Here's my account of my first-ever Pride event. My oldest drove me to the Pride family picnic and then went on some errands. For this year, I wanted to check out the scene by myself. I only stayed for about thirty minutes; it would have been too painful to stay any longer.
It was my first time ever being in a (small) crowd of people where everyone was either gay or gay-friendly. It's hard to describe, but I felt the beginnings of a very special feeling..... as though I "belonged", not completely, but it was a start.
By far the best part of the event was seeing the very large number of teenagers, all of them very attractive, hip and seemingly self-confident. These youngsters had every manner rainbow-striped Pride gear, from packsacks, t-shirts, t-shirt minidresses, dog leashes, purses and hats... all clearly purchased for such such an occasion. They were just so cool! I was so proud of their courage! These kids are so lucky to be growing up in a country with such a strong acceptance of LGBT people.
Another surprise: I was expecting to see a lot of hefty lesbians with buzz cuts, wearing work boots and flannel shirts. (I apologize for that stereotype.) Instead, I saw attractive women in their 30s who appeared to be there as same-sex couples with children, looking like any mothers you see see at a playground with their kids.
I bought a Pride t-shirt and flag, took my 12 of 12 pictures, walked around the site and admired a beautiful young policeman. He had am amazing bubble butt highlighted by the tightest policeman's pants. He was on duty at the city police's job recruitment table, with the goal or improving diversity amongst its police force. I wondered, did they send a gay policeman to the LGBT picnic? Another stereotype: straight policemen wear tight pants, too, I'm sure!
Sadly, there were not too many 25 - 50 year old men present. I was there in the late afternoon and the kids' activities were still in full swing. I'm sure the hot guys were going to show up for the evening's entertainment ending at 11:00 pm.
I chatted to a old friend who hugged me and offered her condolences. I said, "What for?". I didn't realize at first that she was referring to my marriage breakdown. I told her, pointing around me, that this is why marriage failed... "I finally figured out I was gay!" I said the kids were perfectly fine with me being gay and she said, "Of course they are; you two are the most fantastic parents ever!" Another bit of support!
I didn't go into the tent where all the LGBT groups had displays. No one else was in there and I suddenly chickened out, not wanting to be at the centre of attention. I'll check out their websites for all the info I need.
My goals for next year:
- participate more fully in more of the Pride week events
- help out on the organizing committee
- What I really want to do the most; attend a big city Pride Parade!