Tasting The Rainbow: Pride Yet Impatience Is Not A Good Look

Tasting The Rainbow: Pride Yet Impatience Is Not A Good Look

Being a snob is not becoming of a Pride Activist.
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Now that May is here, it's exactly a month before LGBT Pride here in Cleveland.

The first few times I went to Pride, I was just an attendee. I marched with groups in the community that I was close to and stayed from start to finish.

The lineup and Opening Rally for Pride used to be on E.18th and Euclid. Then came the long march to Voinovich Park. We walked up Euclid, through Public Square, up to Ontario, in front of City Hall, then down E.9th to the park. It was a long and hot walk or a long and wet walk of Pride that was rained out.

Since my first march in 2002, my bisexual orientation has remained constant while my sexuality has not. In my 20s I actively pursued women for relationships. I went back and forth between wanting to form monogamous or polyamorous partnerships. I connected with the asexual community.

When I started running groups myself, Pride became more of a marketing tool than a place to openly be who I was. Now the time beforehand is used to try and gather money for a booth, marketing materials, and items for sale.

Preparing for a day of fun and possibly finding love has taken a back seat to activism. Some years this sacrifice is easier than others.

This year I feel the sacrifice already.

As I get older and more concrete and adamant about what I want, not finding those things have depressed me greatly. I feel selfish enough to want to enjoy the fruits of 15 years of activist labor. I want to prove to the world that what we fight for guarantees a happy ending.

Unfortunately, these same desires of mine cause my own pride to diminish as I only seem to come across everyone I'm not interested in. In being pickier, I've become more judgmental and jaded of the new generation of LGBT people and of those who come out later in life. I know what I want, and I'm pretty stuck up towards those who don't fit what I'm looking for.

If someone is not in my age range? No. Thank You. If someone doesn't live in Ohio? I'll pass. If someone who is poly and already in a relationship yet wants my attention? I leave them alone. Someone with children? I'm good. Someone bicurious or heteroflexible wants a relationship? None of that. Someone, who's come out late in life wants to date me? I don't think so.

However, I remain steadfast in my resolve to work on myself so I can be someone that others are proud to be with. I wouldn't want to be with someone who looked down on everyone before I came along. What would that say about them? What would that say about me accepting that behavior and being with them anyways? Nothing good. I can't be who I wouldn't want to be with.

In order to show people your pride, you have to be good with your pride. That's who I want to be.

Cover Image Credit: Sydney Troxell

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.
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To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.


Love,

Amy

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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Family Is About Love, Not Genetics

Your family is not who you are born into, it's who you find.

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We are finally over Thanksgiving, the biggest day for family meals and reunions all year long. While everyone seems to love the meal part, everyone always seems to get caught up on the family part. If you look at Twitter or Instagram around the holidays, your feed will be clogged with memes of "Thanksgiving clapbacks" of responses to the snappy comments of relatives. However, while these memes are hilarious, these memes become far too real for people that are ostracized by their family every year.

The Thanksgiving Clapback memes make fun of the rude, mundane comments we all hate to hear from our distant relatives. Treading over passive-aggressive statements about our relationships, education, jobs, and so much more.

While these are hilarious, they touch on a much more real and depressing issue. Every year, while we are annoyed by the rude comments of our relatives, so many people are constantly being shunned away from their families because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, political beliefs, religious beliefs, and so many other superficial issues.

Family is supposed to be the group around you that loves you and accepts you unconditionally. Because of that, your family doesn't simply have to be the relatives you are born into. In fact, the opposite is often true. While some relatives are absolutely wonderful and give unconditional love, far too many will focus on benign details and cling to views that make them willing to reject their so-called "family." This is not what a family should be at all. A family would never reject you for personal reasons. Family never stops loving, no matter the circumstance, trials, or personal beliefs.

Because of this, it is important to find your family, not just take the one you are born into. Find the people that will love you no matter. Find the people that will always be there to support you. Find those people that will accept you for who you are. Most importantly, love those people, accept those people, and support those people equally. Finding friends is one thing, but finding your family is the most important thing for your emotional health.

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