Thursday, June 12, 2014

Proud to be an A!

This article was originally posted on on 6/9/14

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As we all know, June is gay pride month and that means a chance for every member of the LGBTQA community to shine like a fabulous rainbow. LOL Of course, there is also a lot of serious work happening as well, both in politics and education. Even in the virtual world, there is celebrating with publishers having sales, and writers hosting blog tours and giveaways.
But the truth is, most of my friends are busy losing weight, getting tan, selecting hot outfits, and getting ready to par-tay for Pride. In fact, that word, “Pride” holds enough weight in the LGBTQA community that it’s like saying Christmas to anyone else. Not only is it a feeling but it is the EVENT of the summer.
I've had the privilege of attending multiple Prides, Motor City Pride in Detroit, Stonewall Columbus Pride, and my hometown Pride, Toledo Pride, which isn't until Aug 22-24. Each festival has had its own special way for the community within a community to show their city that LGBTQA is more than just a social identifier. It is a vastly diverse group of people from the everyday folk to the fabulous.
Pssst!! Did you notice that today I am including the Questioning and the Allies into the LGBT alphabet soup? Wanna know why?
Because it is Pride season and I am proud to be an A!
That’s right, I'm an Ally. When I go to Pride I'm not an outsider or a mere observer. This middle-age straight women—God I hate saying that middle-age part, LOL—is a part of the alphabet.
While most of us do not like labels or stereotypes, darn it, I love being an A!
IMO, there's a big difference between being an Ally and merely saying that you support gay rights. To me, mere talk won't earn you the privilege of being in the LGBTQA alphabet. I'm not getting into too many deets on the subject, but I blogged about the topic once with a post entitled: “I’m cool that you’re gay, BUT....”, so if you're curious you can check that out. I not an Ally simply because I write gay romance, either. Deep in my bones I believe in equality and I've been known to be quite vocal in defending my gay bros and sistas. Have I offended some? Yes. Do I care? No. On an upbeat note (this post is all about the positive) I’ve also changed some minds and made others think about their words, too. The small victories are still wins.
That’s even our motto here at RRW—Changing minds one heart at a time.
Now I’m not here to list off my volunteer work or give myself props, I am just here to say:
I’m proud to be an A!
And next weekend, when I get my bags packed to go to Columbus Pride with my favorite A and G, we’re gonna grab a deep-dish pizza at Fabian’s in the Short North before we head off to a drag show with a cute pair of Ls. Then we’re gonna party like rock stars and regret it all in the morning, LOL Some of my fellow alphabet peeps will even get to see George Takei—Oh Myyy!—because he’s the Grand Marshall this year for the Columbus Pride parade #awesome. I'm thinking about getting a pedicure with little rainbows painted on my toes. Yeah, that’s how I roll.
Whatever we do, one thing is for certain, we are all excited about the chance to be surrounded by our happy and united community. That’s what Pride is about, after all.
Celebrating our beautifully diverse alphabet.
If you find the time this summer, I hope you can attend a Pride event near you. LGBTQA events are, by far, full of the most loving and accepting people you will ever meet. Like going to GRL or Rainbow Con with fellow writers, Pride is a spectacular way to get immersed in our fabulous community.
Happy Pride!

~Deanna—proud to be an A!

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