I'm arriving home at 11:30pm from the Fierté Montreal Festival (Pride parade and party). I feel like I'm justifying myself: "hey guys, I didn't know how to enjoy it and I came back home early, no homo!", and now that I re-read the previous sentence, it's a pretty good summary of what I was going to write. With that out of the way, I will write down some thoughts.
Once upon a time I had a girlfriend who liked attending pride. I would go with her grugingly, watching the parade march by with crossed arms. I wanted to leave as soon as I arrived. To be honest, at the time I thought it was a freak show of hypersexualized men who just wanted to party.
This time the parade was a block away from where I live. I went to see out of curiosity. This time I felt something completely different. Yes there's a lot of hypersexualized men who just want to party, but in the context of gay culture this is the counterpoint of decades of hidden sexuality and social mingling.
At the festival a young and attractive black lady who was obviously drunk asked me for a lighter. I was already holding it in my hand, as I was about to light up a joint. We begun chatting. I confessed, "You know, I'm not gay, I just came out of curiosity". She said "Well that's OK, but I can imagine it's more fun if you're gay!".
She then said she would come out to her mom the next day. I asked her how she thought her mom would react. She smiled wondering, "I'm not sure, everyone knows I'm gay but...", I laughed and said "Oh your mom knows you since you were born, you think she doesn't know already?" and we both laughed.
She then said she didn't know how to tell her mom. "Just say you came to the pride party, made out with a couple of women and discovered you like them". She countered "that sounds like a plausible story... if it were about you!", I burst out laughing at her wit. We wished each other well and said our goodbyes.
I was also wierded out by my unwillingness to dance. It didn't feel mental or emotional, I felt it in my body. Still, I walked the festival floor to see if dance would find my body, but it didnt happen. Instead, I found the naked torsos and the testosterone in the air suffocating, so I turned to leave.
I was at the exit of the festival when I thought "I have to overcome this", so I turned back and instead of looking for a spot on the floor, I danced from an elevated spot from which the stage was visible, if not a little bit far away. I danced for about 40 minutes, and then left.
On my way back I stopped at Place des Arts where there was a concert with an alternative rock band. The music was much less agreeable to dance, yet I danced with more enthusiasm than I was dancing at pride. I was baffled because there was no conscious decision behind it, my body felt more willing to dance outside of pride.
There is no conclusion to this text. I know it sounds like "straight man goes to Pride, doesn't know how to have fun" and that's exactly what happened. Yet, if I had done the same some years ago, the title would have been "straight man goes to pride, hates everything about it". So there is a change.
I hope that some years from now, I can write again "straight man goes to Pride, he has a blast!". That's more like it.