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I went to my first Pride parade years ago, when I was a young scared little queerling of 22 or 23. I went to my second two weeks ago. What happened in the intervening years? Well, very little. At that first Pride parade, I felt out of place. I came looking for belonging, but didn’t belong there. It was so loud, so audacious. So… So prideful. I thought at the time that the problem was with the raw sexuality on display. The barely clothed men dancing on so many of the floats, bare breasted women throwing social mores (along with their bras) to the wind, doms and subs doing things with chains whips and leashes in public… It all made me uncomfortable. Why couldn’t these people just be normal? Where were the normal queers like me who didn’t want to make a big deal out of their sexuality, but just wanted to gather and exist comfortably? In retrospect, I think the concept I had a hard time with was Pride itself. I didn’t really understand what there was to be proud of.

Pride »

I shuffled down the hall into Andrea’s room and sat on her floor in the middle of the rug. Looking down at the threads, at nothing in particular, I mumbled to her, “I……….. like guys.” She was the first person I had come out to… sober, that is. But my awkwardness was transformed by Andrea’s immediate response: “That’s wonderful! I’m so happy for you!” Her excitement changed an uncomfortable and self-doubting moment into a source of pride for me.

Pride »

June is my birthday month. It’s also pride month. This year, for the first time in my life, I got to celebrate it properly: in the eternal city, with a million other souls that together became one. Together we made ourselves visible, we made ourselves heard and we demanded respect.

Pride »

June 4th was the SlutWalk through Chicago’s Loop. At Milwaukee’s PrideFest the week after, this author’s “Chicago SlutWalk” t-shirt inspired Wisconsinites to get involved their own SlutWalk (in Milwaukee on August 13). The popularity of this movement, which has extended around the world, signifies a human readiness for change.

Pride »

I’ve not adopted the full Gay agenda (any more than most Republicans or Mormons have adopted the full ticket or gospel of their parties or faith, I suppose). I don’t subscribe to the Gay lifestyle… literally. I stopped The Advocate since it made me feel like I wasn’t Gay enough. I’m more The Onion, less The Blade. I’m not always positive what order “LGBT” is supposed to go in, and until very recently, I wasn’t sure what Proposition 8 was for… or against. As far as I knew, it was in California— not in my immediate vicinity— and about same-sex marriage— not in my immediate future. And I confess: I’ve not attended a Pride parade in years.

Ideas, Pride »

Being gay isn’t something I have been proud of, in and of itself. But I take pride in how I have handled what I consider the fallout of being gay.

During this gay pride month of June, I hope we’ll all take some time to assess what we’re so damn proud of. I’ve made that list, and “being gay” isn’t anywhere on it. Do I take my sexuality for granted, or am I ungrateful?

I’m proud of Mark, the man as he is today. I’m proud of my brother for keeping the bullies away. And I’m proud at my success, day by day, of recovering from addiction and having a purpose.

Personal Narratives, Pride »

“I have always felt like a woman. I can remember the times when my father would buy me baseballs, footballs, and all of these manly things as a child, but I would always just play with my sisters dolls and dress in their clothes. That was what made me comfortable. I never thought that anything was wrong with it because I felt that I was supposed to be a woman. While I was comfortable with it, my parents struggled with it at first. It was hard on my them, but my mother sheltered me and let me know it was okay.

Personal Narratives, Pride »

Annie Nguyen aka dj vANNIEty Kills played the Scissor Sisters’ after-party at U St. Music Hall on Wednesday, June 8th. You can see her DJ schedule here. Listen to her minHousin’ mix.

Personal Narratives, Pride »

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company is an emerging dance company that performs and presents Indian dance forms, such as Bharata Natyam, and Modern dance, mirroring the multiple identities of second generation South Asians. The company combines the arts with social justice issues both by incorporating the themes into our work and via partnerships with local community centers and schools. You can subscribe to their email list by emailing info@dakshina.org, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Personal Narratives, Pride »

Imam Daayiee Abdullah is a scholar, a former public interest lawyer, and a specialist in Shari’ah Sceinces/Quranic Interpretation. He frequently lectures internationally on progressive Muslim concepts, interfaith networking, and the development of inclusive revisions of Islamic theological thought and interpretations of Shari’ah. Daayiee has also long been invovled in actively promoting understanding and awareness of issues of racial, sexual and gender equality both within and beyond Muslim communities. He is Imam of the The Light of Reformation Mosque (Masjid An-Nural Isslaah) that is gender equal, queer friendly, intrafaith welcoming and interfaith active. He is also affiliated with the California-based Muslims for Progressive Values.