(cross posted, with minor edits, from my personal facebook, after a solid half-dozen posts over the course of the weekend about pride.)
So, semi-serious post-pride post: why the fuck did this straight girl make such a big deal about going to pride for the first time? My gender presentation (short hair, androgynous style) is _utterly_ unremarkable in San Francisco. It’s one of the reasons I moved here. But it was SO NOT [unremarkable] when I was growing up.
A whole lot of people, including much of my high school and my parents, thought I was probably a lesbian when I was in high school. (Town of 30k in [deep south state where you can barely get an abortion]). They just didn’t have anywhere else in their brain to file someone who looked and acted like I did. The folks in the town (of more like 10k) where I went to middle school just thought I was fucking weird, though nobody said lesbian to my face till I was older. Once, when I was in high school, my father and I were fighting, and he screamed “Why can’t you just LOOK NORMAL” in my face. (He has since denied that he ever did that. But no, that happened.)
But I had the internet. And I knew places like San Francisco existed. I don’t honestly know how, but I knew Pride Parades existed. The fact of their existence was comforting to me, and a light to swim towards out of the shitty fundamentalist, close-minded, evangelical deep south bullshit that I was mired in as a minor with very little control over my life. I went into science, swimming as hard away from religion and the south that I could. I eventually moved to San Francisco.
This is my first summer in the city, and I was straight-married for all of the years that I lived in [flyover country city], and so this was my first PRIDE. It was amazing. It’s hard to name a favorite part of this past week; the beautiful naked people were glorious, and the day of flipping the assumptions from straight to gay was glorious, and having MY body and MY style be considered rather an archetype of beauty was glorious, and fitting in better than ever was glorious, but the part that struck me as sacred was the actual parade(s). Saturday night was the Dyke March, and Sunday was the official Pride Parade. And in both were smiling lesbians and gay men, and almost certainly some trans folks (but I can’t say I can tell who by looking). On Harleys with their wives and in gold lame outfits rollerblading to applause, marching along being perceived as the gender they are instead of what was written on their birth certificate. Out to be looked at. Out to be like HERE WE ARE, STILL AND AGAIN AND FOREVER.
Here we are, still and again and forever, only ourselves.