Monday, March 16, 2009

The Death of Pride in Cincinnati - Part 2

Documenting my Pride Celebrations epiphany was a cool moment for me. I’m a huge connoisseur of self-discovery and I had an Oprah Moment of Clarity that seemed important to share. Somehow, in the midst of my discovery I put pressure in a place I didn’t realize was as sensitive as it clearly is. I said something out loud (typed and placed in a public forum) something people have been telling me for years – They’re disappointed in the Cincinnati Pride Celebrations. After listening for many years (and for many of those years I didn’t even live in this city) I started to wonder why I bothered to show up at the Pride Celebration that I too was disappointed in.

What did I conclude? I realized that I wasn’t celebrating for me anymore. I’ve been lucky enough to find the confidence (read: Pride) that I need to make it thru any day. I owe that opportunity to discover confidence to the folks who came before me. Now I celebrate to help others find that same courage (read: Pride) and pass on what I was able to learn.

Now lets be honest – I have a good time, too (smile). This isn’t totally selfless. In years past I have found myself in the Colors/Jacobs/Bronze drinking things the color of glass cleaner and dancing with everyone who’ll oblige me. In more recent years I’ve found myself lounging in courtyards in the pouring rain or sweltering heat just talking and laughing like a fool – celebrating if you will.

And here’s the cool part – I very clearly remember my first years out….going to the gay bars and being the observer of the people “celebrating”. I saw two boys kiss for the first time during a Pride Celebration and thought – maybe this is okay….they may not have known it, but they were celebrating for me. They already had all the pride they needed and their extra flowed over the rest of us.

I’ll say it again - reveling in your Pride is an act of giving to those who cannot yet revel – and you should be proud of yourself

Now, I am not the one to sit around and apologize for my opinions, but it seems that something might have gotten lost in the last posting. To be very clear:

I am THRILLED to live in a community that has a Pride Celebration (regardless of its form)
I may have been a touch harsh when referring to the Festival at Hoffner park as a Flea Market with a beer truck – not fair and probably just some inflammatory rhetoric that flew out of my brain – Consider it officially retracted
I am not thrilled about getting up on ANY morning – be that to put on makeup for a show or pair of khakis for the office – and I still think lining up for the parade at 11am is too early.
The amount of work it takes to pull off any event – for 10 or 10,000 is amazing and everyone involved should be congratulated for putting in the work.

Please know that my opinions and writings are simply the ramblings of a drag queen that is excited to have the opportunity to share them, and are often times not worth the space that they occupy.

And there’s my one Penny’s worth (again)

Smooches - pt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God bless ya Penny.

You know, Pride isn't perfect. We aren't ever all going to agree on the particulars, on the theme, on the location, on the timing of things -- and some may even feel rather strongly about this or that. All of this is noted and changes will be made next year, just watch. But for now, we have to work with what we have.

In the final analysis, we need at some point to let go of the temptation to bitch and be supportive of each other and supportive of those in the community who are volunteering and trying to pull this off.

We get enough crap from a cruel world out there, so let's take care of each other in our special community -- including those who are not willing to let Pride die, and also those still too afraid to make their way out of the closet.

I think that is the essense of what Penny said, and she said it quite well. Thank you.