Columbus Pride was this past weekend- one of the largest prides in the Midwest. To start out the weekend I semi-butched it up with the troupe at the Royal Renegades’ annual pride drag show at Wall Street.
[image: four drag king performers looking at the camera, all dressed in white shirts with black coats, looking cool]
The show was a fantastic time, but it reminded me how different Pride – and its spaces, scenes, and people are compared to every other time of year. Maybe folks think of Pride as a way to give a dose of gayness to the rest of the world, to remind them we are here. But out of sight, out of mind. Maybe its just me airing my activist baggage, but I can’t help but get angry during Pride. I look around and see people so excited to be queer, having all this “pride” but try to get a thousand volunteers for something in October, or get people out for an event in February, good-fucking-luck. Its like Queer Pride is seasonal or as needed. What good is a parade to promote community visibility if afterward the majority of the community disappears again, back to their homes to hibernate until next year when its again time to wear rainbows and get drunk in public?
Pride is great because it is like we own the world for a day, all the communities that make up the mass that is greater queer community out and about. But it doesn’t last. The next day and I went in search of brunch (naturally, queers love brunch), but I was afraid to go anywhere. Once again I was thrust back into being aware of my outcast standing. As things are now, pride is the one opportunity I have to be in my own state, my own local community, and not stick out like a nail waiting to get hit. I like pride for that reason, its an opportunity to relax and feel like I’m in a visible community that understands me… but I’m still not. Just like every year, I met several people who didn’t know what I was and when I told them I was a transguy they didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. Its hard to feel included when people still don’t think I even exist. I don’t bother explaining because I think that of all days, I should not have to be an educator at Pride. I just want to have fun too. When I express my impatience, I’m seen as hateful or irrational. I’m supposed to support organizations that are taking their time on trans education. I’m supposed to be proud of a queer community that still doesn’t recognize me. I’m supposed to think its great that our parade is reduced to corporate shills and advertisements instead of education and action.