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Changing the world
one mind at a time
Pride 
21st-Jun-2005 10:49 pm
me
I know this has become a hot topic of conversation around my friend's list this week, so I'll just be quiet and say what it is to me personally.

My first Pridefest was 2002, my first year here in Columbus. By that point, assuming my actual coming out date was Summer 1991 (Let me clarify that. I was with Mike for the first time sometime in 87-88, but I didn't actually start the coming out process until 1991. I think. We're talking ancient history to me now. And I didn't come out to a lot of people at first, but thanks to wagging tounges in Western Champaign County, pretty much everyone but my family knew by June 1994 when I graduated High School.) So..,that means I'd been pretty much exposed and indoctrinated into the homosexual lifestyle for a good 11 years already, and was well aware that most of the gay men I had met were superficial twinks or trolls. (This is what I get for going to Wright State. Had I gone to OSU, my perceptions probably would have been a bit different. Or if I'd hung out at the Springfield bars more often, I could have lived with blue collar gay folks.)

What I found at Pride was confirmation that we can all just get along at least once a year. And while our tastes in partners differ depending on where you are, Drag Queens and Leathermen get cheered universally. Mind you, the actual party was a bummer, mainly due to a)I was broke, b) I didn't know anyone, and c) My High School English teacher who had just come out as a lesbian was running around topless. I nearly pulled an Oedipus after THAT particular specticle.

So what do I make of all the Pride rants?

Yeah, Pride sould be year round. But given the world we live in, that ain't gonna happen. I did the activism route in College and burned out like a sparkler. In your face protesting isn't something I'm good at. <-dangling participle, bad James. You know, when we reorganized Lambda in 1995 to try to get more funding, we switched out slogan to Support, Activism, Advocacy. I much prefered the former. It's easier for me to support folks than it is for me to spend my life yelling at people. And to me, being myself is more likely to change minds than confronting assholes who've a) never met an openly gay person or b) seem to think every gay man wants to stick his dick up his hillbilly arse. I once saw this toothless guy with a balding mullet walk down Main Street in Urbana with a very derogatory shirt on. Seeing as how I was in town for only 6 hours, I politely walked up and explained that no gay man in his right mind would ever see him as a sex symbol. Then I ran like hell for UDF.

And I really don't think we're lying to people just coming out with Pride and our message of gay unity. Just like any other minority, we're united by a biological factor, and divided by our humanity. IE we are united by our desire to love someone with the same genitals, but sivided by the fact we're all prone to our own humanity filled with judgements, predjudices, etc. Our unity is that we can set aside these differences of opinion long enough to do something about it, albeit usually in a mode comfortable to us. (One person might organize a petition, another might go scream on the Statehouse steps.)

When you get down to it, all of us are making a difference just by expressing ourselves. We show the world everyday we are here, we are queer, and g-ddammit will you str8 people learn to dress properly? If you want a real hip tip, buy all your outfits at the same place since most lables regardless of price design clothes that match each other!
Comments 
22nd-Jun-2005 03:29 am (UTC)
My High School English teacher who had just come out as a lesbian was running around topless.

Please tell you don't mean Jan Simpson, although I suspect you do. I had nightmares about that heinous bitch because I got Fs for the first time ever in that class... honors English, sophomore year, and it was part of the reason I decided to move in with my dad, was to get away from her. The day before we left for Germany, I put a noose around that Bart Simpson hall pass of hers and hung it from the Channel 1 television..... because I knew I was never coming back!

And considering she was under the impression I couldn't write my way out of a wet paper bag, I enjoyed a bizarre sort of pleasure when I was employed at the Citizen going back to that hellhole whenever I had an assignment involving Graham, whether it was a basketball game or an academic article. If I ever see her again, I will most assuredly rub her nose in my AP awards. Gah, that fucking bitch.

I want to go kill something now. Memories of high school before Butler tend to have that effect.
22nd-Jun-2005 03:35 am (UTC)
Actually, it was Mrs. Winkler at Urbana. The irony in that was that she was married to Mr. Winkler, the sex ed. techer before she came out.

And my mom was so upset that neither Richard or I was surprised by it. I felt like saying "Mom, the woman looks more like a man than I do."
22nd-Jun-2005 03:41 am (UTC)
Hahaha....
I didn't know her, so that's okay. I don't have to imagine it.

But the mental image of a woman like J. Simpson topless is downright frightening.

If it was one of the CUTE teachers like Summers or um... crap, I can't remember her name, but she was a dazzling blond 20-something that all the hick boys drooled over.

I'll shut up now. Sexual fantasies about former teachers need to stay dead and buried in the past.
22nd-Jun-2005 03:44 am (UTC)
LOL Thankfully, there weren't that many atractive teacher to me at Urbana or Graham. The idea of finding Mr. Wilbur attractive disturbs me. Bad enough every boy at Urbana took French after 1991 just to stare at teacher's ass. /twitch

22nd-Jun-2005 03:36 am (UTC)
But her first name was Jan. Just unsure on her maiden name.
22nd-Jun-2005 03:42 am (UTC)
Well you know what, it coulda been her. She was Simpson when my mom went to GHS, and wasn't married then.

And she did look like a man.
22nd-Jun-2005 03:45 am (UTC)
I'll have to ask mom when I actually get ahold of her. She, of all people, would know.
22nd-Jun-2005 03:46 am (UTC)
If you've got a Graham yearbook from 1994, she's in there. That was my freshman year.
22nd-Jun-2005 03:53 am (UTC)
I said fuck it and scanned it.

Here she be:

22nd-Jun-2005 05:16 am (UTC)
nope, close resemblance, but not the same manly woman
22nd-Jun-2005 12:48 pm (UTC) - I don't go to Pride
...but I think I live it okay.

I just am not interested in being part of the 'look at me' contingent that is so prevelant.
22nd-Jun-2005 01:21 pm (UTC) - Re: I don't go to Pride
Bah, I think you'd fit in well with some of the folks:)
22nd-Jun-2005 01:23 pm (UTC) - Re: I don't go to Pride
I haven't been since 1992.
22nd-Jun-2005 01:32 pm (UTC) - Re: I don't go to Pride
I totally misread that. thought you said 1922.

And honestly, it's your decision, and your One Life to Live, and if you don't want to hang with the Young and the Restless, that's fine.

Crap. I need to get ready for work, or I'd stretch this out farther, talking about the Passions that lead to All My Children As the World Turns.
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