20 June 2006


Gay Pride 2006

June is Gay Pride Month in the USA. Well, not some kind of official U.S. Federal Government recognized Gay Pride Month, but lots of little municipal Gay Pride Months and Gay Pride Weeks and Gay Pride Days, etc., throughout the USA.

I've missed most of it.

Orlando was doing the big commercial Gay Days celebration when Mack and I were in D.C. Then, D.C. was just starting their Gay Pride Week the weekend we were there. Then I missed Atlanta's when I was through there briefly. The big ones, New York City and San Francisco, are this coming weekend.

It's also international: Sao Paulo, Brazil, saw something like 2.5 million revelers last weekend.

So, why Gay Pride? How can one be "proud" of one's sexual orientation. Well, it's a little like being proud you're alive: it's not like you asked anyone to bring you into existence, but here you are, and life and other people and the universe keep subtly -- and not so subtly -- telling you you're transient, here today gone tomorrow. Rather than tuck tail and run, one response is to stand up to life and other people and the universe and say, "Hey, I'm here." Or, as Mr. Bruce Springsteen put it, "It ain't no sin to be proud you're alive."

Gay Pride is like that, but cranked up one or two orders of magnitude. The messages from life and the universe are pretty much the same, but the messages from other people -- I'm talking generically here and in the context of politics and religion as they are in the whole, not friends and family who try really hard to and actually do accept us pretty much as we are (well, as long as we don't smooch in front of them) -- well, those messages from other people are pretty much along the lines of "you don't have any right to be here, we don't like you, you people can't get married like us, you're disgusting, we hate you, why don't you just die... of AIDS."

So, we stand and say, "screw you, we're not folding, we're not tucking tail and running." We even say we're proud of who we are. We're proud of being gay. There's really nothing wrong with it. So, first, we're not ashamed, and second, we're proud.

Now you -- again, generic you -- get to deal with it.

One last thing: Those drag queens and dykes on bykes and leathermen and Radical Farries and the like: They're just being who they are, and who they are is just as normal as me or you or anyone else on this planet. Normal in that they have feeling and cares and loves. Their hearts ache and break just like yours and mine. Don't take away their humanity by dismissing them or treating them as something to be ashamed of, because you take away your own humanity in the process. You may not get it -- I often don't get it -- but that doesn't mean that any of us should be moved into the subhuman category (and if you'll check twice that's really what dismissing them as distracting from the argument ultimately seems to be about).

If we're serious about empowering people to be who they are, then when it comes to Gay Pride, we get the whole kit and kaboodle.

Happy Gay Pride Month.


Im a representative of here! tv, Americas first gay television network.
I loved your blog, and wish to invite you to check out our Pride 2006 photo blog at heretv.com/pride06.

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