It’s Pride week in Budapest! <3
One of the questions that came up in the community again this year is why do we still call it Pride? What is there to be proud of? Some people within and from outside the community feel that Pride is “showing off”. Pushing our private business in other’s faces. But my questions is, why are people so touchy about seeing other people happy? Another person’s existence – not to mention their happiness – isn’t an affront to you.
Let me share an anecdote with you here: I was buying baked goods in the underpass and was in the midst of paying when the shop assistant said to her colleague “Oh my God, it’s disgusting!” I raised my eyebrow at what could possibly bother her so, when her colleague answered, puzzled. “What?” “That girl just ran up to her boyfriend, hugged him and kissed him” The colleague, echoing my thoughts “And?” “Well doesn’t it make you mad that you can’t do that with your boyfriend right now?” I left the shop at this point, thinking: Man, it must be exhausting to be angry about things constantly! It must feel like the whole world is against you.
Circling back to Pride: in my opinion Pride is about celebrating diversity. For me, a rigid, sort of “boxed in” interpretation of gender and sexuality always felt constraining. I never fit in boxes. In the case of my disability, it wasn’t even my choice – it’s visible no matter what. Try as I might, I could never cross my legs “as gracefully as a lady”. This at first made me feel inadequate. I thought if I don’t hit that invisible mark of societal expectations, I’m not sexy or attractive. And then about a decade later, in my early 20s, my thinking turned around. I said to the world: “This is me! What you see is what you get!”(And I still think like this 95% of the time. Of course, I have my doubting days.)
And if I can’t fit into people’s traditional perceptions, then why not go the whole mile? I now display my beliefs and personality boldly on my “activist hat” with an array of badges.
Pride week every year is an opportunity for me to celebrate everyone’s awesome differences. The first time I joined the march, I was kind of terrified because of its violent history in Hungary. During my second Pride week a far right wing website took everyone’s name and profile pic from Facebook who was interested in Pride events and compiled “the faggot list” (aka. “These are the people who deserve to be beaten up”). I was on it. A friend of mine texted me: “Sara, I don’t know if you heard about this, there’s this list called the faggot list and you’re on it. Just be careful….” (more to the story here) This year, for the first time in years, the Pride march will go down without being fenced-off.
In contrast, years ago I went to Vienna Pride. Boy, was it a different story! No fences. The whole city dressed up for the occasion (see featured image). People smiled and waved at the march. It was queer heaven…
Do you have any Pride experiences to share? Positive or negative tell me!
A similarly awesome event I started going to last year is the UK BiCon. You can read about what it was like in my next post! Stay tuned, subscribe to make sure you don’t miss it!