I went to Pride this last Sunday. It was my very first and for the most part, I had a good time. It was raining like the prophet could have been named Noah, and we all got completely drenched. Once I stopped trying to avoid the downpour and just accepted that I was going to get wet, it was a lot easier to just enjoy playing in the rain. I almost felt like a little kid again. Two days later, my shoes are finally dry.
The parade was awesome and we actually joined in carrying the huge rainbow flag. My favorite part was probably when we got to the parade's end and they were asking us to lay the flag down on the road. They didn't want it to get bunched up, and I heard someone telling us all this: "Don't say 'make it straight,' say 'spread it out!'" I loved that! We then walked around the festival at Washington Square, enjoying the booths, the people, getting pictures with drag queens, and munching on festival food. I went with four other girls. They were all so excited to be there and they pretty much loved every minute of it.
Of these girls, two know of my circumstances, two do not. There was a lovely little discussion on the drive down to SLC about gay marriage and Prop 8 and the involvement of the LDS Church. I didn't participate, but it was good to hear these other girls support gay marriage, despite what Church leaders promote. That helped me feel a little more at ease, and at the same time, I didn't feel the need to tell them that I was gay. That's where the conflict came in. In my opinion, it's a difficult thing to be at Pride and still be in the closet, hiding from the people you go with. There was so much freedom there, acceptance and love, boyfriends, girlfriends, families, dogs. I wanted so much to be a part of it, so much that it hurt. In the end though, my fear won out, and I stayed separate from the freedom that was surrounding me.
There have been some good things to come out of this though. First, I now know that there are two other girls that I work with are also lesbians. I had suspicions, but since it's a non-issue for me, I didn't feel the need to pry. We ran into one at Pride with her girlfriend. We saw the other girl there too, but I didn't get to talk to her until the next day. We compared notes on the festival, I told her that I was gay and we talked for awhile just about life. It was really, really nice.
Second, I've vowed that next year, I'm going to be in a place where it doesn't matter who I go with, I won't be in the closet for Pride. It's a celebration, and it's a place where it's really okay to just be who you are, no matter who you are. I can work towards being proud of who I am.
Third, I now have some more information about where two of my friends stand when it comes to people who are gay. I think that will come in handy when I decide to really open up more about who I am and I feel like I am perhaps a little closer to being able to tell them my truth.
And last, but certainly not least, I got a really good therapy visit out of my experiences with all this. :)
Amy fact of the day presents - Amy's teams: Utah Jazz, Philadelphia Eagles, Boston Red Sox. I like watching soccer but I don't have one team that I follow. I'll also take BYU over Utah. There's a story there, but that's for another time.