Bro-ing out at Pride
So, I brought a bro to Nashville Pride. When I tell you I brought a former Knoxville frat boy to Pride, what’s your initial thought? Most likely, “Was he lost?” or “This must be vagina motivated.” I think you’d actually be surprised how many keg stand champions are down for our cause.
Adam had never been to Pride before or anything else LGBT-related, to be honest, before he met me. He has always supported our cause but never participated in community events. Adam knew a little bit about the LGBT community, he attended Easter services this year with Sully and I at Covenant of the Cross and met Pastor Greg. It was definitely an eye opening experience for him to be at an LGBT church.
Adam has been learning a lot about advocacy and being an ally over the past several months. Considering that Sully and I are his tour guides, it’s been more of a baptism by fire.
Adam got super bro’ed out for Pride—he got a rainbow tank top, cape and sunglasses. He also picked up a penis water gun at the Lion’s Den booth, but that was less about advocacy and more about having a penis water gun to shoot his friends with because … frat boy.
Side note: Adam is definitely twink material and got hit on a lot. I needed a needle to pop his overinflated ego after the Pride festival. Thanks a lot, skanks!
Anyway, Adam’s tour de Pride started at the Out & About booth, where he met Allison—a transgender woman—as well as her wife and their daughter. This was Adam’s first real opportunity to hear firsthand what it’s like to be an LGBT family. It was an eye opening experience to be sure.
Next Adam got to meet our editor, James (clock the first time he got hit on LOL), but then came my favorite part! Adam got to meet a cub at the booth! Watching his face as we explained bears, cubs, and what a leather night was is probably one of my favorite things I’ve EVER seen. Adam also got to meet some of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and learn about their work in the community.
Next we took Adam to the Vanderbilt Equality tent, where he got a lesson in gender identity and the importance of using correct pronouns. He said, “I guess I never realized how important it was before. How people want to be addressed should be respected, that’s easy…”
Next we took Adam to his first drag performance—Raja on the main stage. Now it’s no secret my daughters are HUGE Drag Race fans. My youngest is a hardcore Raja fan. Adam got a complete rundown of the “who’s who” amongst Drag Race alumni and why “Raja is literally everything, besides Bianca de Rio, who is also literally everything” from my nine-year-old.
Adam got the distinct honor of propping LeNugget up on his shoulders for the entire show. It’s not easy being short in a world of queens in heels.
It wasn’t all light hearted fun. In the shadow of the Orlando shooting, Adam got to see firsthand the toll bigotry and hate take on us as a national community. He also got to see the “never back down” attitude and strength and this community.
“It was really an eye opening experience. I had no idea there was this amount of bigotry,” Adam said, seeing why it’s so important for our straight allies to show up and show solidarity. Adam began to understand why some of us are terrified to hold our partners’ hands in public and just be who we are. We live under a real threat of violence. “It pisses me off that anyone would be afraid to hold hands [with their significant other],” he observed. “It’s not right.”
Adam knew a little bit about what we go through just from knowing my daughters. My oldest daughter had posted a picture of myself and my then-girlfriend on her Instagram, and very plainly said “My mom and her girlfriend.”
While most of the kids in her grade were supportive, the silent backlash was evident. Some kids were no longer to allowed to hang out at her house, a few had nasty things to say, and some parents even kept their children from attending her Bat Mitzvah. (As a Jewish parent, I’m deeply embarrassed by the actions of some of the parents in our community surrounding that event: we are so much better than that.) The struggle of being “out” and being a parent is tough, as he has seen.
Adam saw the beauty and fun of our community. “I had a great time,” he said afterwards. “It was a lot of fun and I definitely want to come back next year.” Adam has also started taking a more active role as an ally and understands now why showing up to community events is so important. Presence shows solidarity best.
Who knew all we had to do get the frat bros on team ally was tell them they’re pretty and give them penis shaped water guns? Now, I challenge each of you: fetch us one new straight ally. But remember—tell them they’re pretty.