True story:

Saturday was Louisville Pride Festival on Bardstown Road.

Louisville Gay Men’s Chorus opened the musical side of the festival with the Star Spangled Banner and other opening songs, and VOICES of Kentuckiana sang right afterwards, so I was there in the back row trying to sing newish-to-me music after having been out on sick leave for a couple of seasons, although I have sung “Make Them Hear You” before.

Because our director had begged us and one of the other chorus members had been emailing us and because I felt responsible to take part in what I’m part of, I had volunteered to “help with the High Heel Race.” In my case, this turned out to involve walking up and down the many blocks of the festival in the 87 degree sunny weather holding a large sign that said “HIGH” along with someone else with a sign that said “HEEL” to encourage festival-goers to be spectators. I don’t know how effective we were, but what seemed like a lot of people did watch the race.

On one of the corners, a preacher was standing on a chair or stool, with a bullhorn, and two large signs. One read “JESUS SAVES” and another read “REPENT OR BURN IN HELL.” He preached non-stop, but I only caught a few phrases; I had the general impression of language I know from church. No doubt some of the festival-goers understood this language as well.

I do not know what he would have done if anyone had gone up to him to have a conversation. I did not see that happen.

Some people were standing around him with other signs; some seemed to have the name of the preacher and some contact information; another read, I think, “Jesus loves everyone.” It might not have been those exact words.

Directly in front of the preacher, across the street, was a booth for Central Presbyterian Church, which is a More Light PC(USA) church near downtown. Behind the preacher were other church booths: Third Lutheran; Highland Baptist; St. Andrew’s United Church of Christ; Metropolitan Community Church, maybe a couple of others. The big open-to-LGBT-folk churches in town.

The church world is small. I stopped to see if people I know from those churches were there, and talked to a few people. The booths were pretty well-staffed. I don’t know how many non-church people stopped to talk. When I was there I did not see that happen.

Walking up and down the street, two different people came up to me and talked to me and gave me stickers to wear.

Both of them were very enthusiastic young people, campaigning for candidates for public office.

portion of rainbow flag fluttering against blue sky