Sunday, May 31, 2009

Out and Proud...


Well what do you know? Another Pride Month is nearly upon us. It seems like only yesterday I was comforting Joe on my bosom as the Dykes On Bikes roared past. Good times. Anyhomo, June 1st marks Pride Month, a month in which several queer activities happen leading up to the Grand Dame of Chicago parades...the Pride Parade. The Pride Parade is seriously my favorite event of the year. I'm like a kid hopped up on sugar when it's parade time. Or an adult hopped up on Jim Beam and Coke, which is usually what I'm hopped up on. But yeah, I love love love the Pride Parade. I usually start looking at the parade website in like, March, even though I know the lineup and grand marshal aren't announced until the end of May. But I can't help it, I get excited. So this morning I looked up the parade stuff, as I've been doing for 2 months, and I see that most of the info is up, the grand marshal, the Pride calender, the bathroom sponsors(seriously, do you think the people who sponsor the port a potties are walking around on Pride day like "oh look honey, there's the sh*tter I sponsored. Doesn't it effing stink?"). Anycrapper, most of the info was up, including some disturbing news in the "Parade Information" section...there will be barricades the entire length of the parade route. What. The. Hell.

You know, this parade barricade business does not bode well for me and my friends. We are used to having free reign of Broadway. In fact, knowing that we can go into the street means that we don't have to get to our corner at the crack of parade dawn to save a spot. Plus, if it's barricaded how am I supposed to hug my parents when they go past w/ PFLAG? Which I do EVERY year and have done every year for like, many years. How is The Joyous One supposed to high-five Ron Magers if the route is barricaded? How are we supposed to enjoy the parade if we're caged like gay animals? How are we supposed to run across the street willy-nilly to greet friends that we see on the other side of the street? How are we supposed to ridicule the people who get hit by floats if no one is getting hit by floats? I mean, I suppose that's why they decided to barricade, it helps to control the crowd, and it makes it a little harder to get hit by floats if you can't get into the street. But I'm saddened by this news. It will take a little something away from the parade.

Okay, to keep from getting sad, I'm going to think about Prides past, and do some happy reminiscing. Meta's first Pride Parade: I can't remember the year because my memory is shot due to all of the Jim Beam I drink(not really, but doesn't that sound more tough than the truth, which is because I'm the single most forgetful person on earth?). I was at Pride with my sister Emily and her friend Katie. We were on Broadway, somewhere near The Closet because I remember thinking "Oh goodness, that's a gay bar! Clever name. Maybe some day I'll go there"...funny because I spend an inordinate amount of time at The Closet now. Anycloset, we were standing there watching the parade, and we heard loud cheering happening and we weren't sure what the cheering was for. It started to make it's way closer to us, and we realized it was for PFLAG(Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays). I had never seen PFLAG before, I didn't even realize it existed. So there they were, all these Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays, holding signs about loving their gay kids, being proud of their queer sons and daughters, it was moving stuff, let me tell you. All of the sudden, Emily's friend Katie goes "There's your parents!". I think I responded with "No way...", but sure enough, there they were...marching along with all the other proud parents. I absolutely lost my sh*t. I'm not sure I've cried that hard from being happy in my whole life. I think all 3 of us kind of ran towards them and just hugged them, all of us a mess of tears and runny noses. As we went back to our spots, I saw that all of the people around us were crying. I think they realized the enormity of what they had just witnessed: a newly out, scared, gay girl being fully embraced by her parents and knowing that she was going to be okay. It was a beautiful thing.

So, Pride memories, people. Let us have em!

3 comments:

Jessica Cakuls said...

I love thinking of you being so happily surprised by your parents. I wish I could have been there!

Meta, Merta, Meat or Wombat said...

It was a moment, that's for sure. But don't worry, Jess, we'll make some moments this year at Pride, so you better come!

The Joyous One said...

Last year I high fived Ron Magers and I liked it a lot.