Will be in New York City for Gay Pride soon, looking forward to seeing the city for the first time in about six years. It’s become somewhat fashionable to diss Gay Pride, for all of the commercialization and the party boy atmosphere. I know a lot of people who won’t go to their local Pride celebrations for these reasons; reasons I understand.

But I always think about something my first boyfriend once said, that we owe it to ourselves, and to those who came before us, who fought for the rights we enjoy now, we owe it to our visibility, our past, our future, to show up and be counted. My experience with the past few Pride days here in San Francisco, at least from my perspective walking in the parade with all the shelter dogs, is that the majority of people lining the route were from out of town; people who might live in towns where there won’t be any Pride celebrations, people who are out there in their cheesy rainbow clothes and fanny packs, with yards of plastic beads around their necks, having a total blast. They make me smile, they make me grateful for the life I lead. (Which is not to say that the cracked-out boys don’t annoy me, sobriety has certainly dulled their limited appeal for me. But that’s a minor loss). I will miss SF Pride this year, I look forward to seeing New York’s Pride with new eyes, to being the dorky one from out of town.

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