Why I Still Love Gay Pride

6.25.2006

By Out.com Editors

The day I performed was rainy but the lesbians who were running that year's event'Jeremy and Chris had passed on the baton'were prepared for Juneau's fickle weather. They hung a plastic tarp over the Silverbow's parking lot. The food vendor at Junior's pride was an employee of the bakery. He grilled burgers, hot dogs, and, best of all, fresh halibut. He had a sign that cheerfully read: 'Enjoy a wiener cooked by a straight man!'

Straight people felt very comfortable attending Juneau's pride. Straight couples would run into their gay or lesbian friends and stop to chat and have a beer. At one point I saw an extremely handsome'I believe the proper term is totally hot'man sitting at the Silverbow's tiny bar. Of course, I asked Chris about him. 'Oh, he's a fisherman,' Chris said. 'He's straight but he doesn't care. A party's a party to him.'

The entire day did feel like a delightful party. People hung out for hours even though you could take in all of the craft vendors in 15 minutes. There were lesbian folksingers from the Yukon'yes'who were happy to be called 'Klondykes.' And when I performed, my most popular joke, with straight and gay alike, was an observation I had made after several trips to Alaska: 'What's with the straight women in Alaska?' I asked. 'They all look like lesbians. I'll be talking to this woman with a crewcut. She'll be holding a chainsaw and I'll think, God, I love the dykes up here. But then I'll find out she has six kids and has been happily married for 40 years.'

So my advice is that the next time you feel like griping about gay pride, go to a small city's pride event. Although I agree with the people who hate gay pride on one thing: You should be proud to be gay but you should be embarrassed to march in a rainbow pride vest. Yep. There are some things that should stay in the closet.

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