What is Pride?

What is pride?
Is it the opposite of shame?
Is it living with yourself
and not distributing blame?

Do you wake up in the morning
and love the one you see
staring back from the mirror
yearning to be free?

Is it the smile on your face
or the gesture small or grand?
Is it the love for self
and the love for fellow man?

One thing I can see
is that it’s not parades and flags;
it’s also not some white men
complaining about those fags.

It’s what is in your soul
and the product you create.
It’s in the love you give,
but it’s never in the hate.

© Autumn Siders 2019

Happy Hubris

Today, the band I am in will be marching in a gay pride parade in Worcester, MA. While I am proud to be a member of this band, and I love playing music, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the parades in which we play. I have always seen gay pride parades as a way that actually hinders the way that “us gays” our viewed by society. Now, most of the parades we have played in have been a tad more on the conservative side of things and there have been a lot of great organizations, businesses, and bands marching alongside of us, but the stereotypical pride parades have been known for half naked men dancing on floats. While I think it is great that people are coming out (pun intended) to say that they are not ashamed of who they are, I have never been able to understand why we are throwing a parade to celebrate with whom we are having sex. I have never thought to myself “wow I am so proud that I sleep with women!” Okay, well maybe that one time, but she would make anyone proud.

I just think that there are so many other things in life to be proud of than one’s sexual orientation. It seems that for being a “culture” that is constantly struggling to say that we are equal, that we are humans, that we have rights, we might be going a little overboard throwing parades in our honor. If there is going to be a pride parade, it should happen the day that people can stop labeling others and just be proud of being. Besides, I don’t even like rainbows. So here are a few things that I will be proud of tomorrow that don’t include who is in bed next to me…well one includes my cat, but in all fairness she does take up the entire bed so she is not really next to me.

-I am proud of never having succumb to peer pressure. (Watching the Walking Dead doesn’t count, I would have watched it anyway.)

-I am proud of my cat for being the world’s most ferocious hunter. (How could you not be proud of that mouse dangling from her jaws?)

-I am proud of my mom who never stops no matter what obstacles are in her way. (Unless it’s a mouse dangling from a cat’s jaws.)

-I am proud of the time I stood up for my friend on the playground and ended up looking like Bruce Lee from Enter the Dragon.

-I am proud of filling a stranger’s tank at the gas station. (Probably should have filled my tank too, but I guess I got caught up in the moment.)

-I am proud of giving the money back when I didn’t deserve it, even though I could use it. (ssshhhhh! He doesn’t know that it came from me.)

-I am proud that I am a shoulder to lean on for a friend in need. (And have a few friends with shoulders of their own.)

-I am proud that I am a woman. (Need I say more?)

-I am proud to rescue animals in need. (And be rescued right back.)