Sunday, June 29, 2008

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 codify 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 ran the Proud to Run 10K yesterday morning in uncomfortable heat and managed to finish, though not in an ideal time.

We're proud because we finally have a house big enough that we hosted our first pride brunch after the run yesterday, and we managed to fill all our sweaty, stinky runner friends with egg casseroles and pastries and fruit and lots and lots of mimosas. Even though they collectively made our house smell like a giant armpit.

We're proud because we attended the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus concert yesterday, and it was fabulous. And in some places it was even better than fabulous. And even though it was hard sitting in the audience instead of standing on stage singing with everyone like we normally do, we had desperately needed some time away from the rehearsals and the obligations and the cumulative exhaustion, and sitting out this show turned out to be a very good decision for us.

We're proud because we woke up this morning all snuggled up next to our domestic partner and we paused to savor what we had built together: a happy home, a safe environment, a mutual respect, a reciprocal love and a blissfully stable marriage.

We’re proud because we decided to take in the parade today against our better judgment (neither of us is much of a parade fan) and in the space of a few hours we endured sweltering humidity and torrential rain and two clusters of religious angerfucks hell-bent on screaming the gay out of us. And even after our 100th sweaty drag queen and our 100th sweaty attitude queen and our 100th drunken crack-whore queen—not to mention our umpteenth god-hates-fags anger queen—we could still see through the “pride” in the parade and enjoy the underlying Pride in the parade.

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

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