As I stated in an earlier blog, I had no plans to attend any of the Gay Pride Festival events, because being gay is such a small part of who I am, however I did have plans to go to the Pride Parade on Sunday with my friends and Dodger. It was great and I am glad I went.
For me the Pride Parade really had nothing to do with “pride in being gay”, but just a chance to hang out with me friends and see a parade. Hey it’s Los Angeles and it seems like there is some sort of parade every single weekend in some city here. The only parade that really means much to me is the Rose Parade in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl football game. To me that parade really represents the awesomeness of Southern California and all her sheer beauty. When USC is in the Rose Bowl it is even better.
There aren’t many floats in this parade, just lots of men barley dressed bumping andgrinding and slinging their cocks threw their too small underwear at the crowd. There are a few celebs, but it is Los Angeles, so there has to be some celebs otherwise you can’t really call it a parade. I think those are the rules, because otherwise it is just a bunch of people marching in the street.
Sharon and Kelly Osborn were the Grand Marshals of the parade, but for me the real star was Sheryl Lee Ralph who was part of the original cast of Dream Girls and the mom on smash hit Moesha. She is also a huge ally, fundraiser and supporter of HIV and AIDS. It was great seeing her in the parade.
We took in the sounds and all the many different wild, crazy and even the strange sights of the parade right in front of Gelson’s. My friends Tina, Willow, Andy and Eric along with my little boy Dodger enjoyed out time together. The bonus was that I had the chance to see my friends Donald, Walter and Angel from the outreach I created down of Skid Row for people living with HIV or AIDS. The chance to laugh and see them having a great time and really enjoying life was so cool for me. It is always such an awesome feeling to see them smiling and having a great time outside the crazy and drab life that Skid Row has to offer. Donald was filled with plenty of smiles and laughs just like always and as always Walter was sexy and nice as ever.
The highlight of the entire day for me was the fact that I was able to share the ceramics studio with my friends. I guess in a huge way this place is the center of “Pride” for me because it is the place that hold so much and is the start of so much for me. It was one place where I felt safe and where I could just be me. It was also the one place where I felt respected, welcomed and loved and today the ceramics studio still holds so much for me. It was so cool to be able to share this with my friends.
After the parade Dodger and I went to the studio to spend the rest of our afternoon playing in the clay and making some pretty cool pieces. Well I really didn’t create any new pieces, but worked on the one I started the day before. Once again I have found that I am pretty good at sculpting. When I first started going to the studio this is what I did the most of, I was able to put whatever I was feeling into the clay and this energy helped me to create some really awesome pieces.
As I have stated before, many of the guys at the studio are people who are so special and kind and I am so honored and humbled to call them my friends. Brian, Glen, and Robert are always so much fun and such solid people to be around. Plus they are such great artists. They are also such huge inspirations to me and great examples of what life can be like and how awesome it really is for people who happen to be HIV positive.
People tell me all the time that I inspire them and how awesome I am for finding a way to create some good out of the adversity in my life. I am always humbled by the comments like this, but to be very honest it is people like my friends, the guys at the studio and people who really put forth an honest effort to be better and stand in the gap for others who are the inspirations for me. They are the people I see as fine examples in my life who demonstrate each day what it means to live life to the fullest, how to give to others without expecting anything in return, what it means to love and support someone unconditionally and this in turn encouraged me to be a better person and keep doing the work that I’ve created.
So I guess for me my “Gay Pride” is more about simply being proud of the people I have in my life, celebrating the richness of my friendships, embracing, loving and living life as best I can each and every day without fail in good times and bad, through the storms, through the fire, the highs and lows I must always strive to rise to every occasion and get past every challenge as best I can and remember to always show love and compassion towards humanity along the way.
Pride for me was about being proud, but not because I am gay.