Thursday, May 31, 2012


It's that time of year again!
Colorful flags hang from street signs.
People in bright outfits are everywhere,
some in furry, high-heeled boots,
others in speedos and fuzzy, white angel wings.
Everywhere you look you see some outrageous something
sure to boggle your mind and wow your senses.

No, I'm not talking about the circus.
I'm talking about PRIDE! 

I have mixed feelings about Pride.
On the one hand I LOVE celebrations.
I love getting excited and being proud about who I am.
I love being surrounded by community,
by people I have never met but with whom I have something in common.
I love mingling and making new friends
and basking in the contagious energy of it all.
I love being in a place where I don't have to worry about being gay
where I know I will be accepted and loved.
I love expressing myself.
And where better to do that than at Pride?
Where better to let your colors shine??

On the flip side, Pride kind of embarrasses me.
I don't feel like is does a super job of representing the gay community.
It's not something I would take my family to.
Sure I want them to support me and to love that part of me
and to be involved in my life.
But exposing them to the outrageous, extreme things that happen at Pride??
No thank you.
That would not help me bridge the family gap AT ALL.
We get pinned for being "sinners" and "unnatural" and "perverts"
and then we walk around the streets of our cities dressed like this:

or this...

or this...

or this...

Unnatural?  I don't see anything unnatural.  Do you???

Can't we tone it down a little and let the world know
that we are just PEOPLE?
We have jobs and drive cars and eat food and poop and breath oxygen
just like everybody else!

But then I remember.
This isn't our everyday.
Most people at pride are in jeans and t-shirts anyway.
We don't dress up and party like this any more than other people.
Saying that all gay people are always this extreme and in-your-face is like saying that all people who attend the 4th of July parade ALWAYS wear red, white, and blue, walk around in large groups blowing horns and throwing candy at small children, and hold strings attached to giant, floating balloons made to look like their favorite cartoon characters.
That's just silly.

Though I may not totally agree with all that happens at Pride,
it's a celebration!
Celebrating who we are and being able to accept and love ourselves
is worth a party if you ask me.

What do you guys think about Pride?
Love it?
Hate it?
Would you change something about it if you could??


  1. I have never been - always too scared or afraid to be seen publicly embracing who I am. But, this year's going to be different. This year I am a bit more proud of who I am and I am willing to let whomever is there see me in all of my bright pink glory (yes, I plan on wearing neon pink to the festival).

    But, like Jo, I am still a bit reticent. I wish there was more emphasis on showing the normal, day-to-day us. But, if they can't do that, I guess I'll just pony up and try and enjoy the view.

  2. I don't know what you're talking about; I, for one, would never eat food. Or breathe oxygen. That's just ridiculous.

  3. I think you pinned it, Jo.
    I don't get why people have to go around dressed in drag or pink fluffy speedos and boots.
    I don't like the in-you-face approach because I want to be accepted.
    Then again, I really don't like it when people at football games paint their bare chests and faces and then scream their heads off as they spill popcorn and beer all over their neighbors and selves. So, really I think that Pride is just the time where us gays get to have our own crazy little times--cuz we all know that the gay guys don't go to sports games and the lesbians are not the type to put their chests out there unless they want to be arrested or something...

    I think the thing to remember here is that Pride is not to show everyone else anything. It's about celebrating for us. Just like the 4th of July parades aren't to show France or China who we are--it's for Americans. Pride is about having fun and getting all the homos in the same place at the same time for an overload of rainbow. I can appreciate that.

    Thanks for helping me look at this from both sides, Jo.

  4. This was also my very first Pride. And I LOVED it. It was the first time I could be COMPLETELY myself and not be hated, made fun of, or punished for it. Celebrated. I actually got to feel proud that I was bisexual for two whole days out of the year. But I don't want to argue with you, because I really do get your point Jo, and I would be pretty terrified at bringing any of my family members to partake in Pride and see some of those same things. However, there is also something I love about it. I love that there is a place that people CAN dress ridiculously over the top or crazy and STILL be LOVED and ACCEPTED. I love that Pride accepts ALL kinds of people, over the top, middle and mild. And I have to admit that I was born with rainbows, glitter, and sparkles running CONSTANTLY through my head. I was BORN to wear outrageous outfits and to be utterly honest with you, I would dress like that EVERY DAY if I could get away with it. And so I don't want Pride to change. I don't want people like me with their hot pink hair and their thigh high hooker boots and their glittering fairy wings to have to "tone it down". I LOVE that there is a place that people like me can be free to be the freaky deaky goofballs we are and still be accepted for it. I love that Pride welcomes ALL types of people. So, I have to say that I would never want to embarrass you or make you or your family feel uncomfortable....but at the same time....I am SOOOO happy there is a place that exists that validates my CRAZY need for outrageously wild outfits and glitter.