Let me be honest about how we ended up with the theme of June being Pride. Every year, APW does LGBTQ Pride Week in June to coincide with San Francisco Pride. It’s hands down one of my favorite weeks of the year, and the fact that it ends in a big-ass parade around these parts makes it near perfect. So really, I was being lazy. I figured that if we were doing Pride Week in June, we should just make that the theme of the whole month and explore it as a concept. Sometimes dumb luck is the best luck.
In April, APW explored the concept of The Good. And while lots of people shared stories of the good parts of their lives (lots and lots—we were only able to publish a fraction of them here, we were so inundated with goodness), what actually emerged from that month was more interesting than just happy posts. What came up was how scary it feels to share good stuff online (particularly as a woman), because the internet is adept at ripping apart anyone deemed too happy or too successful. (While I often love the internet, it sometimes behaves in a way one step down from the mean girls in my fourth grade class.) Beyond that, we have a hard time believing the good stuff. At the end of the month of April, a commenter posited that the whole month of content felt artificial to them, since it was so heavily edited to have a positive slant. That makes sense, right? Except it’s not even a little bit true. Any editor will tell you that if it bleeds, it leads. That most stories are good stories, but that telling you a million people in my city commuted home safely last night is not exactly… compelling news. Same goes for weddings and marriage. There is so much goodness out there, and sometimes it’s too boring to discuss it. You have to live IN it, for it to be interesting.
Pride month has taken this idea of The Good to a whole new level of richness for me. It turns out, when you ask people what they’re proud of, what comes up is the best stuff. The rich stuff. The quirky stuff. The things we don’t bother to share with anyone, because they might not get it, and who cares if they do or do not anyway? The stories we get to share this month are fascinating, as are the discussions about why it’s so hard to learn how to be proud of ourselves.
But more than anything, editing this month has made me take a step back, and look around. As my mission to unplug continues (updates on that this month), I’ve worked on seeing my life for what it is (not a glowing screen, or an Instagram feed, or a Pinterest board). And asking myself what I’m proud of makes me dig even deeper. It’s my family. It’s my new little kid. It’s my weird counterculture (and also WASPy) roots. It’s my community. It’s the life David and I have built together. It’s hearing all of your stories of Pride and getting to share them.
This month, we toast the ways that we’re different, and cheer the ways we’re the same. This month, it’s about the good stuff—the stuff we don’t even care if other people understand, because we’re just so damn proud of it.
This month, we also wait for two Supreme Court decisions, knowing that no matter what they are, we’ve already won. Now it’s just a matter of time.
Photo: Of the original Remember The Lesbians couple, Teri & Lisa, (their wedding is right here) after gay marriage passed in Minnesota last month. Taken by a perfect stranger, who asked them to spread it around everywhere, to help support the movement.