Last Sunday I attended my fourth Chicago pride parade, and I have something to say about it.
First and foremost, I want to specify that this parade is about cultivating safe public passages for the LGBT community to exist as equals. Specific causes like honoring the stonewall riots, honoring the Act-Up movement (A.I.D.S. activists), equality for the Lesbian community, protecting trans-people who struggle to have access to even the most basic rights of public dignity and to create a genuine acceptance of bisexuality. These people are the frontline of the parade, literally and figuratively, this should not be forgotten or pushed to the side for any of the following feelings I'm about to share.
Pride also functions as a reminder to people of all backgrounds hetero/cis-gender alike, that the expectations of conformity is as arbitrarily contrived as this face:
So much of our shame, negativity and fears are manufactured by a narrative we ourselves did not write. We bought into it for a myriad of reasons like the comfort of privilege, a culture of fear and puritanical heritage; and we can take responsibility for some of that; but if you want out of that system, even for just a day, you are not alone and the parade is there for you with open arms.
This parade is a joyous celebration of what we are all capable of when we replace the fear of judgement with unwavering love and acceptance for the individuality of us all.