I have Pre-Pride jitters.
It’s the mix of fear, expectation, excitement and panic that you get when you’re doing something both old and new.
A new job role, meeting a friend’s family first time, inviting someone over who’s not been to your house before, or trying a new risky option off a menu in a trusted restaurant — It’s that kind of flutter of jitters that I’ve got.
I’m off to Pride, and I’m terrified.
Imagine if you were an alien, like Alf or Mork or from Men in Black, living amongst humans, but unique at the same time. You’re slightly off kilter, but you can pass for “mainstream” most days.
Imagine being told all your life that Aliens are coming who will destroy humanity. At first, you believe it and are suspicious of alien activity, staying away from Area 51 just in case, sometimes wondering if you are one of those destructive aliens yourself.
Eventually you realize that what you were told is wrong, Aliens aren’t evil, won’t shred humanity, and are inherently interested in being a part of humanity’s rich tapestry. You know some Aliens. You’ve met them, love them, and they are brilliant and beautiful just like you.
But then imagine being on the bus to an Alien convention, where there will be HUNDREDS of Aliens, a celebration of alien culture and some of the most hidden aspects of alien life out of full display for all to see.
It’s terrifying. But exciting.
I’m on my way to Pride and I’m excited.
Like the Alien, I’m freaking out about interacting more openly with gay culture. I’m expecting glitter, and dancing, and bright costumes. Those are aspects I understand and am comfortable with. But every culture comes with good parts and bad parts and parts that are neither good nor bad, and all of these will be open and on display for a day. I’m not sure HOW to feel about that. What kind of Alien am I? What aspects of culture make me uncomfortable? What lifts me up? And what am I afraid of?
My big fear? It’s that what I was told is true, that I’ll show up and the Aliens won’t be the positive, loving community I’ve learned them to be, and that instead I’ll find them busting out of humanity’s chest like the alien from Alien.
I’m on my way to Pride, and I’m freaking out!
We are not aliens. We ARE humanity. We cannot destroy it by being who we are within it. In fact, instead, this weekend is a great opportunity for those outside of LGBT+ culture to look in, without judgement, and to learn something they might not already know about humanity. Because LGBT+ culture is not Alien, but an aspect of the rich culture of humanity we love so much.
I’m on my way to Pride, and I’m proud to be a part of it.