Flag Day, U.S.A.
This weekend, Los Angeles celebrates its main Gay Pride festival and I plan on being there. This may not seem like a stunning “news flash” to many of you, dear readers, but those who know me well know that I have a phobia of parades and balloons, I will not wait anything over 10 minutes for a table at any restaurant no matter how piquant their comestibles, nor will I eat standing up (and certainly not in a crowd!) and I’m allergic to most forms of fun – all of these are features of such events (or so I'm told).
But here’s another fact about me: I’ve never participated in any Pride activities in any city, any year, ever – and that strikes me as, well… queer. So this is the year I’m remedy it. I'm coming out! (...of my safe and cozy home.)
I need to go buy bottles of water and sun-block with an SPF of pi, but before I do, I wanted to get some mood music from our rich, LGBT heritage (see below). Beats make me braver!
And if you plan on coming to LA’s Pride, look for me. I’ll undoubtedly be cowering in some dark corner, terrified of everything, but doing it with a rad attitude.
June is Pride Month, celebrating the LGBTel-em-el-oh-pee community past, present and future.
Writing on the subject is intimidating, because as someone who identifies with one of the letters in LGBT, the issues of equal rights feel raw, impassioned and profound. I am not an unbiased voice on the matter.
Growing up queer was almost indescribably difficult, and so much of who I am today was shaped by the negativity I experienced, not merely “often” – self-hate, fear and crippled self-esteem made it scary and gross for me every waking moment; thinking I needed to hide and obfuscate my unwanted inclinations meant that many of those I loved were kept from helping me, or even fully knowing me, which made for a special kind of awful loneliness.
In nearly every aspect of my life I see how I’m still "recovering" from being queer. For example: growing up, sports and physical fitness seemed like a test of manliness; I was so terrified of failing (which, I feared, would subsequently shine a light on my queerness) that exercise and playing outdoor games became something scary and intimidating, which in turn affected my fitness habits for life. It’s only in the last decade that I could drum up the courage to start exercising. This may sound ridiculous, but it really does cut that deep – that jogging around the block isn’t just something to get my heart-rate up, but something I’ve had to push myself to do in spite of a fear of being targeted for some form of ridicule. That’s just one example – there’s many more, equally pathetic and utterly unnecessary.