OpEd: I call it Pride Season Depression, or PSD
It’s that season again, gays. Pride season. Otherwise known as a couple months of having the embers of my insecurity stoked, fanned and turned into a roaring flame. I’ve noticed this…’trend’ every time Pride season comes around.
I get incredibly depressed.
Like stay in bed all day, don’t eat, don’t drink anything, straight up depressed and wallowing in self loathing and self pity.
Look, I’ve never felt part of a ‘gay’ community. I feel like it doesn’t exist even though I can see all its glitz and glam parading down the streets of gayborhood right it front of me. There is this expectation sold to us via straight and gay media. This mythical group of besties that has a usual booth/table at a regular bar/club/dive. In this case, the gaggle of gay friends. I’ve never had a ‘gay’ group. Believe me, I have plenty of other gay friends, but never a group of gay besties. I feel like I should have one, but I don’t, and I can’t help but wonder whats wrong with me because I don’t have one.
And then I go to the Pride festival or parade (usually alone, mind you) because I keep telling myself (despite my mounting cynicism and bitterness) that this year is the year. Before, my brain chemicals were shooting every which way and I SHOULD be enjoying this and if I let my hair down, people would come flocking to me.
I go there and there are usually tons of gay guys, clumped together and having a grand ol’ gay time. And it jars me. My envy comes out in full force, and right after that, crushing sadness. Which leads me to my next insecurity.
Usually these guys are well…attractive. And if not attractive, fierce and fabulous. I am none of the three aforementioned qualities. And so when I see these groups of gay friends roaming about and look at my state, I kind of assume that to be included in a gay group, you need to look good. Or at least be skinny.
Which is why my appetite suddenly dries up around Pride season and I essentially throw myself into starvation headfirst.
Shit, I feel happy when I can put fingers underneath my ribcage. Its affirmation that i’m doing something right.
it also doesn’t help to see speedo clad go-go dancers shaking their asses up on the floats. I have nothing against them, I’m well aware this a very personal issue. But when I see the participants in the parades as they are…it becomes really difficult to identify with anyone in the parade. Its telling me that in order to be happy and celebrate who you are in this ‘community’, you have to look good…like damn good. And if you’re not, well don’t even bother showing up.
I often look around me at Pride Parades and I don’t see a lot of other faces or body types like mine. I typically see beautiful coiffed white gays milling about the parade route. And like I mentioned before, they’re usually hanging out with others of their own kind. Birds of a feather…flock together.
I’m not saying that Pride is explicitly racist. I just think it suffers from a diversity problem.
I don’t feel proud when I go to Pride. I don’t feel like I’m part of this community that is joined together in a collective struggle. I feel dejected and alone. I feel ostracized and put down. I always delude myself into thinking that if I put myself out there more, I’ll find my place in the gay community eventually. But its been 4 years since I’ve come out and I’m no closer to finding a place than when I first announced my sexuality on facebook.
I imagined that on a day like this, all those barriers that existed before would magically melt away. And we would all celebrate being gay/queer/ourselves together. But that isn’t the case. I only see a celebration of a very specific image that doesn’t include people like me.
But who knows? Pride in my city is 2 weeks away and I’ll probably go again, and maybe this year will be the year if I keep my head up and a smile plastered on my face.
Editors Note: I found this write up over on the website Reddit’s r/LGBT forum. I asked repeatedly for permission to repost but got no response. If you’re so inclined, head on over to the post and give the author, humdeedoo, an upvote.
Lordy Lord, what a day Virginia Pride 2013 was! The entertainment, the community, the social justice – and the drinks – all made September 28, 2013 a day that will surely stick with us for some time. Keep an eye out for our larger write up of the event later this week, but until then, [...]September 29, 2013
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