Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Too Much Information: Pride Month 2014
Sean's Too Much Information feature is something I always enjoy answer. I am looking forward to attending Pride 2014 enormously, both in my home town where I am on the organizing committee and at World Pride 2014 later in June in Toronto. Woo-hoo!
Please also check out Kelly Stern's Pride Challenge and show your support by posting his Pride flag picture on your blog.
HAPPY PRIDE 2014!
1. Tell me about your first Pride. I posted about my first Pride in 2011 here, here and here. At that time, I was a gay virgin and was in the middle of my never-ending, harrowing coming-out / separation / divorce journey.
I was in severe pain and had difficulty walking due to a spinal arthritis problem resulting from four severely degraded vertebrae.
2. What did that first Pride mean to you? Despite my pain, I was determined to attend. I was finally "out" at an enormous cost and the simple act of walking around our Pride picnic represented the next step in my gay journey. I was determined that nothing would stop me.
3. How many different Prides have you been to? Two, all in my small town but this month, I will be attending at least two more Pride celebrations.
4. Do you fly the Pride Flag and/or stick it to anything? I wear Pride merchandise (wrist bands, T-shirts, buttons and the like) while attending Pride festivities but not at any other time. But I'm thinking that I should wear my Pride T-shirts all the time, gay militant that I'm becoming.
But at my new school, I plan to wear my Pride T-shirt occasionally and will post an "Inclusive Schools" rainbow Pride sign on my new classroom door.
5. Do you still celebrate Pride? What does it mean to you now? I've only been out for four years, so I still eagerly anticipate every Pride event. But now, I approach Pride as an LGBTQ advocate and a teacher.
I think that the visibility that Pride brings to the LGBTQ community is more important to than ever before. By being an out teacher and an active Pride participant / volunteer and organizer, I know that I serve as a important role model, especially to the students at my school, gay or straight.
6. Does Pride need improving? If so, what changes would you make? I'm a Pride newbie so it would be presumptuous of me to try to "fix" it. But in our town, about 80% of our Pride organizers are women. The gay guys don't get involved at all.
In fact, the vast majority of the gay guys who are my age I hook up with NEVER even attend our local Pride celebrations. It's time to get out of the closet, guys! That's one change that I would make: to get the gay men more involved.
7. How do you give back? I've invested much time and effort by being on our town's Pride organizing committee and I intend to continue and expand upon this role.
What kind of trouble or embarrassing moment have you had during Pride? My only regret is that I've done nothing to regret during Pride. I'm sorry to say. I have no embarrassing stories to tell at all! I must rectify that situation when I attend World Pride 2014 in Toronto later this month.
at 3:49 PM