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marching onward
singapore sunset
amw
My first gay pride I was too busy drinking beers for breakfast and doing lines in the bathroom to notice I was missing the march. I think i only went because my ex M wanted me to and i missed it anyway. This year I've been to three pride parades - Melbourne, Sydney and now Toronto. It's a big deal for J because she came out the "traditional" way and not being ashamed of her sexuality is something to be proud of. I had a fun time downtown today and it was great to see all the costumes and dancers and floats, but it's not as emotional for me, i don't think.

I was never really proud of being gay. I always saw it as something that happened accidentally as a by-product of changing my sex - i liked girls before, i still liked them after - it wasn't really something i had to come to terms with. I originally found my way into the scene because gay boys throw great parties with fun music and fabulous dancers. Perhaps i should have some trannie pride considering how long i struggled with gender identity, even after surgery. It's coming too late, though, now i've accepted that my being trans was just another symptom of the messed up shit in my head - another ingredient in the complex dish of my life - and not some single core part of me.

By strict definition i'm a lesbian, and a transsexual too. I know that means i'm very lucky to be married right now. I know it means that in many countries - and even parts of this country - i am hated and feared. I have certainly had some unusual experiences that aren't shared by most men or women, but i'm hardly unique - it's just life. I'm living and falling over and dusting myself off and trying again and living, living, living because giving up is not an option. That's something anyone can be proud of - there's no shame in trying to live the best life you can, and if the best is being gay then big fucking deal.

I've heard of celebrations of "mad pride" for people with mental health issues. I suspect it's driven by the anti-psychiatry crowd, but it could be taken as a much broader brush - damn near most of us, at some point in our lives. I like the concept that we shouldn't be ashamed of the internal battles we all fight every day, those secret struggles that are rarely shared. God knows there's still enough stigma in the world around that, even just the "small-fry" issues like mild anxiety and depression. One thing i am definitely proud of is getting through all that shit over the years, not letting it kill me when it could have, learning enough that even stumbling and stumbling every fucking day i walk a little taller and a little stronger.

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