Reading Pride 2015

Pride Day It is the middle of July. There are many competing potential things to do on any given July weekend. Hence, this is my first Pride celebration in several years. I have almost forgotten the deep significance that Pride day has to me.

Here I am amidst hundreds of people with whom I share common visions of normal relationships, modes of gender expression, and ideas of gender roles. All of us here grew up with dreams that were not the ones found in most of the books, movies, television shows, fairy tales, songs, family histories, and holy texts that we were exposed to as children. Most of us have felt invisible. Most of us have feared rejection, simply for existing. Many of us have been ostracized by friends or family. Many of have been mocked, bullied, demeaned, stalked, and assaulted for what we are.

All of us are refugees.

Yet here, all of us refugees wash up on a common shore for a day. We look around, and are surprised to see how many of us there are. It dawns upon us that each day at work, on the street, and in the supermarket we pass many others of our tribe.

Pride Day 2015

We realize that, although the world has changed in revolutionary ways from the frightening days of our youth, when it still socially acceptable for our classmates and our teachers to call us sissies and dykes and queers and faggots, and when almost every media image of us was a mockery; that there are still kids growing up with families of the worst kind of haters. That there is still much of the world where we cannot travel. That most of us still live in places where are jobs are at risk. That there is still a need to stand in solidarity.

So, I sit here on a bench with my pen and notebook, in the mottled light though the oak trees, with the buzz of music and voices around me, and bask in comfortable oneness.

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