PRIDE

Some people may say today is the first day of June; I say it’s the first day of PRIDE!

Lately, there has been a lot of discourse about PRIDE, how the community treats its members internally, how PRIDE should and should not operate, and lots of other spats I just don’t find very productive right now. Not that many conversations shouldn’t be had–particularly, how people in the LGBTQIA community treat each other–but the way these conversations are being conducted (particularly where… *cough* Twitter *cough*) just isn’t very productive.

I was going to write an entry addressing all of this before I got to the meat of the post, but I decided against it. Today, I just want to celebrate one of my favorite times of the year. Regardless of everything–all of the discourse–PRIDE is a wonderful time to me. Not that I don’t love my LGBTQIA community 365/366 days a year–but during PRIDE, that love and respect takes on a magical feeling. It’s like Christmas for the queers.

I love seeing the twinks in their manties dancing on floats, the Dykes on Bikes, the pet parade where all the animals wear rainbow kerchiefs and the like, the elder gays marching together and reminding us of our history and who got us where we are today, THE DRAG QUEENS AND KINGS, the muscle gays, the leather daddies, the queer families bringing their babies in strollers for their first PRIDE, the trans community coming out, the black, brown, white (and everything in between), my non-binary siblings, the allies coming to show support, all of it. I love all of it. I love the sterilized family friendly events–such as the parade and marathons and pet parade. I love the naughty side where shirtless men dance around and leather and straps and harnesses are abundant. I love the concerts and the speakers and the older members of the community sitting around near the parade site, willing to tell anyone stories about our history.

I’m not particularly interested in some of the things PRIDE offers, but I support it all because it’s all part of US.

PRIDE, a long time ago, was the one day a year where all of us “freaks” could take to the streets and be exactly who we are–before being stuffed back into a box for the other 364 days of the year. We had that one day where we kind of didn’t have to worry about losing housing, jobs, healthcare, our families–or worse–over our PRIDE. We had to be kind to each other but we didn’t police each other because it was all we had.

I’d hate to see that spirit squashed.

I wish PRIDE was broadcast like the Macy’s Day Parade at Thanksgiving. Alas, that’s probably asking too much. For now…

Regardless, today, I wanted to jump PRIDE off with list of my favorite queer media. Movies, music, books, and the like, that you can enjoy during PRIDE. Media that can help you connect to your LGBTQIA roots. Granted, this is far from a comprehensive list (it’s extremely short compared to what is available, actually), but these are just some of my favorites.

Hopefully, you’ll all find something new to watch, listen to, read, or whatever, that you’ve never seen or heard of before. Something to help you enjoy PRIDE even more this year–especially since we’re living in a time when it may be difficult for most of us to attend an event in person.

Now that I’ve said that–don’t forget–if you do go to in person PRIDE events, wash your hands, observe social distancing rules, and wear ya’ damn masks! But have as much fun as possible while being safe!

Queer Movies I Love

But I’m A Cheerleader

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Love! Valour! Compassion!

Paris Is Burning

Pride

Naz & Maalik

And the Band Played On

Room In Rome

Jeffrey

Love, Simon

Queer Books I Love

I realize that all of these books may not have been written by queer authors. Regardless, these are books with queer characters and queer plotlines that I enjoy.

The Dancing Turtle by A.J. Stiles

Icarus by Adam Wing

Butterfly Boy by Rigoberto Gonzalez

Tin Man by Sarah Winman

They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera

Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement by Matthew Todd

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benajmin Alire Saenz

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Queer Music I Love

I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ by Scissor Sisters

Heavy Cross by Gossip

Strawberries & Cigarettes by Troye Sivan

Tightrope by Janelle Monae

Born This Way by Lady Gaga

Wait On Me by Siena Liggins

IN IN IN by Zebra Katz

Levon by Elton John

Bad At Love by Halsey

All That You Have Is Your Soul by Tracy Chapman

Closer to Fine by Indigo Girls

Muddy Waters by LP

Radio GaGa by Queen

Kill the Lights by Alex Newell

Poses by Rufus Wainwright

Regardless of how you are able to celebrate PRIDE this year–maybe you stay at home and watch queer movies and make rainbow cookies?–or you strap on your mask and hit the parade, I hope you are proud. I hope you spend time reflecting on our history, our community, and how we all need to respect, accept, and love each other more and more each day.

This PRIDE, speak truth, speak to power, and, most importantly, love yourself and each other.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,
Chase

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