I was in a dark bar where my eyes could barely make out shapes. There were several flat screen televisions beaming in footage from the parade occurring outside. In the TV you saw drag queens, muscle guys in tight shorts fondling each other, and anorexic boys. We were inside and we were dancing and drinking when a drunken girl leaned in to ask me;
“Do you feel pressure to show up to these?”
The question was valid. This was New York Pride 2010 in a city known throughout as not only being post racial, but also possibly post-homosexual. The days of extravagant gay club nights are gone, replaced by smaller mixed lounges and bars, the flaming queers now mostly dwell on perpetual cruise ships and Fire Island nude beaches, and what is left in the city is a decidedly more chill variety of guys who dig guys.
And yet I found myself going to Pride, albeit locked within the confines of a dark and dank bar. Pride isn’t about protesting, and it almost isn’t about remembrance, a term I despise because I feel that people who remembrance are people who don’t research and contemplate.
Pride, for me at least, is about visibility. It’s also about getting fondled inappropriately but that is also implied in the visibility part. Being queer was never about accepting a common symbol like a rainbow, or about behaving a certain way, for me it was always about letting yourself be known.
I am who I am and I am here.
That is not to say then that you can’t be excused from not attending a Pride festival, especially if you are as deeply opposed to baking in the sun while feigning in excitement and watching a parade. I have to confess to having a personal interest in the event as I met my first love at a Pride event when I was 18.
I wrote about him and the event, I uploaded it to my old blog and then it got published. I showed my love the article and he kissed me.
I was so young. I looked on over to Fly G this Pride and saw him doggedly leaning against a wall, tired and cranky, wanting to go home, and I thought that maybe it’s not for everyone.
It still has its place though. People ask me why gay people need to be proud of how they were born, and I answer that heterosexuals are never NOT proud they’re hetero. They will never shut the fuck up about who they want to fuck, who is fucking them, what the hole they’re fucking is up to, what the fuckers are doing this weekend with their fuckee, and how much fuck they wish they were fucking.
So one day out of the year, we get to be jerk offs, is that too much to ask?