#YEG – Pride and Joy

(Originally posted on June 9, 2013 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)

Yesterday may have been the best day of my life.

Pride (or Gay Christmas, as some call it) is a magical day. The city is cloaked in vibrant colours, and it pulses with unabashed joy from dawn to well after dusk. There is no other day of the year when I feel so completely embraced by everyone around me.

There’s usually a moment or two throughout the day when I’m struck by the fact that everything will go back to “normal” tomorrow. At these times, I wish everyday could be just like Pride – tens of thousands of smiling queers and allies strutting around downtown, radiating love at friends and strangers alike. Of course, Gay Christmas comes but once a year.  But I’m confident that the feeling I had when I finally dragged my gay ass home last night (a.k.a. this morning) won’t be wearing off anytime soon.

For those wondering what all the fuss is about (or what on earth could compel an introvert to plant herself in a crowd of thirty thousand people), I present to you my list of reasons for loving this day:

Running Hugs

Somehow, in a wall-to-wall sea of queers, friends manage to bump into each other randomly at Pride. There is nothing better than watching someone take a running leap into the arms of a friend and squeezing them hard enough to cut off all lung function.

Momentary Friendships

Everyone is ridiculously friendly during Pride, and not just because most have had a drink or two. Impromptu conversations regularly strike up with strangers, even among those of us who are not naturally inclined towards such things. We know nothing about each other except that we are queer or queer-friendly, and that’s more than enough to make us instant pals while waiting in line or brushing past each other on the street.

Body Positivity

Pride truly is a “Come As You Are” event.  People of all shapes and sizes dress however the hell they want, and everyone loves them for it.  It’s the reason I felt comfortable wearing a tank top in public yesterday, which is something I wouldn’t normally do.  The day is all about embracing who we are in every way, which includes putting ourselves on proud display.

Celebrity Status

Maybe this is just me, but not only do I feel safer and more at ease as an out lesbian on this day of the year, but I almost feel special for it, like I’m part of an awesome elite club. Restaurant servers, cashiers, random middle-aged women who spot my rainbow tie from their backyards… everyone is super-smiley and chatty and positive, and I feel not only accepted but maybe even a little admired.

rainbow line

Alberta has sort of an unfair reputation… growing up on the east coast, I (incorrectly) viewed this province as completely redneck and not exactly welcoming of the queers. Yesterday was a shining, rainbow-filled example of how outdated this viewpoint is.

This city is home to me now for many reasons.  And that rainbow-filled Saturday in June is the day that I feel it most.

This year’s Pride Parade takes place on June 4. Click here for more details.


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