Good Things About Pride
(Note: I also wrote a "bad things" half and want to acknowledge that, but I chose to post the positives first.)
* Solidarity, visibility, community, identity.
* Lots of compliments on my outfit. The cat ears got the most compliments, trailed by my malachite necklace, my rainbow hair ties, and a sign I picked up partway through.
* Knowing that anxiety (within certain bounds of severity and predictability) simply is not a reason to not do things. (I’d be doing a different calculation if I thought I would be looking at a serious probability of a panic attack, for example.) But knowing that I will be overwhelmed, on edge, nervous, stuttering, worn out afterwards, etc, etc doesn’t actually have to stop me from doing something I want to do and it doesn’t necessarily make the good parts not-good either. Knowing that is powerful.
* Networking; connecting to organizations that are doing things I am interested in. Finding out that organizations I would want to support and hadn’t heard of exist. Noticing the diversity of race, language, age, family status, faith, disability status, gender, gender expression, etc, etc, in our community. Finding organizations that specifically center and support some of these. People being proud to be both-and.
* People bringing their own dang mobility and accessibility items (canes, sound-canceling headphones, strollers for kids, wheelchairs) and adding rainbows.
* Pride bracelets.
* Competent first aid that let me just sit and breathe for awhile when I expressed that that was what I needed.
* Good conversations and interactions with a lot of people, including a lot of people from different intersectional areas of the queer community than my particular pigeonhole. Valuing positive interactions in their own right, rather than conceptualizing them as requiring a particular kind of set-up or follow-up.
* Having people ask respectfully and answer thoughtfully to questions like “Can I give you a hug?”, “Can I pet your ears?”, “Can I say hi to the animal with you?”, “Can I get one of these items?”
* Donation-centric funding allowing people to pay in accordance with their means.
* Getting a hug from a Captain America cosplayer carrying a rainbow U.S. flag.
* A song about living beyond borders and fear sung on the main stage by a performer in gorgeous full drag. ASL interpretation of the music and live acts on the main stage.
* Lots of dogs, mostly with rainbow accessories.
* Feeling like it matters that I showed up.