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View Diary: Marching Toward the Meaning of Pride (28 comments)

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  •  Life Is Always Fascinating (6+ / 0-)

    This year was my first Pride Parade and Festival away from PrideFest Denver.  I have also done Ft. Collins, Boulder and Colorado Springs (yes home of Daddy "show your kid your package" Dobson and Ted "I ain't no homo" Haggard). This year was Capitol Pride in our nation's capitol. I originally planned on standing with hundreds or thousands of others in Dupont Circle.

    Instead I marched with National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, an organization I am associated with as a volunteer.  Of my seven Pride parades, I have never seen one. I have always been in it. In Colorado I marched with Equal Rights Colorado, I was on the board, or as a candidate for office with the Stonewall Dems.

    Each year there is an increasing sense of importance to community that others are learning of, especially politicians and commercial interests.

    But first, I hear from many of our forerunners that Pride is being "corrupted" by straights; or it is too commercial; or there is a loss on something or other because it is so big now.  Some miss the shock value of showing off in chaps or wearing a thong and nothing else. Others are upset because families are now part of Pride.

    What is important to me is Pride is now a special event for so many people.  I have people from the straight community ask me to help them navigate the communities and Pride.  They have many reasons, but that is not as important as the desire to meet us and learn from us.  Trying to keep Pride as a shock or special "gays only" event is like trying to keep memories of high school only for those who graduated in a small range of years as the only ones who can celebrate.

    Pride means a lot to me now, and each year it means more.  This year was quite poignant for me. Not only just moving to DC the week before Pride, but marching in the parade and then the next day standing in the middle of the street staring at the U.S. Capitol thinking how far we have come and yet we are actually only at the starting line for Federal equality rights and protections.  

    No matter what happens during the rest of the year, each Pride means something very special to me.

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