Pride My Way

It’s June! Temperatures are rising across the country and summer is finding her groove. Along with the rising temps, bring a few other traditions. First is that clothing gets shorter and shorter! I long for the first hot shirtless guy I see of the season running down the street! Another tradition is the yearly gathering of the LGBTQ+ community at Pride! As cities all across the country get set to throw their own unique Pride parade and parties, I find myself for yet another year having no desire to attend at all…

Let me stop you there.

Before you get all, “but like it’s like so fun, and everyone is there just having a good time, and it’s all about love…”.

I get all the reason why Pride is important and why it attracts so many people of the sexual spectrum. I see how some people would consider it fun, and I don’t judge anyone who attends. The plain simple truth is it’s just not for me. I wish it was. But it’s not.

Why?

I wish the answer was simple. I could simply blame it (and honestly most of the time I do) on my anxiety. Nothing sets it off quiet like the thought of being surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people. Hell there are days, weeks, and even months where the thought of having a 1 on 1 with a stranger sends my anxiety soaring. Needless to say, going and celebrating with a thousand strangers (even accompanied by people I trust and am comfortable around) is not something I want to run out and do.

But come on, James, it’s one time a year!
Yeah yeah yeah. I’m aware. I do get the concept of time and how it works! But I also don’t feel the need to celebrate every holiday or celebration every year. There have been years, I’ve skipped Christmas, Thanksgiving, My Birthday, even Halloween! Not skipped really. I’ve always celebrated or marked them in a special way but often alone. Like the year in Russia, I had McDonald’s on Christmas even though the entire country had invited me to an “American Christmas,” or that time for my 32, 33, and 34 birthday where I spent the entire day alone high off my ass watching movies, listening to music, and partying with my cats! It’s not that I didn’t celebrate those days. I chose how I wanted to and was comfortable with celebrating them.
Same goes for Pride!

I’m gay. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of all the men and women who are brave enough to stand up in front of a very hateful, judgmental world and be who they are!!! I celebrate it everyday. And I will celebrate in my own special way this June. Be it with watching Moonlight again; jamming out to Madonna’s Vouge, Express Yourself, Human Nature, Papa Don’t Preach, or Rebel Heart; or simply taking a moment to realize how lucky I am to have been blessed to be a gay man. It has taught me love, compassion, understanding, and that no one wants to be hated for who they are. So love each other. Be proud! Have fun!! Celebrate you the way you want!

Thanks for stopping by!

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