Subject: Andys Story: The Search for Meaning -8 The Gay Pride Parade which would be marching through downtown Atlanta was all part of Gay Pride month which normally takes place during the month of October.The parade was scheduled to start around 11:00 in the morning eventually ending up in Piedmont Park around 3:00 in the afternoon which was about a four mile march from the parades point of origin. There was a Gay Pride Arts and Craft festival going on in Piedmont Park on the day of the parade which was very popular and was always well attended. I left the apartment early that morning so that I would be able to get a good place to watch the parade as it passed by. Since I didn’t have my own bicycle I rented a bicycle at one of these bicycle and electric scooter stands that can be found all over the city of Atlanta at just about every corner and block. Already the sidewalks on both sides of the street were becoming crowded with pedestrians who were there to watch the parade. Multi- color flags and banners had been strung up all over Atlanta to recognize gay pride month. I had been hoping that either my father or Matt would be with me to watch the parade as but that wasn’t going to happen this year. My father was in Savannah on a one of his very frequent business trips and Matt was at Georgia Tech taking his midterm exams which left me on my own. I was 14 and had been taking care of myself over the last year or so when my father and Matt weren’t around so this was nothing unusual for me. Nana still came to the apartment every day to take care of the housework and cooking so over the last two years nothing changed as far as Nana was concerned. When Nana, Matt and my father weren’t around I took care of myself. Both Matt and my father trusted me which made me feel good being a teenager who was trustworthy in their eyes. That morning I decided to get as close to Piedmont Park as I possibly could so that I could attend the the Gay Pride Arts and crafts festival later on that afternoon and probably into the evening. At those festivals there was a lot that one could do from sampling food at the numerous food from all over the world at the numerous food stands to watching live bands and dance performances that usually took place at these festivals. The Arts and Crafts festival at Piedmont Park stayed open until midnight so I had plenty of time to look around, explore, visit some of the exhibits and sample food. I money to burn so I would be pretty well off that evening. After dark there would be a fireworks display that I was looking forwards to watching. Firework displays in Piedmont Park was always well attended and very popular. So basically I had my night all planned out. Since no one would be home that evening I was in no hurry to get back to the apartment since there was so much I could do. As I was walking my bicycle slowly through the crowd that was beginning to build up along the sidewalks lining Piedmont Avenue I saw a young boy standing besides his bicycle. He was the cutest boy that I had ever seen and my heart actually did a flip flop deep within my şişli travesti chest as I was looking him over. Curly reddish brown hair covered the of his head framing his smooth almost cherubic face. He had a snub nose that had a few freckles crossing the bridge of his nose which I have always found attractive in young boys his age. His moist ruby red lips looked more then sensuous. To me they looked almost inviting. He was dressed in a white tank top T-shirt and blue knee shorts. He stood about 4′ 10″ with an almost perfect boyish physique. Even though I was 14 years old I found this youngster who was much younger then me extremely attractive. In my eyes he was beautiful, someone who I would definitely enjoy having a relationship with sometimes in the not to distant future. I had no boyfriend of my own at school because at school mainly because being gay I kept to myself mainly staying in the closet. I already had one bad experience with two older boys back when I was 10 years old which was the main reason why I didn’t want my sexual orientation be known. After that incident I didn’t want my peers or any of my teachers in school to know that I was gay. This boy who had caught my eye had his rented bicycle leaning up against a lamppost. Apparently this was the spot that he wanted to be at when the parade passed by. What surprised me the most about this young boy was that he was here by himself. There were no adults or any other teenagers or boys with him. So the question that I had in my mind was why was this boy who couldn’t have been more then 9 or 10 years old even here, unless of course he was like me, gay also? That could have been a very good possibility because back when I was his age I already knew that I was gay. Cautiously I walked my bicycle towards him. I wasn’t all that sure how I should to go about introducing myself to him. I didn’t want him to think that I was trying to pick him up or something like that. I wanted him for a friend, nothing more nothing less. He looked over in my direction. And for a few brief moments our eyes connected. He had the most gorgeous emerald green eyes that I had ever seen. Already I was falling in love with him and we hadn’t even met yet. When he saw me staring at him he smiled, a smile that could have melted an iceberg. That smile was the one invitation that I needed to try and get to know him. “Hey there.” I said stopping my bicycle besides him. “Hey.” He answered shyly in a sweet unchanged voice. “You here to watch the parade?” I asked. “Uh huh, what about you?” “Yep, you know they have these parades on once a year.” “During Gay Pride month, which in Atlanta is in October right?” He asked. I nodded. “That’s right. My father likes to attend these parades. Usually I would attend the parade with him but he’s not here right now. He’s on a business trip in Savannah and won’t be back for a couple of days. Is this your first time attending one of these parades?” The boy nodded. “Wasn’t really doing anything else today. I heard about this parade on the radio so I thought I would beylikdüzü travesti go ahead and check it out.” I wanted to ask right then and there if he thought that he might be gay, but I decided not venture into that direction, not yet at least. Deep down inside I hoped that he would bring that subject up. “What’s your name?” I asked. “Kevin Harris, what’s your name?” “Andrew, Andrew St. Monk but I like to be called Andy.” “You have a British accent, you from England?” “No, I never been there but that’s where my mum and father are from.” I answered. “Are you gay?” He then asked popping the question that I wanted to ask him. I wasn’t sure whether I should tell him the truth about myself or not. Since we just met and were now talking for the first time with each other I was afraid that I might turn him off to me by outright admitting to him that I was gay. Noticing my hesitation about all this he said, “I don’t care if your gay or not. I’m think I’m gay so to me it’s no big deal if your gay or not.” When he admitted to me that he was gay that changed everything for the better as far as I was concerned. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. “Yes, I’m gay.” I admitted taking deep breath of relief. By now the sun was above the city skyline and it was beginning to get a little hot outside, hot in more ways then one, I thought. “How old are you?” He asked. “Fourteen, what about you?” “I’m ten, but I’ll be eleven in three months, December 21st to be exact.” “And your parents, they don’t mind you coming to downtown Atlanta by yourself.” “They don’t mind. I’m pretty responsible and they trust me.” Kevin replied. As we were talking we heard the sirens. Looking up Peachtree Street we could see several policemen on motorcycles with flashing lights and sirens blaring slowly down the street towards us. The parade was about to pass by. “Well here comes the parade.” I said with excitement in my voice. All along the sidewalks on both sides of the street pedestrians started cheering and waving the flags that they were carrying. At a very slow pace the parade passed by us. Six of the leading twelve police motorcycles had the multicolored Gay pride flags attached to the back of their seats. Behind the police escort were the marchers, Black, White, Native American, Hispanic they were all there thousands of them, waving flags, carrying banners dancing and singing. They were all in union with each other because they were all proud to be gay. Cheers and laughter erupted from both the bystanders watching the parade and marchers themselves. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Passing us by the marchers danced, and twirled, waving flags and banners both male, female and transgenders. Many of the male marchers we’re shirtless. They were waving their T-shirts in circular motions above their heads and they were waving them with pride. But that was what this parade was all about, Gay Pride. Some of the males wore jockstraps and nothing else trying to show off as much skin as they possibly could without istanbul travesti getting arrested. They were carrying everything from balloons, huge feathers and fans to banners and flags. All in all the parade that was passing us by was very erotic and arousing in it’s own way. Several marching bands followed. In between the marching bands were floats beautiful colorful floats some covered with balloons and ribbons. Antique cars with the multicolored flags flying from open windows passed by that intermingled with the floats. And of course there were the dancers, many who were transgender waving umbrellas and flags with huge smiles on their faces. Some of the dancers marched in rhythm to the beat of bongos and drums that who were musicians who were marching with them played. There were the acrobats and the clowns that added life to this parade. But what surprised me most of all were the many kids that were marching proudly in the parade either with parents or by themselves. They were definitely making a political statement for the Gay rights advocates young or old who lived in the Atlanta and the surrounding communities. The energy from the marchers was great and people were definitely having a good time. It was if the whole LBGTQ community had turned out just to be in this parade and represent who they are despite the public criticism. While the parade was passing by I was able to know Kevin a lot better. He asked me where I lived, and I told him not all that far from here, in an apartment right off of 10th Street. He told me that he lived in a small apartment complex just off of Ponce De Leon near the Atlanta Transitional Center about a mile away or so. He also told me that he had a little brother named Gary who was only 8 years old. “He could be a real pest sometimes.” He smiled. “I wished I had a little brother, I’m a single child.” I admitted. “Who knows, maybe I can be your little brother that you want being that you’re four years older then I am.” Kevin said. The statement that he just made right then and there sort of melted my heart. I could already feel a connection between us. I wanted to hug him right then and there. “I would like that very much.” I said, with tears welling up in my eyes. Near the end of the parade we noticed several shirtless kids, several our age riding bicycles and scooters zigzagging in and out between the marchers. “Hey, you want to join them?” Kevin suggested. He had already pulled off his shirt and was bare chested. Getting onto his bicycle he started waving his T-shirt in the air. Sure, why not. Let’s do it.” I said excitedly. I went ahead and joined him. With a hoot and holler we took off on our bicycles to follow the parade as it marched it’s way down towards Piedmont Park. Within an hour and a half Kevin and I had become best of friends. This was my dream, to have a close friendship and relationship with a gay boy who was younger then me and it looked like that dream was about to materialize. In my eyes being an only child, Kevin was the little brother that I had never had. And what made this so sweet to me was the fact that he was the Kevin was the one who actually brought this up and started this friendship going. A friendship that would last only two brief years. I could not wait to get to know him even better in the weeks that would follow….