It’s Gay Pride Week in
I got to thinking, am I proud? And, if so, is that pride at least connected to being gay? Proud is defined in my trusty Random House College Dictionary as “1. thinking well of oneself because of one’s accomplishments, possessions, etc. 2. feeling honored, as by a distinction conferred on one. 3. governed in one’s words or actions by self-respect.” Other definitions are provided. Blah, blah, blah. Top three is good enough.
One of the great things of accepting oneself is being able to look at the self as a whole. Back in my awkward coming out years (and painful NOT coming out years), the gay thing consumed me. It labeled me—er, branded me—, particularly during my years living in
I’m definitely NOT proud of that period in the late Seventies and early Eighties. That dark period reminds me of why it is so important to have official Pride events: to break that feeling of isolation, to laugh amidst the frivolity, to find strength in marchers pushing for equality.
Thankfully, I moved to
I had my years where I oozed gay pride. I was gay, first and foremost. I clubbed regularly, volunteered with AIDS Project Los Angeles, joined a gay gym and took to the streets for several days in a row when Governor Pete Wilson vetoed Bill 101 which would have banned workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians. Aside from school and work, my life was all gay all the time.
Naturally, when I moved to
The pendulum is always swinging. Now living in a rural area, you might need an X-ray or blood test to detect the gay gene in me. The too-short shorts and tattered t-shirt I’m wearing at the moment don’t help matters. I haven’t even showered yet today. Gasp!
But am I proud? Do I feel a sense of self-respect? Do I feel a sense of accomplishment—without complacency—over accepting and embracing my gayness. Absolutely!
Happy Pride, Vancouver!