A rant, if you will.
This past weekend was our local Pride. I've gone to it nearly every year since I've known S., and it was in fact the first Pride I ever attended - even before the big hoopla that is NYC Pride. I remember how happy I felt the first time I went--seeing others like me, seeing women with babies and dogs and being so happy together. It felt blissful there being with my (then) girlfriend, pondering the future when we would have kids of our own to shuttle to and show off at Pride (insert lesbian stereotype here).
Then I got old. And had kids. And quite frankly, Pride is not my thing anymore. I more often than not feel myself being annoyed by Pride instead of being "proud" at Pride, and I am usually left wondering why I bothered fighting the traffic to find a far-away parking space, only to sit for a short parade and go walking around a glorified parking lot looking at people selling gay crap I will never buy. I will also add that we honestly do not have many gay friends. We have a couple we hang out with sometimes who I work with and who have similarly aged children, and we often see their gay friends at their house, but that is it. We love when we do hang out with them, because it's important for us to have our children see families like ours.
But I often feel like a minority at Pride. I feel like I have no big gay rights agenda, that I don't own a single item of rainbow or HRC clothing, that I have somehow assimilated into straight culture and feel like an outsider amongst the many wonderful gays and lesbians who live in my neck of the woods. Part of this is my own doing--lesbians love drama, and I do not, so I guess unconsciously I tend to stay clear. The other part is--I guess I just feel like a woman who happened to fall in love with another woman. Is it part of my identity? Sure. I knew as a teenager I was partial to women. But, is gay even a top-five adjective I would use to describe myself? Nope. S. feels the same way. She once told me she'd say she was a "gardener" or a "flea market junkie" over a lesbian.
I'm sure next year I will be at Pride again-for my kids. It is important we let them know how many other gay families and gay people live amongst us. I feel lame sometimes, knowing that people elsewhere don't have the option of being so blase about their gayness, or their "alternative" family, and that I probably take for granted that our families and friends and state are for the most part so supportive of us that we never have to feel like outsiders. And I guess in the end, I am grateful for that.