I have a hard time getting my head around the idea of gay pride.
Wait, wait–before anybody gets his leather panties in a bunch and starts filling my mailbox with rainbow-hued death threats, let me do my best to explain–and please refrain from calling the tolerance cops in the meantime. For those individuals constantly on the lookout to take umbrage (and there are a lot of them these days), just keep walking–there’s nothing for you to see here. I’m by no means disparaging the notion of being proud of one’s homosexuality, just trying to understand it. Ultimately, I’m cool with anything that gives an individual a sense of identity, community and purpose if it’s not hurting anybody. Happy people make life better for everyone.
And it’s not like there aren’t people out there prouder of stranger things. There are men–grown men!–who are proud of things as ridiculous as toy trains, model soldiers or belt-buckles. In Alabama, many young married couples take great pride in choosing spouses from outside their immediate families. I can’t pretend that I understand these things, but I appreciate the very real happiness they bring to people who do.
For this reason, while I’m ‘for’ gay pride (in that I’m not against it; I am a study in ambivalence), I’m afraid I’ll never really understand it. I think this is because my only basis of comparison is my own heterosexuality, of which I am most definitely not proud. Quite the opposite, in fact–I’m actually a little ashamed of it, if I’m being honest. I mean, when I think back on the moments in my life of which I’m least proud–times when I was manipulative, dishonest or just plain stupid–if I examine them closely, I see that my heterosexuality was behind every one of them.
So maybe the gays* know something we don’t.