I attended my first pride in 2007, in San Francisco, naturally. My ‘Gay Day’ began with the Dyke rally in Dolores Park and then moved out onto the streets for the annual Dyke march. I was happy to be there. I had just come out a year before, finally! But aside from the excitement, the real meaning of that first Pride hadn’t really ‘hit’ me until I came across this woman of color -- a Latina, wearing a traditional ‘male’ mariachi outfit and holding a sign that read “Orgullo” (Pride). Then I felt it. It shot right through me -- it was electric. I understood who I was: a woman, a single mother, chicana, Mexican…
In society I am considered a minority, but in that moment I was part of something bigger than me. I was part of a community-- a community that celebrates individuality, diversity, tolerance, and love.
This year my children experienced their first pride festival in Long Beach. I wanted them to feel what I had felt a couple of years prior. “Mom, this is so much fun! I’m proud you’re gay.” I cried when my son uttered those words to me. My daughter was so moved that for West Hollywood’s pride festival she designed a few signs of her own. They held their rainbow flags high and waved their signs proudly, signs with the word ‘PRIDE’ drawn and colored in the traditional rainbow flare.
Fast forward to this weekend, June 27/28, 2009: San Francisco’s Gay Pride Weekend sizzled. I should know -- I have the sunburn to prove it.