Oh-So-Over the Rainbow

Adam Griffiths

You thought you were going to get through the whole month of June without hearing about something related to gay pride, didn’t you?

Well, you’re not. Gay pride is out.

Don’t get me wrong. Pride with a capital “P” is way in – that is, the series of queer-fests that sweep the nation’s cities every June. Everyone’s there these days – politicians, big corporations, straight people. And so come the gays.

It’s a new era of gay quasi-pride. We march in platforms and booty shorts and have some of the best times there are to be had. We star in television shows (almost every primetime network has shows with gay characters or actors), we hold powerful positions in corporate America (Out magazine dedicated an issue this year to the 100 most powerful gays and lesbians), and we have no problem banding together to continue the battle for equality and acceptance that was started 28 years ago at a bar in our beloved Big Apple.

But, as it is with most things our generation is passionate about, there’s a certain lackluster equivocation in how the gays go about their developing quest for 21st-century liberty and pursuit of happiness, although I’d argue that we have that last one down solid.

We each have our coming out stories, some tragic, some not. We each have tales of outward discrimination and hatred, either direct or indirect, which take a toll no matter how impenetrable our exteriors may seem.

Instead of throwing a middle finger to the police and letting the queens wreak havoc, jumpstarting the next gay revolution like our fore-fairies did, we milk the fruits of their persevering labors for all they’re worth. It’s like milking a cow when it’s barely able to keep up with the constant tug on its udder.

But we would never give up being gay or fighting for the right to be gay.

Like a friend said, “If I had to choose to be straight, I wouldn’t. Not ever. Being gay has created, molded, shaped me, whatever word you want to use, into the person I am today, and the person I am going to be in the future.”

The determination and ownership of the community remains as steadfast as ever. The potential for a pandemic swelling of gay power in this country is rising, but it’s hiding behind the glitz, glam and clich‚s that the youngest and upcoming members of the movement indulge in so easily, without shame and rightfully so. If we didn’t, we’d be disrespecting our elders.

We seem to be getting nowhere fast. But after a wave of victories, one must party, and boy, do we know how to throw a party – so that’s what this generation is doing.

Granted, we fight our fights. We’ll graciously take the burden off the shoulders of our elders when the time comes, but history has afforded us the ability to be ourselves, for the first time ever, without society-imposed censorship.

I try not to throw it in the faces of others, but sometimes, a girl’s just got to let go.

So like my friend said at the end of our discussion about this column: I’m gay, and I’m damn proud of it.

Adam Griffiths is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].