Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘west hollywood’

Celebrating Pride 2018

Happy Pride season everyone! It’s that time to break out your rainbow gear and sunscreen as you head down to your local pride parade/festival. At this point in my life, I have experienced 33 years of pride celebrations. Most of them in Los Angeles, but a few times in San Francisco, once in Palm Springs and once in Boston too. I love the energy and diversity that I see on display!

Last year, Los Angeles opted to have a Pride Protest instead of the usual parade. It was happy to see all the people that wanted to protest. But it was back to normal (or should I say new normal) with this year’s celebration.

I realized something this year — and it is has been building to this for a few years. I am in love with the idea of Pride, but not the reality of Pride. Is it because I am getting older? Or is it because Pride has changed? It is probably a bit of both.

The Pride Festival in Los Angeles costs $25 for a single day or $40 for 2 days. That just gets you in the door to the festival grounds in West Hollywood Park. Add in any food and drinks you want, and you are looking at a decent amount of money spent for the day. They used to get performers I knew and loved — now not so much. LA’s biggest headliner was Tove Lo — I know I like 2 of her songs, not enough to interest me in going to see her.

There used to be community organizations and small businesses at Pride. Now they have all been pushed out in favor of corporations like Chase, Target and Busch. It’s more about making a buck off of the gay community now versus a safe place for us to celebrate being members of a marginalized community.

Last year’s protest put the spotlight back on issues instead of partying. We had gotten used to ever-increasing acceptability/visibility in our society. Then Trump got elected. He was supposedly the most gay-friendly Republican ever. I didn’t believe it for a minute.

For the 2nd year in a row, my husband and I decided not to go to the Pride festival. It doesn’t hold much appeal for us anymore. A lot of money for a short period of time, and not many things that interest us there either.

We did make it to the Pride Parade though. I enjoyed it as I always do. And it was the biggest crowd that I have seen in quite a long time. And I was happy to see that there was still a good segment of activism in attendance — from transgendered issues — to stopping gun violence — to organizations catering to blacks and Muslims. Plus a good amount of churches, community organizations and barely-dressed guys dancing in Speedos. Yeah, there were corporations like Disney, Delta and Metro. But big corporations being supportive of gay rights are the new normal.

So will I go to the Pride festival next year? Not sure. I live my life openly and honestly — so in reality I am celebrating Pride every day. I get to share my life with my husband and I have supportive friends and family. I hope you are as blessed as I am. Thanks for reading.

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.

Dressing Up for Halloween

It’s that time of year again! Do you have your costume figured out for Halloween? Halloween used to be for kids. Now it is for everyone, including adults. Of the last 3 jobs that I have had, they have had costume contests at 2 of them. And the third one would have too, if there were more than 2 of us in the office! In my area, there are at least 3 Halloween shops within 5 miles of me. Plus a haunted maze too.

As a kid, I remember a few of my costumes: cowboy, pirate, Luke Skywalker. I remember putting up the Halloween decorations in the window of my parents house. I remember carving up pumpkins too (now we know better to use them for recipes like pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup). I remember one time that my parents let me dress in drag for some youth party. I bet they probably analyzed that one like crazy when they found out I was gay.

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