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Hug #47

July 7, 2011
Hug #47 Pride Parade, Broadway and Wellington

Hug #47 Pride Parade, Broadway and Wellington

Hug #47
Sunday, June 24 1:00-2:00 pm
Broadway and Wellington (@ Pride!)

“Oh. You are so hot.”

For sure not feeling it.

I used to feel it. I don’t even know why I stopped, or what has changed, maybe its just part of getting older. My sexuality no longer defines me, but it did, and I notice the difference.

I watch as others display their sexuality openly, expose themselves, at their best and worst, seeming wholly uninhibited. They let loose in joyous ways, inappropriate ways, explicit ways. They express a rebellion against a certain cardinal culture, and the violent shrill of the parade watchers sounds as an alarm.

Last year 450,000 people attended the Pride Parade. This year, an estimated 750,000. No one was prepared. The parade was re-routed in the middle because the crowd overtook the street. Train stations were mobbed, intersections were overtaken. Record numbers of people celebrating the holiday that is PRIDE in Chicago. 51 tires were slashed in the morning hours before the parade. Another kind of an alarm. Was it a hate crime? We are a culture of reactionaries and rebels, it seems. Where the numbers of supporters double and triple, the hatred can still be witnessed plainly. Where this violence and this hope for change stand together, arm in arm.  Because here, we witness a real clashing and real violence still, and alcohol is a knowing accomplice.

Aurora and I persisted as a passive landscape, peacefully embracing. Quiet among the raucous peacocks. The crowd moved their way around us, and I felt again the invisibility I have felt before. Unexpected invisibility. I realize now that our Hug could have been more noticeable if we had been naked, or at least scantily clad. Our Hug is not sexy on this ground, where provocative exhibition is fundamental.

I began to remember other parades, where, painted and costumed, I strutted and hollered. I remembered my youth, and recognized it as my fight, my persistence to increase the visibility of the “different.” It was usually with a smirk, a jabbing remark, or a flirty wink. I remain an advocate for PRIDE and PRIDE goers, knowing the intention is a good one. I leave it to the rest of us to behave in a way that serves to open our minds instead of closing them.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Carol Zalek permalink
    July 8, 2011 4:54 pm

    Sweet Lady,

    I’m sorry your sexuality is hiding from you at this time. I hope you feel it again, soon. As we age (experience life), stuff (shit) happens to modify, dull, excite, rev-up our senses. The good feelings we want to keep forever. The more subdued or downright yucky feelings sometimes seem to overpower the desireable ones.

    A bit of this could be the result of aging. Usually, we find as we age that we don’t have the freedom of youth. It’s been replaced by responsibility and restrictions. To make matters worse, society has changed. You are still the same you, inside. But, society isn’t reacting the way you are used to seeing it behave. Lately, I sometimes see society as Wonderland and I feel like Alice. I’m surely out of sync w/it.

    Maybe something funky is suppressing this part of you. Can you go to your quiet place and seek out the reason for sexuality gone hiding? When did it start? Does it come back fleetingly? Can drumming and dancing free it? I’m sure it’s there, just waiting to resuface.

    As for being inappropriate – you will always be “hot” w/o being inappropriate. You have the grace and inner-fixins to be good and “hot” in spite of the changes in society.

    Such an intracate expression of feelings that you share! My thoughts seem simplistic and shallow compared to what you’ve expressed, multi-faceted, flowing and entwined. I wish I could share hugs w/you right now!

    Love you,

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