In celebration of Gay Pride Virginia on Saturday, GayRVA has asked some of our contributors to share their feelings on Pride.
I start planning month’s in advance. I check the dates, clear my schedule, and start working out a little harder. Preparing for what I consider to be my own little pilgrimage is ALWAYS something I look forward to.
Ah yes, Pride season. It’s what the good little gay boys and girls wait for all year long! From small towns and suburbs, people identifying with any letter of the LGBTQ alphabet soup travel to the bright lights of the world’s largest cities to march in the streets covered in rainbows and glitter. I’ve always thought of it as our very own Gay Christmas, this coming from a Jew who really loves Christmas.
I study politics, so the political motivations and history of Gay Pride mean a lot to me. A marginalized, persecuted group of people taught to be ashamed of who they are standing up as one and proclaiming with loud, bright colors and voices that they are PROUD to be gay is truly inspiring. I love learning about the origin of the protests that were the beginnings of Gay Pride. But I love even more how Pride has evolved into a celebration of the very characteristics that tend to scare conservatives and traditionalists most about LGBT culture.
For the other 363 days of the year we contain this in our clubs and bars, but during Pride, we bring it out into the streets and parade it around town for EVERYBODY to see.
We are trained that the world won’t give us too much trouble if we don’t “flaunt” our sexuality in their face. And rightly or wrongly, we collectively play by those rules in our day to day lives. For me, Pride represents a vacation from that mindful living, a break from that collective self-censorship. A weekend to let our hair down, put our wigs on, take our shirts off, and make-out with our girlfriends in the streets. I love it.
I get filled withsuch a sense of pride that it feels more like fearless euphoria. Everybody on the street is my friend. Not to be too cliche, but it really feels like family. Having spent most of my life in Virginia, the times I’ve felt that level of community and shared experience are really only on gaycations or during Pride Festivals. I really love it.
I’ve been to Pride in several cities in the US, but Capital Pride in DC was my first and is the Pride I have made the best memories at over the years and a place I called home for 2 years. I remember one year I actually ran alongside all of the floats that were playing music I liked. I would run and dance down 17th Street until I realized how far away I had traveled from my plot of friends along the parade route. At that point I blew air kisses to the shirtless men, told the queens how hot they were and ran back to my friends just in time to get swept away by another float and do it all again. Whether it was the spirit of pride or the spirits from the bar, I was completely ecstatic and loving every bit of it.
For me, Pride is about liberation and simply having the most absolutely wild and fun weekend possible. It’s about saying yes to everything and having outrageous adventures with some of my best friends.
This weekend will be my first Pride in Richmond, and I am SO pumped up about it. However you feel about Pride or Richmond or politics, being at Pride sends a message to the world that you are proud of who you are and you aren’t going anywhere. You don’t even have to take your shirt off or run through the streets!
So this weekend, if you see me running around, dancing in the streets covered in rainbows and glitter, join me! And then make sure I’m not completely lost ;)
“It’s important to know how you fit into the stream of history”September 22, 2016
- Diversity Richmond and Black History Museum of VA teamed up for Black LGBTQ History discussion event
- Mayor Stoney signs national pledge to fight LGBTQ discrimination
- GoT’s Gethin Anthony/Renly Baratheon to voice gay love option in ‘Mass Effect Andromeda’
- RVA LGBTQ Black History Month Honoree: Sean M. Smith
- VA Senator Tim Kaine speaks out against roll back of transgender student’s rights