Vanessa’s Pride 2010

First off, I’d like to apologize for not posting in such a long time. The past week/weekend was crazy and I’ve definitely got to take this next week to get back into a different flow again.

So.. Pride weekend. I’m sure most of us have our own stories to share about this year’s Pride, and those who didn’t go this year probably have heard plenty of stories from friends. Overall, I had a great time this year! It wasn’t perfect, but any event with such heavy traffic and gigantic crowd will have its issues.

Lyric youth led the Trans March! We were all so happy and proud. I also marched beside a pioneer of the modern queer rights movement, a fierce woman who participated in the Compton Riots, but she left before we took this photo.

I went to the Trans March on Friday, Dyke March and Pink Saturday the next day, and to the Pride celebration at Civic Center on Sunday. I would have to say my favorites were the Trans March and hanging out at Dolores Park for Dyke March. I didn’t actually March in the Dyke March, which I totally regret, but hanging out during the day was really fun and chill.. and I spotted a lesbian from a certain reality TV show that is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me (more guilt than pleasure.) What made me like these events more than the others is really the crowd.
I’m sure we’ve heard of and/or seen the violence at Pink Saturday and Civic Center’s event in particular, and violence is NEVER something one wants to be around, especially in such a crowded area. This year, there was a shooting at Pink Saturday, and plenty of fights on Saturday and Sunday. The fights happen every year, and it’s always annoying and worrisome to be around, but the shootings in particular are extremely upsetting. Obviously some people don’t understand the meaning of “Pride”–having Pride in being queer (or an ally), accepting and celebrating one’s own identity and community. Violence doesn’t help any community. Violence separates and tears down communities.. and those who made Pride dangerous had absolutely no reason to be there.
I didn’t see one fight break out at the Trans or Dyke Marches–plenty of arguements and reading, but no physical fights. And I have to say I feel much better when I don’t have to be on the lookout for an arm smacking into my face everytime I walk near someone.

The view from the top, Dyke March at Dolores Park! So much fun

I would say that the Trans March attracts an extremely different crowd from all the other events. I noticed folks were mostly from the queer community and were all really there for the march and to support their friends. The transgender presence is also something that is missing from the larger Pride events, which are still sadly referred to by many as “Gay Pride“. Even as a queer woman who sometimes calls herself a lesbian, I feel excluded from “Gay Pride”. QUEER PRIDE is more like it.
Dyke March would come next in the list of events with a strong community presence. Although it’s still pretty huge, the crowd that comes out for it is MOSTLY queer women and their friends. However, Pink Saturday and Pride Parade/Civic Center events attracts such a wide range of people–really anyone who wants to party.. it’s not as much about QUEER PRIDE anymore, rather just having a good time. I know this because I’ve seen plenty of folks I know from high school who have homophobic sentiments at those parties. Are they there to celebrate Pride or support queer liberation? Highly doubt it. However, the good thing is that one is probably not going to be discriminated against for being a flaming queer at any Pride event, since even the heterosexists and cissexists know that it’s not the smartest place to commit hate crimes against queer people.

Cissexism: the belief that transsexual genders are less legitimate than, and mere imitations of, cissexual (non-transsexual) genders. (via Julia Serano, glossary, bottom of page)

The crowd at Pink Saturday

We created some art for the Trans March during Transmagic, and it was displayed at the end! Very happy…

The best part of Pride is definitely meeting new people, enjoying time with friends, seeing people I haven’t seen for a while, and not being afraid of being QUEER AS HELL. I saw some amazing outfits and creativity this weekend, and despite all of Pride’s issues, I savour all the great moments I had.

With that said, I’m very sunburnt and my legs and back are in pain. I definitely need to take it easy this next week. Hopefully I’ll be more prepared for next Pride! 2011!

Pride cakes!

V xx

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