Sunday, June 12, 2005
While I have many misgivings about the event as a positive force in The Movement, what with its (in my opinion) over-emphasis on the "sexual" part of the LGBTQijkl...xyz... pantheon it represents, Pride has a definite purpose, of which being there always reminds me. That is, the safety and comfort of numbers.
I got a lot of shit for appearing gay in high school (despite being deep in the closet, even to myself), and have dealt with homophobia a great deal since, but I don't regularly feel alone or vulnerable because of being gay: I can handle myself better than my appearance and demeanor might suggest; I live in what may be the most gay-friendly city east of 'Frisco; I'm out at work and to all the family that really matter. But there really is a nice feeling of being at the Pride festival, surrounded by thousands of other gay people, never thinking "damn I bet he's straight" as I check out some hot guy or even considering that someone walking by might decide to throw rocks at the drag queen sitting in the next booth. So, hot and sun-drenched and craning to see the half-naked DC Cowboys writhe to (inexplicably) "All That Jazz," I had a great time today.
I also submitted to a part of the ritual I least enjoy but force myself out of some combination of paranoia and vague narcissism (like I'm getting any, anyways), the free HIV test. I like the whole 20-minute answer thing, it was the perfect time for me to wait in line for and eat a jerk chicken (on a stick).
Yes, I'm clean. It's nice to be sure. Happy Pride.