Pride Overload

I am writing this a few minutes after returning to Albany. It is 9:44 AM and Kiera and I just did Boston Pride yesterday, so the thought of another Pride Parade and Festival, for Albany no less, is not quite as thrilling as it once was. However, I know once it begins and I start seeing those smiling faces, all doubts and dreariness will be a thing of the past.

That’s sort of how my ambivalent relationship with Gay Pride works. The bitchy side of me believes (and not wholly unrightly) that Pride is something I have every day. Living openly as a gay man in upstate New York is its own statement – one that, fortunately, means less and less as more and more people accept equality. Being that I surround myself with friends and family who don’t see me as just a gay man, I tend to forget how important these days are for those who are just coming out, and for those who don’t have acceptance in their lives. It always strikes me when I’m standing there watching the beginning of the Boston Pride Parade.

It kicks off with the motorcycling ladies, who sit on their hogs beaming with joy, rainbow boas intertwined among the chrome handles, exhaust streaming from their pipes – and when they rev their engines and beep their horns the crowd cheers, and always, without fail, tears come to my eyes. Not enough to fall, nothing to wipe away, and I fight them back for fear of looking foolish, but that is my moment of Pride. Construction workers pause in their drilling, hotel staff filters out to the curb, waiters and cooks line the street, and in that beginning there is all the hope in the world. It seems such a silly thing, a trifling bit in a chaotic universe of more pressing and real concerns, but for some of us, it means everything.
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