Among the definitions of pride at Dictionary.com are these:
- a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
- the state or feeling of being proud.
- a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
After all, pride comes before the fall.
For many of us, Pride does come before the fall, in the summer.
And we sometimes define it as a giant party.
I have attended various LGBTQ Pride events, on and off since coming out. I marched in the parade a couple of times before meeting my first partner and then, we would attend it and watch it together. But after a while, it became the same parade year after year. I mean, how many times can you watch hot young men dancing in their underwear (or less) to heart-stopping bass-thumping music on the bed of a flatbed truck? What made the parades worthwhile were those community organizations that marched: Aids Project Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, Gay Teachers of Los Angeles, Evangelicals Together, and Black and White Men Together were some of the community organizations that marched in the parades. Some of those groups are no longer appearing in the parades or have disbanded altogether.
As LGBTQ visibility grew many major companies began having employee groups march in the parades. Let's not kid ourselves, it was to show their acceptance so we would give them our business. After all, some gay couples allegedly have more disposable income as we don't have children to raise.
Stereotypes change, and same-sex couples are indeed raising children. But, I digress.
Enough of the history lesson and back to the meaning of pride.
I marched in the parade this year.
I have been following both the National Office and Los Angeles Chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network on Twitter, @glsen and @GLSENLosAngeles, respectively. When I saw a tweet asking for more marchers in the LA Pride Parade, I signed up.
7:00 Parade morning rolled around, ugh. But, I'm usually up anyway as my cat can't tell the difference between a work and non-work day. I performed my morning rituals, and decided not to drive to West Hollywood, as parking is a major headache on a regular day, and now with a gatrillion LGBTQ people storming the smallest city I know of with the seemingly most restrictive parking, finding a place to park would be a major migraine! So, I opted for public transport.
|We've started moving! I'm carrying their banner!|
With no gay male friends, I lost touch with my gayself. What does it mean to gay? Other than the attraction to other men? Do I have to like Judy Garland songs? Or Lady Gaga? Katy Perry? Musical Theater? Must I go to brunch on Sundays? Or throw/attend lavish awards show parties? I needed to find that community support, that community understanding, that community itself. I needed to expand my social circle. I needed to come back out.
|Somewhere along the route!|
Maybe I just did it for my own sense of Pride.
JB- And, maybe I did it for my first steps in moving forward back into the community and into 2014!