To those of you in San Francisco (and New York City) already in Pride Mode, either because your mind is beyond one more day of work, because your weekend starts now, because the first of your parties begins tonight. However you choose to celebrate this weekend, just remember to acknowledge, if only for a moment, what it means to be celebrating at all.
A hundred years ago, the word “homosexual” didnt even exist. Gay wasnt even a thing. Our very identity wasnt even established, and so it was left to straight people to establish it for us. And they were glad to do this: we were sodomites, sinners, perverts, nature’s mistakes, communists, a threat to the very fabric of society. Outside of some societies, some histories, some myths and legends, the best we could hope for is the Native American concept of “two spirits”– a sacred status as a person embodying both male and female characteristics, what Europeans considered to be what they would eventually call ‘homosexual’.
And that was the case for us. Until we decided to make our own identity and write the narrative for ourselves.
And that’s what the weekend means. You are used to the talk about the true meaning of Christmas, of Thanksgiving, of Hanukkah, of so many other once revered and spiritual holidays. For us, for our people, this is the talk we have, the talk about the true meaning of Pride: to not be belittled, to write our own history, to be out to any and all, to cede no ground in the fight for equality.
So remember days like June 28 1969 and the Stonewall Riots and the first Pride Marches one year later. Remember days like June 26 2013 as we beat back the bigotry and belittling of our ability to love. Remember things like that with every smile, with every hug, every time you drink, every time you dance, with every way you decide to cheer the weekend as you take over an entire American city and your voices and your actions echo everywhere with the roar of your own personal and collective Pride.
Have fun. Be safe. Be Proud.
♥ = ♥