isn’t religulous enough or whatever. A big rainbow mob surrounded them and chanted “God loves everybody.” The two dudes were so blindsided and outnumbered I almost felt bad for them. I wish them no ill will.
Me being me– a shy, timid, delicate and meek introvert– I enthusiastically, cheerfully yelled “God loves the tops! And the bottoms! And even the verses!” as I walked past them, and that was that.
Y’all means all. Here’s to an even bigger 2020, Knoxville. Happy Pride! Just be you!