My First Pride Story

I went to my first pride, not for myself, but for my mother. She had just had a major heart surgery, gone through a divorce, and lost a number of loved ones in the past few years. She was battling severe depression and was having trouble getting motivated to do anything. Due to media at the time, she had a number of fears and false ideas of what I would face as a gay man. Such as the assumption that my life would be much harder in the work force, that I would face constant ridicule, that I wouldn’t be able to find love, risk for higher exposure to STI’s and of course gay bashing. So, I decided it was time to show her my community and educate both of us on what it was really like. I still remember it vividly. I had her to come to Pride with me and we walked hand in hand not quite sure what to expect myself. We marched behind the Gio’s flag for as long as we could, until she could not go any farther due to the strain from her heart operation, at which point someone on the Gio’s float offered her a place to sit for the rest of the way. For the first time in years I saw her be carefree, be happy. She had more fun that day that I did and decked herself out in as much rainbow as she could find in PrideMART to show me and everybody how proud she was. Since that day, every year, she shows her support, comes to our Festival, sets up a chair with many of my family in front of the main stage, and has the time of her life. My first pride changed my life and my mothers.