This weekend was DC Pride. It was earlier this year, yet still managed to be one of the hottest days ever. I guess mother nature likes seeing the gays with their shirts off.
I have mixed feelings about Pride. It’s great to be out and proud. It’s clear that people’s views on homosexuality (such a clinical term!) tend to be more positive if they know someone who’s LGBT. But maybe we take it too far sometimes. If you’re into leather jockstraps, great. Just not sure I need to see it on a parade float. And no one needs that much body glitter. For many, it’s just an excuse to spend the day drunk. Walking home from the grocery store at 3 pm (the parade started at 4:30), I saw one guy stumbling out of Cobalt. His friends were barely able to hold him up.
Also, Pride has become very commercialized. Several beer companies and the local banks all had cars in the parade. While it’s great that you want our business, I’d prefer if you did some lobbying on our behalf, instead of just trying to get our business. Last year there was even an Idaho Potato car in the parade!
But this year, I went in with different expectations. Instead of wondering if the images we were creating were “good” or “bad” for the community, I went in with the attitude that everyone’s there to be who they want to be. And for some, that means dancing in a leather jockstrap. I guess if you can wear leather in temperatures near 90, God bless ya.
I was thinking about this after reading a great quote at Breaking The Illusion (a blog by one of the hottest men ever!). In response to a reader who was worried he would be seen as “too gay” if he does certain things. Davey’s response was:
It’s not your job to shatter every stereotype there is about gay people.
He then goes on to tell the reader that he should put his energy into being himself, whatever that may be. It was a beautiful thought.
At the end of the night, several of us were sitting on my roof deck drinking beer with a straight neighbor and his friend. One guy in my group said that he didn’t think people should take their kids to the Pride parade because it would lead to awkward conversations. My straight neighbor challenged him and said that’s why people should take their kids to the parade. It’s an interesting question. How would you explain to a young child what’s going on? “Daddy, why is that woman not wearing a shirt?”
Here are some pics from the parade. (Click for larger versions.) The Festival was today, and wasn’t that exciting other than a delicious hot sausage sandwich (my favorite carnival/fair food). Since I’m trying to drop some weight this summer, that was a special treat. And I went swimming afterwards.