This weekend I went to a pride festival. I haven’t been to one for quite a long time, maybe five or six years. But this pride is arranged by one of my friends and I haven’t been there since it started, so it was about time.
On Friday my friend Jamie picked me up after work and we just hung out, made some food and played cards.
Saturday was the day of the parade and the party. We had some breakfast, put on some makeup, and drove to the town where the parade was going to be. It was quite a cold day, but as soon we got to the park where people were gathering for the parade, it started getting a little bit warmer. My friend Mikael, the arranger, though I didn’t look gay enough, so he gave me a flag and a rainbow flower necklace.
There was quite a few people in the park, and we said hello to some friends. Me and my friend Emma wanted to be close to the car that were playing music, so we tride to stay close to it when the parade left. We didn’t get to be as close as we wanted, so we could mostly hear people blowing whistles. The actual parade was very quick, and afterwards there was a few speakers that we listened to, and then we went for lunch.
After lunch we went back to the apartment and I tried to have a quick power nap while my friends watched a movie. Then my friends started having a few drinks, and I was starting on my makeup. For some reason I had decided to make some fancy glitter eye makeup and it took a really long time! The glitter went absolutely everywhere.
When the glitter was under control we went out, hade a few beers and a bit of food at a pub, and then went on to the club were the after pride party was. I met a lot of people I haven’t seen for years, and had a few more beers.
But now to the thing I actually want to talk about.
I have been gay, and known that I’ve been gay, for as long as I can remember. However, I don’t think that it’s the most interesting part of my life, or my personality. That is one of the reasons I don’t visit a lot of pride festivals and have many gay friends. When I went to this festival however, a lot of the people there, seemed to be very preoccupied with their sexuality.
I understand that a pride festival is a situation where people generally focus on gender and sexuality, but I can’t help to get a bit sad over the fact that a lot of the people there seemed to be so very limited by being gay. It was pretty much the only thing they talked about, and they were also in a way competing. They were competing about being the most gay.
It was a competition about style, clothes, music, culture, amount of cats, number of sexual partners and so on. Everyone seemed to be trying to take as much points as possible, and also pushed people down who weren’t “as gay”. As someone who doesn’t really fit the gay stereotype and all of the norms, I was really bothered.
I mean, I like sleeping with women, and I rarely shave my legs, but I also like dresses, high heels and painting my nails. For some reason that made me feel very “non-gay” this weekend.
I don’t think that it’s healthy and productive for the gay community to force so many norms on ourselfs and to be so unforgiving. We have the rest of the world working on that for us.
That’s just some thoughts that I’ve had for a while, but find a bit difficult to talk about. I really don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but I also really find this to be an issue.