Reading bulldyke's essay on Pride made me think about the Pride events I've been to in the last couple of years, and what I liked or didn't like about them. Some friends and I were just talking about this subject a few days ago, and I think she said it a lot better than we did.
I've been to three Pride events- San Francisco + Santa Cruz, CA and Seoul, South Korea. San Fran was impressive just from the scale of it, and there's something impressive about thousands of queer people in one spot at one time. However, the whole thing felt sort of like an excuse for people to get drunk and be outrageous, and that's just not how I feel like I need to be- don't feel like my sexuality necessitates being drunk and half naked walking around downtown. I think everyone should feel good about who they are and who they're with, but sometimes the way people act at major Pride events like this just fuels the right-wing stereotype of how we act all the time.
I loved Santa Cruz's pride though- a short parade with a lot of town support, and a simple get together in the park after where a lot of people had their families. Lots of people, but generally lower-key. It's probably the event I've been to where I'm looking forward to being able to return.
Seoul's Pride was essentially for the entire country, as it's still not widely accepted here, and was mostly a collection of informational booths and culture displays/concerts. It was near downtown, and a lot of people seemed to wander through and not know what was going on before they stopped to look at the various pieces of information. For a country that doesn't seem widely accepting of it's gay community at all, I didn't see any incidents, and most people just passing by would take a brochure, smile, and peacefully move on.
It's not that I want to keep my mouth shut about who I am and who I love...I'd love to be able to tell people about my girl, and love to be able to tell my boss that the reason I probably won't re-enlist is because I want to be able to have a family. At the end of the day though, as my friend says, it's my sexuality, not my personality. I'm going to be modest and myself no matter if I was gay or straight, and it's a simple fact just like I have green eyes.
I just wish it was as obvious and as much of a non-issue as my eyes.