Trans Girl at Pride Day

 

Pride Flag image from
Jason Leung on UnSplash

Welcome to Pride Month. The only month of the year when the LGBTQ community is celebrated by a portion of the world and hated by others. Sadly, the month brings out all the gender bigots in the world. 

Early on, I had many experiences at various Pride Days with my new circle of lesbian friends. Including non lesbian friends when a meetup group my wife Liz and I were in operated a table at Cincinnati Pride for a couple of years. On occasion, I even felt as if I was the token LGBT person in the group. Regardless, I had a good time people watching all the diverse public which was walking by. I saw everything from lesbians wearing nearly nothing to cross dressers teetering painfully around in their heels and hose. Then, of course there were the drag queens who I almost felt were embarrassing to me because I did not want anyone to think I was part of their culture, I was transgender not a drag queen. My disclaimer is I have nothing against drag queens but my days in male gay bars taught me how unfortunate it was to be mistaken for a queen. 

Plus, I wanted everyone to know how important it was to me to be recognized for being a transgender woman in a sea of other diverse people. Along the way, I felt the Prides I went to started to emphasize trans people and not the drag queens who seemed to get all the attention with their flamboyant attitudes and clothing. Cincinnati in particular a couple of years ago featured a trans woman I don't remember now as their parade marshal. Plus, I started to see many more transgender women and trans men in the crowd along with groups of butch lesbians and gay male "bears". It made for an interesting experience as my preference was to be mistaken for a lipstick lesbian. Or a lesbian who wears makeup. 

Early on, back in our drinking days, Cincinnati Pride always featured an after hours "Pub Crawl" which one year even featured a bus which took us to many gay venues we had never been to before. I had always wanted to live in Cincinnati and this was a great way to experience it, without ever driving because at the end of the evening, we took an Uber to get home. A great time was had by all. 

Of course, Cincinnati wasn't the only city in the region which hosted a huge Pride celebration. Before I moved to Cincy, I lived within a half hour of Columbus, Ohio. Columbus, as I said, had a LGBTQ celebration which rivaled all the others in the state. This time I went with my new circle of lesbian friends including Liz and two others. Similar to my Pride experiences in Cincinnati, the drag queens became less of an influence and better yet, I could relax and enjoy myself. That night for some reason, we ended up in several straight bars without any problems. 

These days, Pride has really expanded. In the local metro area alone, there are four separate celebrations going on this year. Sadly, with most, after the celebrating has died down, the same old problems exist for transgender women and men in the community. Big corporations who support Pride go back into their closets and I assume wait for the push back from the gender bigots. 

At any rate, it is refreshing to see the public media support for our community. Even if it is temporary.

Enjoy your Pride month no matter where you are in your gender transition! That includes all of you who identify as cross dressers. You never know when all of that may change. It happened to me.

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