This weekend marks another DC Pride that Hal and I won't be attending. The reasons for this are numerous, but they center on the commercialization of the event and the serious lack of any real sense of community these days. With Hal working on weekends anyway, it makes no sense for me to venture into DC for the events on my own. Things just wouldn't be the same without us being there together.
The commercialization of Pride has been taking place for many years. Initially, it was people producing arts and crafts, but it has devolved into a mini-mall for corporate America these days. While I understand the need to meet expenses for renting public spaces and other costs, the human element has been almost completely removed from the event.
Another consideration is much more personal. When we moved to the DC area, we became actively involved with some of the local groups. Initially, things went very well, but then, the ugly green jealousy monster reared it's ugly head. Being in a relationship is difficult regardless of the genders involved. It seems that there are always people who cannot stand the mere though of other people actually being happy while they themselves are miserable. Then there are those who have to judge themselves against everyone they meet. Material possessions rule their lives and everyone else stands awaiting their pious judgement about whether or not they measure up.
Hal and I have dealt with too many of each of these types of people. There have been attempts to drive us apart in the past, but we were always fortunate enough to realize what was going on and get away from those people. The status queens are another group that we decided to avoid after several unpleasant episodes. Hal and I are doing just fine without having to deal with all the negativity out there, and that is just within the Gay community, such as it is.
We have great friends, gay and straight, and they are the most important people in our lives. It just makes no sense to take the effort to attend Pride just to run into the same people that we realized we had to get away from in the first place. As we get older, we tend to mellow. I do not get upset with people who judge, or rather misjudge us, anymore. Years ago, I was ready to fight at the first perceived insult to us, but time and experience have taught me that the wisest course of action is to move on and be happy.
To all those who attend DC Pride this weekend, I wish you all a wonderful time. We will be here living our life together and in some ways missing those days that have past, but also we will be looking forward to a bright and happy future for ourselves and everyone else.