What a difference a couple of years makes! Context truly is everything. Just a few short years ago, my friends and I went to the Gay Pride Parade and complained that it had become too commercial, too long. And where were the outrageous drag queens and the lesbians dressed only in shorts and with duct tape on their nipples? Assimilation comes at a cost, and what happens to a culture when the outsider group, that defines itself as an outsider group, becomes accepted? You have to sit through a 4-hour parade of banks and churches and schools. Like straight people. I’m straight and I couldn’t even take it.
We were so young and foolish then.
Now? Just going to the parade has become a form of protest. This year the weather was perfect. I called it a Pride Miracle, because we have not had 3 days of beautiful weather in Boston strung together since last year. 2-0-1-8. WTF!?
And there was something about the weather, like a gift, and the long parade, that felt more like caring than commercial. I watched with my friends, Mike, Jonathan, and Ron. After a couple of hours we grabbed lunch and then started walking backwards along the route towards the end. We were now nearly 4 hours into this thing. But the groups just kept coming. We went past the official parade start and there were still groups coming. And Mike summed it up perfectly.
“I’m feeling very moved by all these groups and the support. I feel very safe.”
Nothing is permanent, the acceptance of hard-earned gay rights or the Cheeto flea. But Saturday, under clear blue skies and a warm, welcoming sun, many of us felt safe, and hope.
And PS to the asshat straight men who want their own parade. I will say to you what I said to my son who, at 7 or 8 years old, complained that there is a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day, so when is Kid’s Day?
I answered, “Kid’s day? You want to know when kid’s day is? Every damn day, that’s when kid’s day is.”
So stop being such crybaby princesses and enjoy your every damn day.