Today, Saturday June 8th, is Boston’s Gay Pride parade. It is an event the my children’s old school attends every year and it is something that is significant to many of my friends and community.
I have been to many gay pride all school meetings but I don’t think I’ve ever been to the parade. This year, I started to think, “What is gay pride to a straight mom and her family?” I am not celebrating being gay. I am not celebrating having friends who are. But I do feel pride.
I feel pride every time a new state recognizes and supports gay marriage. I feel pride every time a person, celebrity or not, is able to come out and be themselves. I feel pride every time I see a church that hangs a rainbow flag at their door or shows some other sign if true openness and acceptance.
I don’t feel proud when my children marry boys together or girls together in their imaginary play. Why not? Because, for them, thus far in their lives, it is normal. There is no struggle, no overcoming anything, it is just play. I don’t feel pride in my fabulously progressive, and thoroughly modern parenting because I live in Cambridge where diversity exists without effort on my part and my children were lucky enough to spend several years in a school that breathes gay pride day in and out.
I guess the answer that comes to me is that I feel pride when I see, read about, hear from or notice someone overcome something big or small that makes them feel less than so that they reclaim a status of equal to. Actually, i might even push the boundary a but and say that pride is feeling better than, but it is not hubris, it’s a healthy ‘better than’ it’s recognizing ‘other’ as a positive trait that you share with a group or community. That feels like pride. Now don’t read into this too much. I think we are so far from equality for so many, but each little victory counts for something.
So today I celebrate everyone I know for all those small victories. Being human is hard and we are all sentient beings, delicate yet strong/strong yet soft/hardened yet sensitive.