Monday, June 27, 2005

What the hell do gay people
have to be proud of?

We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of “morality,” when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states vote us into second-class status, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.

We’re proud because pride is the opposite of shame—and despite what the Christian hate industry works so hard to make the world believe, there is nothing shameful about being gay.

We’re proud because more and more, we are able to live our lives openly and joyfully without fear of losing our jobs, losing our housing, losing our families and losing our lives.

We’re proud because we are smart enough to overcome the self-loathing that our increasingly venomous, mindlessly theocratic society forces on us, and we have the power to stop its destructive cycle by fighting back and by making intelligent choices involving sex and drugs and money and relationships and the way we live our lives.

We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world is starting to notice and respect us and emulate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.

We (and from this point on, I really mean “I” when I say “we”) are proud because we got up on Saturday at some ungodly hour after our opening-night show and ran the always-fun Proud to Run 10K in borderline-oppressive heat and humidity.

We’re proud that, even though we forgot to check our time when we crossed the finish line and we think we finished the race right around the one-hour mark, which is significantly slower than last year’s 54:40 personal best, we have the presence of mind not to blog about it and let the whole world know we must have somehow gotten fatter and more sluggish in our increasingly old age.

We’re proud because we got to enjoy the parade yesterday—and even after our 100th sweaty drag queen and our 200th sweaty attitude queen and our 500th drunken crack-whore queen, we could still see through the “pride” in the parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in the parade.

We’re proud that we remembered to bring our SPF 30 and apply it repeatedly so we won’t end up looking like the leathery sun bunnies we saw parading around all day in their shorty-short shorts.

We’re proud that after the parade we retired to our favorite Boystown diner for a quick meal with friends, and then we headed over to a barbecue with even more wonderful friends.

Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so much to be proud of.

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