lessons in the friend-huntpride events represent a lot of things to many different people. for some it's the party of the year; a time to let down ones hair and make new friends. for others- it's a time for a community and those who support it to gather around and marvel at how far they've come, while keeping eyes focused on how far we've yet to go. what everyone can manage to agree on, is that pride is a place of joy. pride is meant to bring people together- not divide them further.
i woke up to a nasty text message this morning regarding my 'not meeting up' with a few people at pride. i also got several, shall we say- rather assertive, texts throughout the entirety of the weekend from friends trying to meet up. this isn't my first go-around with pride, nor is it for countless friends around me- so why is it that people don't understand that the whole point of pride is to have a good time? pride's intention is not to cause strife between fellow gays. it's not the time to reprimand other friends who's paths didn't cross with your own. pride is simply not the place for your hostility to come out.
regular readers know that i try my hardest to remain relatively impartial in regards to my stances on things. i make efforts to see the other side before i develop my opinion but this is one time i will stand firm to my guns in defense of myself. most don't take it as a personal slight when they lose friends at an event that easily brings thousands of people out, but it did bother one friend. it bothered her so much she denounced our friendship and deleted me off of facebook. for the most part i don't allow facebook goings-on to spill over into my personal life, but with this one- i got upset. i wasn't upset that i had lost this friend as much as i was upset at how things happened.
my pride was spent surrounded by my best friends. it was a beautiful time in our beautiful city. we were the most energetic, dynamic, personable group of women around. we shared in adventures, picked up a few stragglers, met up with some strangers, made new friends, ran into old ones, but most importantly we had a great time. those around us, lest they be strangers or not, were our families in that moment. the faces that mirrored our smiles had it right- just enjoy this moment. there were those we attempted to meet up with but due to the sheer vastness of the city and crowds seeing everyone who attended pride just wasn't going to happen.
and you know what? you never see everyone at pride- ever. sixty percent of the time after uploading the photos later and then perusing through other friends albums, you'll discover you were mere yards away from each other all day. you will laugh about it- vow to meet up next year, but chances are just as likely that you won't...again, thus is the pride-friend-hunt.
i wish people would chill out. (it's a sad state of affairs when the borderline OCD, anxiety riddled freak is asking folks to chill) but honestly people- your friends don't hate you because they didn't see you at an event...your friends are busy suffering from heat stroke and awkwardly throwing up behind a camry in an alley while their ass is covered in gum they sat in. your friends aren't terrible people because they missed your phone call...your friends are busy looking for their roommate who blacked out- lost her id- had no money on her- and was eventually found sleeping alone under a dc alcove.
on the flip side of this coin are those friends who know how pride works. they know, that try as you might to figure out who will be attending what, you might not see everyone. they know that pride-misses aren't a personal attack on ones friendship. they know that at the close of the weekend, that friend still has your back through thick and thin regardless of whether or not you saw them. they know that a single appearance doesn't dictate loyalty, honesty or any of the qualities one looks for a friend.
i suppose i'm just being a bit sensitive this morning, as 8 back-to-back downright disrespectful text messages might do to a person upon just emerging from slumberland. i'm sorry if i come across as harsh but this weekend wasn't about you.
pride isn't about the individual, it's about the collective. while you sit there and stew about how awful your friends who 'ditched' you are, i will remind you of the sea of faces i saw this weekend. within that sea was happiness, joy and friendship. no one was throwing fisticuffs, no one was gettin' scrappy and pulling out weaves- everyone was proud. they were proud to be at a place where no matter who you are- you are accepted. they were proud to be swarming with absolutely enchanting individuals with brightly colored EVERYTHING. they put their arms around strangers and hugged them with both arms, none of this christian side-hug business!
what i feel people are missing when it comes to pride is the true reason we are all there. it isn't just to meet fresh new faces to befriend and bed, it's true purpose is to show how proud of ourselves we are. those who paved the way for us not so long ago would no doubt be disappointed in some of the shit that tumbles out of pride...but we can change that! the magnificent thing about life is that change is constant- and you can be part of that change even if you once were the source of the problem.
pride is a place to march.
pride is a place to dance.
pride is a place to be free.
pride is a place to be proud.