I can certainly tell that it’s June. The birds are singing, the days are long and hot, I’ve donned my Havaianas for weekends by the pool, and the girls of summer are about the diamonds. Baseball? Oh, no, I was referring to our seasonal spree for accessories. I’m not the first steel magnolia to know the ability to accessorize is what separates us from the lower mammals. One other sign of June is that the gays are in bloom. Yes, it is Pride-time on social networks across the country. I have received email after email publicizing, proclaiming, and promulgating reasons to be proud…most of which involve family-friendly alcohol distributors and a myriad of life gratifying ways to separate me from my cash.
A friend tried to convince me to attend the celebrations at Disney World. I for one believe that Disney is the gayest place on earth without ever having to add me to the merriment. Don’t get me wrong, as a kid I enjoyed every animated motherless orphan on the silver screen, but as I have matured, there is just nothing about bright orange bouncing Tigger t-shirts in adult sizes that I find appealing. Hey, it’s just me. Though I have to admit, to be able to see the surprised faces of those home-schooled, evangelical families, who saved for years only to arrive to the throngs of red-shirted gays not on Glee or Ellen, is probably worth the trip. It really is a small world after all.
And I have to ask, is there a Pride event out there that Chely Wright is NOT either playing or parading? I expect to hear at any moment now that she is book-singing on the serengeti of my local zoo. Speaking of zoos, Ted Haggard is on the prowl again. Yes, Rev. Ted is extremely proud that he is able to pray away the gay. So proud that he is opening a new Colorado church to celebrate. This time Rev. Ted’s pride doesn’t get in the way as he proclaims everyone is welcome…especially everyone’s tangible support. Oh, and by the way, of course there is an alternate-reality show in the works…so look for it on Logo.
I think I will just hang around here for our local Pride events. It’s always kind of fun to see who turns up since the local news never fails to air promotional file footage from the 80’s involving that unfortunate leather bar incident. The only dog collars you are likely to see now are the ones attached to those poor unfortunate pooches in less-than-prideful poodle skirts. Drag queens. I don’t know if it’s the altitude, more likely the Absolut, but more entertainment is garnered from observing the mis-adventurous heteros that apparently believe the Christmas parade is somehow too restrained to allow public felacio, but Pride is where you go to let it all hang out. Republicans.
For those not familiar with why Pride is celebrated in June and not February, other than obviously the weather, it’s to commemorate the “Stonewall Riots” in June of 1969. For the first time, national attention was given to the gay community for refusing to back down to the terrorizing raids on gay bars by the NYPD. Patrons of the Stonewall Inn threw their fists (and their high heels) in defiance. From that, a grass roots movement was born that paved the way for us, forty-one years later, to proudly wear those red t-shirts at Disney, to write a coming-out book, to grand marshal a parade or two or eleven, and dear lord, have the pride? to wear those ass-less chaps. Republicans.
I jest, I poke fun at rainbows, and with tongue in cheek encourage Pride as a 12-month commitment that is more than parades and beer gardens. I make a special point to remember those who came before and the summer of ’69 and those individuals who with very little celebrity said I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore, those who laid the the first bricks for the path that is the blogger, Mindschmootz. I have to remind myself that with Pride comes humility…as there is so much more work to be done.