Personal update department of personal updates presents a small personal Pride/Wrath Month related update from Julian.
Pride month is extra weird this year. The whole world is weird this year. Obviously. All that being said, getting to cruise down Central in a show of solidarity with Black Lives Matter, the 51st Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and the current revolution. In the last few minutes of the Unofficial Pride event local treasure Bunnie Benton Cruse organized and for quite some time after, that cruise was an overwhelming show of support for BLM and queerness in general. The street was busy (it was a Saturday) and there were still a bunch of folks with signs, flags, and good attitudes. Seriously, there were multi-generational families smiling and waving to us- and folks in masks holding their hands up to both sides of their face so they could show us the yells were coming from them.
This year was a complete juxtaposition to the first time we had a Kink/Leather float in the ABQPride parade, when many folks covered their kid’s eyes, and/or physically turned their backs as we passed. (2002 or 2003, I co-organized with Ruben and Rex.) This year was a complete juxtaposition to the time we had a ABQPride Float in the State Fair Parade a few years later, (maybe ’06 or ‘07?) where we were were given similar treatment from certain sections of the crowd. Every ABQPride parade I’ve been too has had active police presence, and active protesters against our action. I didn’t see any cops trying to regulate or participate, and not a single person protesting our cruise or what it was about was ever in my visual range. We came at the end, but this was still remarkable. This year, lots of people were out doing their Saturday business, and no one boo’d or flipped us off when Jerome honked his horn in celebration (to the beat of the incredible music he was blasting in most cases) or I yelled out the window- they mostly returned the exclamations or waved their rainbow flags again.
We didn’t need Pride Inc (or any “Inc”) to get our voices heard last weekend. We didn’t need an expensive festival. There was local news coverage featuring the organizer and attendees who I wanted to hear from. Allies, advocates and queer folks were able to (safely as possible) gather to show our support for Black and Queer Lives without official merchandise. I didn’t get any beads, it was still Pride.
As a past titleholder (RGL 04, NM Pride 06/07), first out non-lesbian+genderqueer+ENM person to hold a Ms title (before Mx was an option), past board member (both the ABQPride board and several Leather organizations), and someone who has been on the front lines of fighting for equality since I realized that was necessary- the experience Saturday really blew me away.
I didn’t go out to celebrate Pride for me this year. Other than occasional visits to Santa Fe I’ve been pretty much at home, doing the “only necessary errands or work while wearing a mask” thing since quarantine started. I wasn’t motivated to go for me, I was more than content to make sure that I shared the info so others could attend. I’ve been going to Pride events all over since I was in my early 20s, parades and the like are usually sunny, and I don’t feel obligated to attend like I used to.
This year I went as support. I went to show up for Black Lives Matter, to support the revolutionary energy that got started fifty one years ago, and to be with my partner who hasn’t really gotten to go to the big Pride celebrations of the past 50 years. I did not expect to be affected.
Y’all. We cannot slow down. We cannot give up, we have to keep showing up (in whatever way is healthy for us) and going out of our way to keep the momentum. This isn’t just about our queer siblings, this is about getting our damn country under the control of the people. We need to be done with the capitalist pigs that teach that people have fiscal value dependent on their ability to fit in and work for them. The fact that there are laws in debate about whether or not trans folks are people should disgust you. Yeah, good job Supreme Court today. Why the fuck was that even in question this in 2020?
Saturday I got to see my city in a positive light. I needed that. Great. It’s still Wrath Month 2020. Go read some more history they didn’t teach you in school so you can remember why we’re so fucking angry.