The Stories that Make Pride

Vancouver Pride 2010

This weekend was Pride weekend in Vancouver, culminating in the parade on Sunday. I’ve gone every year I’ve been here, the last four parades, and it’s always a ton of fun.

In a place like Vancouver, where being queer doesn’t generally have nearly the same problems as in other parts of the world (despite several high profile gay bashings recently) the Pride Parade is no longer about fighting for our rights. Instead, it takes on the mantle of a celebration, for what we’ve achieved and our freedom to be who we are.

A good friend of mine puts it well on her blog:

I’ve kind of come to the conclusion this year that Pride is kind of a Queer New Year. You go out and party, reconnect with friends, and make all kinds of resolutions about how you’re going to be a way better queer between tomorrow and next Pride. That’s what I do anyway, or at least seem to have been doing for the last couple years.

…I like the New Year’s corollary; it treats Pride as both a celebration and an opportunity for betterment. If everyone came into it every year taking stock of where they are in their personal journey and where the community as a whole is in addition to which parties they’re going to hit, it would create an incredible opportunity to recapture the consciousness raising efforts of the 1960s.

This year was a bit different for me from previous years. The last few weeks have seen my life go off on a bit of a whirlwind adventure, so I didn’t come into this weekend with quite the same anticipation — I didn’t have time to anticipate. And for the first time, I celebrated Pride with a significant other. I got to meet Blake Skjellerup in person, which was cool (click here for that backstory) — it’s great that we can host people like that, people the community can look up to.

Lucas and olympian Blake Skjellerup

In general, I still had a blast, and it did force me to stop my whirlwind life for a moment and reflect.

But one of the things that struck me most this year, I think, was Saturday night, with my aforementioned friend, Emma.

Last year, I had a few people over on the night before the parade for a Pride party, and it was such a success that I decided it should be an annual thing. It’s just a small house party, 5-10 of my closest friends (I’m the kind of guy that prefers small, intimate parties to huge bashes or clubbing), and an abundance of alcohol: one of the now-established traditions of this party is to make rainbow-coloured vodka by dissolving skittles into it, and then doing a series of rainbow shots, toasting something different for each.

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