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Posts tagged ‘gay pride’

Pride Protest 2017

This June in West Hollywood, there will be no LGBT Pride Parade. Instead there will be a march entitled — #Resist March. This will coincide with the National Equality March in Washington, DC. It will also be the one year anniversary of the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.resist-la-pride-750x563

I am happy to hear that LA Pride organizers (Christopher Street West) are doing this event at this time. I love Pride… I have been going to the festivals and the parades for over 30 years now. The last year at the Pride Festival was not so cool for us. It was expensive, and there was not much happening other than food, drinks and entertainment. In past years, there was plenty of community organizations and small business vendors. At today’s pride, those things are gone and replaced with more ways to get drunk and party.

The parade too has changed. There used to be more smaller groups too, and not so many corporations. But I always enjoy the men in Speedos and the leather guys in ass-less chaps. But it’s OK to be missing this — this time. There are more important things going on in the world.

Here are the reasons that I am marching this year:

  1. To send a message to Donald Trump. Still hard to believe that this evil, small-minded man is the President. LGBT people don’t seem to fit in his vision of “Making America Great Again.”
  2. To remember those friends that we have lost to AIDS and those elders that came before us in the fight for gay rights.
  3. To protect marriage equality. My partner and I finally got married on August 27, 2016. It was one of the happiest days of our lives. I want to make sure that the government cannot take that away.
  4. To protect and encourage healthcare for all. Everyone regardless of income, race, or religion should have access to quality and affordable healthcare. Republicans don’t seem to think this way… their idea is to just not get sick!
  5. To protect freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. We all have the right to worship as we want (Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.). But I don’t want religion in my politics!
  6. For our youth. I want to live in a world where people can love and marry who they want, dress how they want, and worship (or not) how they want to. I want a world of diversity.
  7. For the women in the world. It is about time that women make the same as a man for doing the same job. I believe in equal pay for women and in funding for reproductive health.
  8. For the planet. I believe in science and global warming. It is very scary that our leaders do not, and want to get rid of anything good that Obama did regarding cutting emissions.
  9. For the world. To let people in other countries know that we will not sit idly by why a fool ruins our country and world. We are fed up and we are going to keep our resistance up.
  10. Because Black Lives Matter. This doesn’t get said enough. I worry that my African-American husband will go out to the store, and not return. Just because he encountered a trigger-happy racist on his trip.

For all these reasons and more, I will be marching on Sunday, June 11, 2017. And yes, the KiltMan will be rocking the kilt while he protests. I encourage you to get involved, stand up and let your voices be heard. We will NOT be silent and we are not going away.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Celebrating Pride 2016

As I am getting older, what Pride means has changed. When I was in my 20’s, I could go to Gay Pride for 2 days, 8-10 hour days each day. Now if I spend 3 hours there, it seems to be a miracle.100_6750

This has been an interesting year for me. I have had a few milestones like paying off most of my credit card debt. And planning for my wedding. Friends and family have had some serious health challenges, and you start to question what your own golden years are going to be like.

So yes, I will be making my annual appearance at the Pride Festival and Pride Parade. We like to go to the festival on Saturday night when it is less crowded than on Sunday. Sunday, we will watch the parade with some friends from church, and then go home.

More important though is the fact that I am living my life out loud where I live and work. At home, we have a rainbow flag in our window, and come and go as a gay couple. At work, I have pictures of me and my partner in my cubicle, and on the internal company social network too. There is no doubting that we are together.

The planning a wedding thing is interesting…. I never thought I was going to see this in my lifetime. Now it will be here before I know it. How elaborate or how small of a ceremony do you have? Of do you have one at all? We know how we feel about each other and want to have this ceremony, because we love each other — and we deserve it. We are special people, and what we have together is special too.

So I am not wearing a kilt in the wedding… but we are wearing matching outfits. Am I going to have any family there? Who knows? They will be invited, and then it will be up to them to decide if that is right for them or not. When I first brought up the idea to my parents, they weren’t so supportive… even though, they have known my partner for 27 years.

The acceptance and visibility of LGBT people in the last few years has been amazing to watch. I wish my friends that have passed on, could have lived to see it.

I hope that you live your pride — all year long — in every area of your life. I am trying my best to do so.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Speedos lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Editors note: This blog was written before the horrible events in Orlando, FL.

What I Love About Summer

Summer is finally here! It seems like it takes forever to get here, and then it is gone before you know it. As a child, it meant time off from school. As an adult, it means BBQs, pool parties and concerts. So here is my list of what I love in summer:Dan resting in Speedos

  1. Gay Pride
    For most of us in the US, your gay pride probably falls in the summer months. Los Angeles, has 2 big events: Long Beach and West Hollywood. It is a time to be proud of how far we have come, and be reminded how much further we need to go before everyone is equal. Plus it is a time to party, and people watch.
  2. Concerts
    The best shows seem to come to town in the summer. There are more venues that operate only in the summer, nice outdoor amphitheatres plus special local free shows too down at a lot of parks. Nothing better than listening to some music on a warm summer night with some friends.
  3. Summer Movies
    This is the time of year that the studios tend to bring out their big guns. The big movies with tons of action and special effects. Comedies and cartoons are also popular. Great summer movies from the past include: Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Iron Man and The Dark Knight. The Avengers is breaking all kinds of records this summer, and surprisingly, it is good. (more…)

Being Out in School

It’s an interesting thing to see how times have changed. I was never out of the closet in grammar school or high school. In college, I was out to myself, but not very open about it all. These days it is not unusual to hear about kids coming out in high school or grammar school even. How great that they feel that confident about themselves to do so, and that they have supportive family and friends to support their decisions.

Out in Schools

I always felt different even if I wasn’t sure what that meant in reality. I tell people I always felt like the giraffe in class, someone who didn’t fit in and stood out from the pack. I was the round peg trying to fit in a square hole. I was a good student in class, but also very shy and quiet. And not very good at sports.

So I was picked on a lot by the time I was in junior high. I remember that my family tried sending me to these group therapy sessions at school with one of the teacher’s husbands who was a therapist. I was called fag and gay a lot, because I was the shy, sensitive one. I didn’t think I was that — but somehow the kids around me knew better. I remember that I felt very stressed at times, and my family even took me to the hospital to see if I had an ulcer. Turns out I didn’t have one.

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Celebrating Pride Time

This is the time of year we celebrate gay pride…Here are some thoughts on some memorable gay prides for me.

June 1985: First gay pride ever! Like the saying goes, there’s nothing like the first time. I remember telling my family I was going to the beach or Disneyland or something…for 2 days. This was when I was in the closet with them. I went with some friends that I had met at the L.A. Gay Center. It was like nothing I had experienced before. Thousands and thousands of gay people of all ages, races and sizes. Who knew there were so many of us? I certainly never thought so back in my bedroom in Monterey Park. We walked and walked the grounds many, many times that day, not to mention had fun dancing, and checking out the entertainers. One of my favorite memories I had was a hugging booth… where I was able to hug a hunk for $1. I went back there several times. Amazingly I was gone the whole day there… and came back the next day to see the parade too.

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