Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Editorial in DAVID

Atlanta Pride was this weekend, and it was a blast. I'm still recovering-- not from any form of partying, but from working the event. I'll share more on the weekend later. For now, I want to share an editorial I wrote about Pride for David Magazine, which is a free gay publication here in Atlanta.

‘Showy & Impressive’
Time for the gays to take center stage


Pride. For the primrose Baptists, it's a time of sodo-sinning. For the city of Atlanta, it's a nice economic boost. And for the evening news, it is a gathering of leather-daddies, dykes who march or ride bikes, and barely dressed twinks.

Webster has a handful of definitions for Pride, but the one that strikes me like a pair of Bette Davis eyes is "a showy or impressive group," because this is one of the things the Atlanta Pride Festival is for me.

It is a time we come together as the LGBT community to show ourselves and our numbers with a Vietnam mantra of "Hell no we won't go!" And I hope our elected officials and political hopefuls have enough time to quit bagging interns and stop smelling the bribes to realize these numbers translate as votes.

I hope our numbers translate as opportunity to businesses — not only as potential customers, but as potential employees. Recognize us with the same employee benefits as you do breeders, and market to us outside of gay publications and productions. I think I'd probably buy any product, even Spam, if it has an advertisement featuring a cute gay couple in People or runs during "Grey's."

Pride is a time for us to take notice of our allies, "enemies," and GLBT entrepreneurs. When you walk through the festival and watch the parade, take notice of who chooses to be a part of Pride. Never forget any organization who 'fesses up to gayness and show them some love.

As far as I am concerned, Hannibal Lecter and Clarice had it right — quid pro quo. Why in the hell should we give money to businesses and organizations that don't support us?

Pride is time for our numbers to come from all cities and counties in Georgia. People need to realize that we are a part of every community. The gays are not only found when you take a fieldtrip to Atlanta.

Damn it, the LBGT community is not just Inside The Perimeter! I confess, I live OTP, just barely though. Don't judge! I could spit on the interstate, but I don't believe in spitting.

Each year, I seem to meet someone who has traveled from a bo-funk city that I couldn't locate with my GPS, much less find on a map Which makes me ask the person, "You sure that's in Georgia?

It is always a similar story: Pride is the only time when the person from Bo-Funk, Ga., gets to be out and proud without worrying. As a guy from a small town that has the motto of shoot it, stuff it, or marry it, where any minority is always watched with one eye, I can relate.

Creating a safe haven for GLBT people is my leading reason for being a volunteer with the Atlanta Pride Committee.

Ok. I have been pretty damn serious about Pride, but don't get me wrong. I am far from a prude; just ask those two guys from New York I met during my first Atlanta Pride back when I was … well, I was young and hot.

Pride is a time to enjoy yourself! Let your hair or shorts down — maybe both, it's your preference. Just remember to do it in a safely.

If you're letting your shorts down, have a quick HIV test at the festival (they are free!) Then grab a Durex or three; someone is always giving them away — take a handful for that "friendly" friend.

Don't drink and drive, and don't forget: No alcoholic beverages may be brought inside the Civic Center complex during the Pride Festival. But stay away from anything you snort or inject — it's trashy, like Bridgette Fonda in "The Point of No Return" before her CIA transformation, not good trashy like "Sordid Lives."

So yeah, make it a gay ol' time and have loads of fun! And when you're having fun, I hope you'll have the mindset that there are no ifs, ands, or buts — Pride must take place.

borrowed from DAVID


Lisa Allender said...

Hi Dustin. Hope you know how much we all appreciate your hard hard work! What a great day that Saturday. I was tthere for hours, reading the AIDS quilt, visiting various booths, and learning more about fellow LGBT folks! thanks again for the re-cap. Love to hear more 'bout your PRIDE experience.Peace.
P.S. I blogged about PRIDE at my blog lisaallenderwrites

Dustin said...


It was great seeing you at the festival.