Today is Pride Day here in Halifax.
I’m not used to it being so late in the year. Usually my pride celebrations (while they are everyday as I am as “out” as you can be) officially happen the last weekend of June in correlation to the Stonewall Riots of 1969. The city of Halifax decided to postpone it’s Pride celebration because most of the queers head off to Toronto or some other bigger city during June to celebrate their Pride is full regalia (whatever the hell that means).
This is the 25th anniversary.
It’s kind of a big deal around these parts and Meegan and I have been spending the last week going to different events. It’s been a lot of fun since it’s new for both of us (This being her first pride ever and my first in Halifax). This year has a lot of meaning to me on both a personal level and political level and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about both this last week.
This is the sign that I’ll be carrying around with me as I watch the parade go by and spend a few hours at the rally. It’s a nod to Canada and my appreciation and gratitude for opening it’s borders to me as an American while at the same time a nod to my country that has let me down as a citizen (because it didn’t consider me a citizen at all). I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to return to America with “the girl of my dreams” because so very few places will even acknowledge that I in fact deserve the rights of every other person that is born and raised on what is my homeland. People coming from other countries, barely speaking the language are given more rights the second they step foot into America than I am as a natural born citizen…
All because of who I choose to love.
But I didn’t choose. Love doesn’t choose. It just happens. You stand next to someone and your heart beats faster. You want to know what they smell like, what their voice sounds like. You want to know what it would feel like to hold their hand. To sit on a bench and watch the sun go down. You want to know if they like the same music, the same food, the same kind of dog. My heart doesn’t understand gender, it only understands love and it fell in love with someone happens to also be biologically female. America has a lot to learn from the country to the North. The country which claims to be the land of the free and home of the brave is neither and it’s a shame that it would rather see me flee than just accept that we’re here, we’re queer and they should just damn well get used to it.
These are the shirts Red and I will be wearing as we watch the parade go by and spend a few hours at the rally. They’re cute and will bring quite a few smiles and maybe even a “hey Tara” while were hanging out. But the meaning behind the shirts go much deeper. I’m not sure if I can eloquently explain the deeper meaning but when you’re straight most of your life and fall in love with someone of the perceived same gender it can come as quite a surprise.
Now take that “perceived” same gender person and start adding words like “gender varient” or “transgendered” and you’ve got yourself a whole mix of what it’s like for the both of us to be in love.
There is a mess of confusion every time I wake up. Do I feel more boyish today? Do I feel more girlish today? Why the fuck are my boobs still here? I can’t leave the house unless my bra and undies match. Can I get a pedicure and a flower on my big toe? I hope no one says “how are you ladies doing today” and looks me in the eye. Why am I crying over this baby commercial? Is my handshake to “manly” and should I start to bind my chest to look flatter?
When people see us walking down the street they see two females but in fact they see one female and one “male”. I use “” because I still don’t know what that means. Male. 88% boy. 12% girl….gender variant. People need to put me in a box because it’s easier for them but it’s not easier for me because there really is no box in which I comfortably fit.
This year at pride it’s a little different for me. I will stand a little taller because there is a lot of pride inside of me. Pride that I’ve married the “girl of my dreams” and that I know what it feels like to hold her hand and watch the sun go down. Pride that I’m allowing myself to explore what it means to be gender variant and push the boundaries of what boxes people want to put me in. Pride in my new country for making me feel like a first class citizen.
Pride in myself for moving forward.
In all parts of my life.