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Last year I attended my first Pride parade and festival in Syracuse. I had joined our local chapter of the Free Mom Hugs organization because their mission is important to me. I walked in the parade with the other moms (and a couple of dads) and gave out hugs all along the route. It was such an incredible feeling to be able to give some love to folks who may not get that from their own families.

This year I was back to do it all again. I gave out more Free Mom Hugs, and each of them was important. The weather was much better this year, about twenty degrees cooler than last year’s oppressive ninety-plus degree heat. And I again got to do some people-watching (one of my favorite activities) and see some good entertainment.

But this year my Free Mom Hugs t-shirt was pink, purple, and blue because it was my first Pride as an out bisexual woman. I even dyed my hair purple to celebrate. Last year I participated as an ally who was starting to question things about her life, and this year I got to be a part of the Syracuse queer community, and I absolutely felt like I had found my tribe.

I was having so much fun giving out hugs and exploring the festival that I kind of forgot to take pictures? If you know me you are probably asking yourself if someone had forcibly removed my phone from my hand, because I take pictures of everything. But it was nice to just live in the moment for a change. Here are a few of the pics I did manage to get…

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