Day 157 of 365 Days of Silver ~~ Grateful For (Gay) Pride

So take my hand
Divided we fall
Together we stand
Don’t turn away
Tomorrow will be our day!

You gotta have pride!
Don’t be ashamed
Our love is the same
I’ve got pride
I am what I am
I’m taking’ a stand
I got pride!

Something that has utterly thrilled and amazed me the last few gay pride events I’ve been to is the youth. And I mean young. I’ve seen kids walking around holding hands and sneaking a little peck here and there that couldn’t be older than fourteen or fifteen.

The times are indeed a changing.’ And it is very exciting…..

I snapped this picture last night (it was going on evening and isn’t nearly as nice as I’d hoped) of a couple (with permission) and I doubt either is over eighteen. I’m getting so bad at judging ages that they could be considerable less. It blows me away and makes me so happy I cry.

Years ago, around the second (and final) time I came out an activist (I wish I knew who but back then I was just listening to the words) and someone asked him what the common person could do to help with gay rights. His answer?

“Come out.”

The problem, he explained, as that the average person believed what they saw on television and what television showed (and still does) is the fringe, the out there, the controversial. They show the NAMBLA float (North American Man Boy Love Association) and never the gay church or the square dancers or gay person’s business association. Or the show the leather men with their bare asses and the dray queens (not that I have anything against them!) and all of this only confirmed what they were told. That gay men are sickos who want to have sex with boys (see my post yesterday) or wanted to be women (like there is anything wrong with that) and freaks (not like there is anything wrong with that either).

By coming to friends and families and the job, we are educating the world and showing everyone that we are their doctors and lawyers and teachers and mechanics and park rangers and police officers as well as florists and interior decorators and landscape artists (and I hope you know I don’t think there is anything wrong with that). We are showing them we are every where.

To my great joy (I am crying again) I have seen the world change. That world that I lived in when I was in high school was a world where a boy in gym class who was suspected of being gay was beat up in the shower room and then all the boys urinated on him.

A guy I met recently is who is going to pose for one of my covers lives in a world where he came out as a freshman in high school and everyone loved him!

And I know, I know, that a big part of why he was able to do that was because people like me came out.

I have educated many people just by being me. I could go on for hours with stories of people who have changed their feelings about gay people from knowing me.

“You’re nothing like I thought gay people were. You’re just like everyone else!”

Which certainly isn’t true but I understood the sentiment.

So today I am grateful for gay pride. Mine and millions of others. We educated the world!

And today the world is a pretty fabulous place.

B.G. Thomas

PS: Happy Gay Pride!

lyrics by Johnna and photograph by B.G. Thomas

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