A matter of pride (ok, Pride™)

Happy Monday to you, readers.

As some of you are aware, this past weekend was, in many large urban areas, the annual LGBT Pride Parade and gay-stravaganza. Due to a series of circumstances best explained later (in a quiet room, by attorneys, with a box of tissues nearby) I did not attend this year, and instead ate veggie pizza and watched Little Britain, which certainly qualifies as some sort of Queer Pride event, I think.

With June, the official month of Pride™, drawing to a close today, my thoughts have turned to what exactly it is the LGBT community has to be proud about this year. As it turns out, we have quite a bit:

“How much for the ‘Hers & Hers’ bath towels?” Yeah, okay, the big deal right now is the legalization of gay marriage in California. Without opening the “This is the best thing since Robin Meade wore the green silk top/This is the worst thing since Ellen got a talk show” Debate of Hate, let me say that I think we can be proud as a community that we refuse to be told that different = less. Semantics aside, there’s a certain amount of Orwellian bias inherent in “we get marriage, you can have ‘unions.'” To paraphrase Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., “Don’t tell me to wait for my freedom.”

“Separate but equal” is a little long in the tooth to be propped up as a justification for denying loving couples the right to share that love in a public forum (as well as obtain the civil benefits of marriage, both tangible and intangible).

Also, if you’re looking for a career, I suggest getting into the wedding planning industry now, kids – ’cause we ’bout the blow the lid off that thang, as the kids say (which kids, we’re not sure. Possibly these). Seriously, ladies and gentlemen (or ladies and ladies, and gentlemen and gentlemen, or other calculable permutations thereof), the LGBT community has MAD disposable income, and once we’re actually able to get hitched, we set the bar high. Very high.

Congress finally paid attention to us. By “us,” I mean “transgendered Americans.” Congress recently held hearings on workplace discrimination toward Transgendered individuals throughout the country, and it’s my sincere hope that the testimony they heard will convince them to add us to the Workplace Discrimination Act’s protected classes…not because we’re oh-so-super-special, but because we deserve to work without fear of termination because someone has a wild hair you-know-where and decides to use their bias as a crowbar to set us adrift in the seas of joblessness.

Believe me when I say that I cannot wait for this to happen (the addition to the WDA, not the whole crowbar-into-joblessness thing). Having experienced this type of discrimination myself, I assure you that NOBODY deserves to be treated this way…dislike me, backstab me…hell, sit and bitch about what a freak I am to our coworkers while I’m sitting unseen in a booth behind you, you drunken, corpse-faced grimalkin…but don’t try to get me canned with lies, and DEFINITELY remember that karma’s a bitch (Actually, she’s usually quite lovely, and very giving, but if you accidentally call while she’s watching her “stories,” she’ll light into you, yo).

One of the coolest things about living in America is that we are (hair-splitting aside) a nation of equals…any and all of us can dream big and live big, because the opportunities are there, and we all share a common heritage as a country built on the idea that elbow grease and determination can get you just as high as a degree and a jetpack…just think how much higher we’d all be if we spent more time helping each other up instead of trying to cut the legs of those with whom we don’t agree out from under them.

For me, Pride™ has always been about being able to look those who would judge or dismiss me for being transgendered (or Hispanic, or a giant, or a fan of whistling the Imperial Death March every time someone in senior management walks down the hall with two lackeys in tow) in the eye and say “I am your equal – not in all things, but in the sum, and I am deserving of the same love and respect that you are” – and that’s why for me, Pride™ is an everyday thing, and not just something that rolls around every June. It’s SO important to acknowledge our history, how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go, but like Christmas, Pride™’s lessons are ones we should remember all year.

And also like Christmas, we should remember to take down the tree within a week. I’m looking at you, Ms. feather boa and fishnets two weeks into July! It’s not a parade if you’re the only one in Denny’s dancing to “I am Woman,” mister-sister!

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