It's Pride month. That annual festival of queer celebration.
My first Pride march was in 1985. I went down to Columbus, OH (Cleveland, where I lived at the time, didn't have a Pride march yet.) I was 25 years old, freshly minted lesbian, marching with like 200 other people, with about that many counter protesters with hateful signs and more hateful looks on their faces.
When I lived in Western Massachusetts, Pride came early - because of the students, the Pride march was in May. I rarely went. In 2000, I was traveling to San Francisco with my partner at the time, for a conference she was attending, and we went to the Dyke March, and the pride parade the next day, and it felt really special.
Since I moved to the queer equivalent of Mecca, Pride has seemed both a bigger deal, and a smaller one. There's lots going on for Pride month here, concerts, film festivals, all sorts of events. And I've dipped in and out (much less since I've lived up in Sonoma County.) I've been to the Dyke March and the Pride Parade a few times, but not lately. It seemed like pride was kinda "old hat." (Besides the fact that it has become increasingly commercial.)
This year, I'm going to Santa Rosa Pride (today!), and also traveling down to SF for the Trans March later in the month. It feels like a new moment in my life. I was always proud to be queer. And I'm still proud to be queer. And now I'm also proud to be trans.