It’s always better in the parade…
This from my 8-year old who was a part of the GV contingent again this year. I have to admit she does have a point. Having been out and proud for the better part of 15 years I do tend to get a little jaded when friends phone asking if I’m going to the various Trans/dyke/LBGTIQ/CAKE march-like events — I mean sure, it’d be fun to be out and it’s nice to support and be supported but at the same time… sometimes I think it’s just as fun to… i dunno… actually get some laundry done. Or go with my kids to a non-gender-identity defined event like the giant picnic they had at Mosswood Park a coupla week-ends ago.
While I wouldn’t say that the fact that everyone there wasn’t wearing their category on their sleeve as it were, the fact that it seemed effortlessly inclusive was kind of comforting. The key word, i suppose is “effort.” I have nothing against the out, loud and proud. I usually am one. It’s just that having “done” it for awhile, my outness is so incorporated into my everyday personae that it jsut doesn’t seem like it’s work. Unless I’m going out to represent. Then it seems like I have to spend way too much time in front of the mirror trying to offset the many ways in which my march toward middle age has come to resemble the lot of middle america by highlighting the “differences!” the cool-ness.
The reason I as a single, “dyke” (although even that’s not holding up so well), mom-of-two am qualified to represent what the today’s world calls Queer. Honestly, most years, I’m just not up to the challenge. Until I actually get there. And, I do get there. Usually I’m shamed into it by my hard-working co-workers/friends but 9 times out of 10 I will gather the family together and schlep across the bridge and you know what? I usually end up having a great time. Oh sure, it’s exhausting… the fight to find parking, the pulling the kids in the wagon to the meeting spot, the standing around, the actual marching the pulling the now cranky, tired, hungry kids BACK to wherever the heck the truck ended up….
But the actual event — seeing all those cheering people who drove up from Sunnyvale to stand watching and cheering and desparately gobbling up GV goodies — for those people, me and the kids actually do represent something. We represent them. They, for whatever reason can’t march and we for whatever reason can. We will be on TV, we will be in the news and across America people who look alot like us might see those pictures and they might think, “huh, they don’t look so different….” and that’s pretty cool. Even if it does mean the kids will go another week without me washing their favorite jackets.
C’est la vie. It is pride after all.