Last weekend I went to Milwaukee Pride. I didn't schedule going-but a singer I love (Melissa Ferrick ) was playing and she is ALWAYS worth seeing-even if it involves a bit of a drive. Yes, I had seen her the night before in Chicago. No, I didn't feel great. Yes, we both felt too old to make like groupies and follow her. Yes, we had responsibilities, errands and chores we should have been doing. Yes, it was forecast to rain. (It didn't)
I have been to Pride celebrations in a number of cities. Atlanta (pretty much how I have envisioned big city pride celebrations), Chicago (disappointing), Gainesville, FL (a nice celebration-in the fall) and a number of other festivals aimed at a GLBT community.
Milwaukee Pride is advertised as having the most diverse line up, the biggest in the (midwest? country? something.) I didn't quite believe it until I got there. It knocked my socks off. Quite large, great vendors, great support booths, great entertainment. Interesting crowd of people. I was glad we had gotten there early enough to enjoy more of what the festival had to offer than just the singer we went to see.
My mother doesn't get Pride celebrations. Why is it important? Doesn't it just make you odd? Why do you need Pride month? Implicit in this is a "isn't it just a place to hook up and why do you need to do that since you are part of a couple" and "Isn't it just a bunch of wild flaunting of sexual behavior?"
No-it is a chance to say "Look-we are your daughters, mothers, sons, neighbors, the person who stands behind you in the checkout" and it is a chance to see-that no, we aren't the only lesbians in a three state area. Yes, there are others with families. Yes, there are some older than you. Some that have better relationships, longer relationships, worse relationships or no relationships.Some look very much like the people you know and see every day. Some do not. It can be overwhelming-to see wow-look at all these people just like me. It can be a bit scary. It can be wonderful. In any case-no matter how good or bad the event is-it is worth showing up-whether you are G, L, B, T, Q or just a supporter of those who are in your life.
What about you? What has been your experience with GLBTQ Pride Festivals, Parades, Events?
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