After last Saturday, I can check another thing off my trans checklist – Boston Pride. Since I started to come out as trans, I’ve wanted to go to this parade. And I got my chance. I’ve posted about the importance of pride to the community, and to me, before, but after this event, after being part of that in practice, it means so much more now.
And, well… It wasn’t what I expected. It was so much more. As far as parades go, it wasn’t anything to write home about. Nothing particularly noteworthy or spectacular. What made it special was the atmosphere. The crowd. The positivity. The fact that for once, there was a massive crowd, and LGBT people were a strong majority.
I could look around and see trans guys, trans girls, lesbians, bisexual people, gay people, asexual people, demi sexual people, you name it, all around me. And for the first time since I started presenting as female, I felt perfectly safe, and perfectly accepted. Nobody cared who I was. Nobody tried to gender me. Nobody tried to label me. I felt like I was just me. Just another person. Nobody was negative, nobody was mean, everybody just wanted to be themselves and to celebrate it.
The parade was good. There was more trans representation than I expected, and plenty of groups worth paying attention to. But the crowd was what made it. The feeling that you were part of an experience. Part of something important. And totally free to be yourself because of it. A friend I was with took a picture of our group, and I was actually smiling. Really smiling. I can’t remember the last time I smiled like that, and meant it. And felt it. There are few times that I don’t want to be somewhere other than where I am, but sitting on a sidewalk around the corner from Boston Common, I felt that. I wasn’t thinking about yesterday, tomorrow, or later that night, I was just there.
But we shouldn’t need a parade to feel safe and accepted. We should be able to feel like that wherever we go. And until that happens, pride will be important. It felt strange and uncomfortable to be back in the world after that. To feel the eyes on you, and hear the transphobic language that is ohhhh so common. But having that experience made me feel like though they aren’t there with me like that day, that these people are out in the world fighting for the same things I am. I was reminded of this before I even went, when a customer came into my night job and asked if I was going to the parade. And even though I didn’t know her, I knew she had my back, and she didn’t feel like a stranger, because we were for the same thing. And after, I try to hold onto that feeling and community to try to feel a little less alone and misunderstood in the world.
I’m proud to be a queer, transgender girl. And I’m going to keep fighting like a grrrl to feel comfortable with that identity every where I go.