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Gays don't need parade to show pride

 

JORDAN WEAVER-LEE
GUEST COLUMNIST

It's June again. The weather is warming up. It's time to water the lawn, plant the flowers and clean the closets. Oh and did I mention it's time to prance up and down Broadway in size 13, 6" platform pumps while gyrating with a hot pink boa, clad in a leather harness, studded color, white hot pants, glitter and a beehive?

Yes I've come to realize, in my 28 years, that as part of the gay community if you're not a leather daddy, or a candy kid, or a drag queen, or a bear, or dyke on a bike ... you must not be proud of who you are.

I am elated that the gay rights movement has come as far as it has, and I nod my head in acknowledgement that we, as a community, have a long way to go to gain equality. But at the same time, I am ashamed that as we try so hard to express how much we are like everyone else, we take great pride in showing off how different we are.

Our differences make us unique but some of our differences make us flat-out odd. It amazes me that the stereotypes we have fought for decades are spotlighted on Pride Weekend and treated as the norm for the gay community.

I don't fly a rainbow flag off of my garage; I don't feel I need to. Why have we, as a "community," continued on with this tradition? There is not a Seattle African American pride parade. There isn't a Single Mother Pride Parade.

I am all for a Gay History Awareness month, week, day, hour, whatever. I think it is important for everyone to be aware of the important keynotes in the gay rights struggle to get where we are today.

Why can't I be proud without a parade? I don't hide who I am. I work with my husband at a large corporation in downtown Seattle. We are out at work and are comfortable and happy with that. We have a house and four children with fur. We go on trips together, we pay bills together and we contribute to society together.

One day we plan on having a family of our own. And regardless if our children grow up to be straight, gay or bisexual, I'm sure they will be proud of whom they are without the need for a weekend gala of embarrassing stereotypes on display.

Be proud of who you are, regardless of who you are. Don't be afraid to be you, but don't feel that you have to be a stereotype to be you, either.

Jordan Weaver-Lee lives in Tacoma.

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