— テレビタミン/KKTニュース (@kkt_televitamin) November 12, 2016
As the end of the parade passed my post I was able to join in with the last group. As we entered the covered shopping arcades the music would be paused from time to time to allow one of the volunteers to explain who we are and why we were parading. The lineup of this group of brightly colored individuals seemed to garner a few quizzical looks, but mostly it seemed the response on the street was one of positivity. Admittedly I toned down my outfit for Kumamoto – less shiny gold hot pants and sequins, more fully clothed but nonetheless rainbow coat and scarf – to avoid too much shock value for the inaugural parade.
We walked for about an hour before gathering at another park north of the parade path. We took several group photos to commemorate the day, some for use within the group and some that were safe for use in the media. I had forgotten amid the celebration that while we were cheering and showing the world who we are, there are still some for whom it isn’t safe to come out. Though it was a brief jaunt through town I hope the Kumamoto Rainbow Parade will be a step in the right direction for us all.
The festivities continued into a few parties that night. They were terribly good fun, but what I will cherish the most is the memory of meeting wonderful new people and sharing this historic event with people that I love. I hope that the Kumamoto Rainbow Parade will continue next year and grow into the amazing event I know it can be. I think there’s a bright future for Kumamoto, you can definitely see a rainbow on the horizon.