It’s that time of year again when the community marches and has picnics to celebrate our gayness. I remember the first Pride Parade in San Francisco when I was still married. What impressed me was the humor, the ability of the community to fight bigotry with self deprecating laughter. If they weren’t going to take being gay so seriously, why should anyone else? San Francisco’s parade these days while huge still has that rag tag quality about it with everyone free to dress up or down or not at all as they chose. Unlike the Mardi Gras parade in Sydney that proceeds with almost military precision we stumble along, drop our signs and just look at the crowds around us and smile when they cheer. We’re ambling along with friends or clubs or groups we belong to as living proof that we come in all sizes and colors. Maybe we’re not making a statement any longer. Maybe the only statement we make to folks from out of town these days is sorry we’re sold out of rooms this weekend, but it’ still a time to drink too much and act silly, and on good days we get a tan.
It’s easy for someone like me who’s seen tens of parades to stay home and think we’ve got it made, and I see huge billboards advertising the AIDS Walk sponsored by major banks and know we’ve come a long way. But it takes only a story about the Board of Education in Texas requiring biology texts to discuss Creationism to remind me we still have a long way to go and that America is still home to men and women dedicated to imposing their narrow prejudicial mortality on the rest of us.
I’m hanging my rainbow flag, and I’ll be in Civic Center on Sunday lending my body to our ongoing struggle.