June 2008


Small Town Pride

One of the main indicators of the success of gays and lesbians in organizing and in social acceptance has been the growth in the number of cities with gay pride celebrations in June. Gay pride festivals have been around for decades in most every large American city (Chicago is celebrating its 39th this year). But community organizations in many smaller cities now organize pride festivals as well, including Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Lansing here in Michigan.

This weekend was Michigan Pride in Lansing, and so I did my best to live up to the occasion. I had a first date on Friday evening with a very charming and handsome commercial designer. I’ve always felt I lacked a creative edge in my own thinking, and so I admire artistic talent. I have to say I was impressed with some of the work J. showed me for a new restaurant he is designing. We had a fantastic time talking over dinner at a seafood restaurant he likes.

Unfortunately, J.is not likely a long term relationship prospect…he lives about an hour and a half away from me, near Fort Wayne.

The Michigan Pride festival itself was Saturday afternoon. I’ve gone in years past as well, and have always been surprised at its size for a city of Lansing’s size and that Chicago Pride is the same weekend. The festival bills itself as a statewide event, since it focuses on a march and a rally at the state capitol, which may help a bit in bringing in folks from out of town. This year, the festival expanded significantly in size, occupying about twice the space as last year.

Saturday evening I met up with my friend G. to see a movie. We ended up going to see Wall-E, in spite of fears that the movie would be packed with kids. The theatre was actually pretty kid-dense, but we didn’t have trouble finding two seats together, and the movie was engaging enough that the kids around us were well-behaved. I really enjoyed how the movie meshed elements from all kinds of other movies and genres…science fiction, silent movies, with a heavy dose of An Inconvenient Truth for good measure.

After the movie, I went out to the local dance club, Spiral. I hadn’t been out in over a year, and Pride is pretty much their busiest night of the year. Even so, I had a good time, mostly from running into my ex-bf from last summer. I usually stay on good terms with men I’ve dated, and so we had a chance to catch up with each other. But in some other ways too, it was also oddly awkward…I still care a lot about him, and I got the impression JF feels much the same way.

To add to that, I spent some more time with JF today. But it is probably best if I save that for another blog post.

I guess all in all then I have a lot to process from this weekend about my relationships with other men. For better or for worse, that is probably as good a way to celebrate Pride as I any I can think of.

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