What I haven't written about is pride.
Specifically, I haven't written about "gay pride."
Last week, I read a post by Constant Calliope, I'm Not All That Proud, Really, and although I saw her point, it bummed me out.
Each of them made me think about pride, and what pride means to me.
I've written a bit about the challenges of living in small towns. About why I call Raven my wife, even with no legal standing. About being an invisible parent some of the time, and wondering when it's right to step forward, and when I need to step back. I wrote a piece two years ago regarding what it feels like to live in seeming isolation, with little sense that there is anyone "like us." I've written about fundamentalist beliefs which sometimes still plague me, and about gender identity, sort of.
But I haven't written about what a sight like this does for my heart and soul:
This year, our little family joined some friends this year for a pride celebration.
We celebrated being us. Under the blazing sun, Raven and I relaxed and held hands . . . among a bunch of other people of every conceivable shape, size, ethnicity, and age who just nodded and smiled. And danced. The Giant watched the parade with me, and bought a hat that says "Be Who You Are" and a shirt with a gradient rainbow. He was fine, whether hanging out with us "old folks," and wading through the crowd alone.
And, at the end of the day, when I told the Giant it was time to go, his response was:
"Cool, Tia. This was really great, but I'm ready to go home and chill out."
Last weekend, since there's no father in our household, we had "Tia's Day." The Giant has a part time job, and he had a surprise for me. In addition to an amazing card, he presented me with this:
My gay pride is that, in spite various prejudices, obstacles, and pressures; in spite of the apparent isolation in which we live; in spite of the disapproval of biological relatives and dogmatic religionists . . . in spite of it all, we've been a family for nearly 16 years.
My gay pride is that my wife is my wife, and my son is my son, even without legal sanction.
My gay pride is the love our family shares - Raven and me and The Giant.
My gay pride is that we exist, in relative peace, compared to even 10 or 15 years ago.
And for that, I celebrate.
That and the fact that my kid, at 17, isn't to old to play with me . . .