Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, July 05, 2002

Pride: A Deeper Love...
I love the Gay Pride March. Why? It's fun, that's why. Also I owe it to myself to go. And I owe it to others to go too. Let me explain.

I spend most of my life in the company of straight people. At work mainly. Now don't get me wrong, I like straight people. Some of my best friends are straight. But however gay-friendly they may be it's just not the same as being around just gay men and women. Being in a gay only space means I don't have to pretend any more that I'm 'just like you'. I can relax. I can be myself. I can be someone different. I don't have to act straight and normal. I can be my real self. A weight is taken off my shoulders. I can get the same feeling going into a gay pub or a gay cafe. A feeling of security. A feeling of relief. It's a sanctuary. Now imagine that feeling of safety magnified by a factor of ten, twenty, a thousand. That's what Gay Pride is all about. Joining the Gay Pride March gives me that enormous feeling of joy - and there is nothing quite like it. It gives me a real rush, a feeling of belonging, a sense of... pride. I love that annual glow. That self affirmation. I then know I am not alone. I am a part of a something bigger. Something good. So I owe it to myself to go tomorrow.

Let's face it it's a homophobic world. The casual use of poof, faggot and queer as terms of abuse is widespread. Less so than say 20 years ago but that is to a large extend due to such public displays of solidarity as Gay Pride. Sure the press picks up on the trannies, the leather queen's and the freaks - but what they rarely show is the thousands upon thousands of regular people walking arm in arm because they are simply making a statement about their sexuality (and having fun doing it). I believe that it's due to these marches that Stonewall got it's first footing, social and political change comes about through public visibility not by tutting behind newspapers and sounding off at dinner parties. Cynics will say that they don't need Gay Pride any more. But think of the people who are too frightened to come out, the people who hate themselves for what they are. The people who have no positive role model. By joining the March I am showing them it's OK to be gay. OK to be different. I say: get seen, get a scene. It could all be taken away so easily. So I owe it to others to go tomorrow too.

So will you be joining me in tomorrow's march? Speaker's Corner 11am.

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