Monday, June 30, 2014

Day CXLIII: Pride

I've never been to Twin Cities Pride.

Do you even understand how much that hurts?

Stone Arch Bridge (thanks, Ashley!)

The last few years, I've been out of the area for work.

No parade down Hennepin. No queens in feathers. No dykes on bikes. No dogs in rainbow glasses. No same-sex couples displaying their love and affection for the world to see in a place that is both tolerant and welcoming.

And, for whatever reason, it really bothered me this year. It sucked to be so far away from something that I feel so fortunate to be a part of.

I think the Twin Cities has an incredible LGBT community, and I wish I could have been home to celebrate that with the whole lot of 'em.

I grew up in a very tiny town. And, not unlike the small population, the mentality was less than receptive to the homosexual lifestyle.

And I say lifestyle because that's a word that Walker would use, that would be perpetuated throughout the community. To me, "lifestyle" is a phrase that implies choice, that my gayness is something that I have opted into.

For the record, I didn't.

There's this argument: why would anyone choose to be gay, choose to be persecuted, choose to isolate themselves from the world? But the argument is pointless. Regardless of if you feel sexuality is a choice, the issue doesn't lie in someone choosing to be some sort of way. The issue is that someone would be persecuted, regardless of their choice. That's where the wrong is: that there is judgment and hatred and oppression of a group of people for any reason.

So that's not really a defense, and, really, their shouldn't be anything to defend against in the first place.

And that's what Pride means to me.

It means that, guess what? Who I am is different from you at a very natural, unsurprising, who-the-fuck-gives-two-shits sort of level. I just happen to be a male who likes other males. And celebrating that difference--especially in the face of consistent maltreatment and marginalization--is an exciting prospect.

To me, Pride is nearly as  important for the straight community to partake in. Celebrating our differences is an easy and painless way to knit us together.

Pride is not an exclusive party for the LGBT amongst us all.

Pride is a way to bind us together, in love and understanding, as one community, my favorite one of all.

A community of humans.

The kid next to me at the airport has been showing his Minecraft skills off every three or so minutes with stage-whispered one-liners like "wow, I didn't even realize I could make something that cool!"

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