Why I Still Love Gay Pride

6.25.2006

By Out.com Editors

There are times when I think LGBT stands for Let's Get Bitter Today. We can be too harsh about our own community, especially in June. That's the month when my friends complain that Gay Pride Day is tacky and predictable when the fact is that all American holidays are tacky and predictable. Many of my friends take an inordinate amount of pride in proclaiming that they would never go watch a gay pride parade, let alone march in one. Invariably, someone laments, 'They always show the freaks on the local news when they cover the gay pride parade. They never show regular gay guys, they always show drag queens and guys in leather chaps with their asses hanging out.'

We hold ourselves to a standard that straight people would never embrace. You never hear straight people whining that drunken football fans with their faces painted blue on Super Bowl Sunday are giving the world a bad impression of the heterosexual community. Straight people don't believe that a few weird apples will make everyone assume that they're all fruitcakes.

If you want to experience an authentic sense of gay pride, it's still possible'although you'll have to leave New York or San Francisco and attend a gay pride celebration in one of America's smaller cities or towns. Over the past few years, I've performed at gay prides in Juneau, Alaska; Norfolk, Virginia; Northampton, Massachusetts; Asheville, North Carolina; and Wichita, Kansas.

In small town prides waving a rainbow flag isn't a clich', it's a sign that you refuse to wave the white flag of surrender. It still takes guts to attend a gay pride in a small town, let alone organize a gay pride in a small town.

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