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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Personal Pride

Image result for rainbow flag images

The typical occurrence of a convergence of events that prompts these journeys to "blogland" every couple of months is behind sharing these thoughts on Gay Pride festivals. The most shameless of these motives this time is needing "evergreen" material to fill this space while an especially challenging move hinders watching/reviewing DVDs. Regularly scheduled programming will resume on August 18, 2015.

The recently reviewed good-quality gay/Pride-themed Tla releasing movie "Boys in Brazil" is the more respectable inspiration for these musings. The even-better (also reviewed) "Stand" provides the additional impetus to share these thoughts with the world.

A more hilarious coincidence relates to watching the DVD of the 1980 Goldie Hawn comedy "Private Benjamin" several weeks ago. The opening shot is a card that reads that Philadelphia heiress Judy Benjamin has wanted a large house, two closets, a professional man for a husband, and a live-in maid since she was eight. The upcoming move providing all of the above to a limited extent makes this sentiment relatable.

The combination of the aforementioned elements turned thoughts to sexual orientation and the true purpose of Pride. A personal philosophy is that everyone should behave like a civilized individual in public regardless of his or her orientation and that no one should feel compelled to suppress his or her personality but also should not amp it up to make a statement. Regular readers know that Unreal TV does not favor any extremism.

Personal thoughts on Pride are that it should be a forum to show that gay and lesbian folks are like everyone else and should not be feared or disliked based on that aspect of their personality. A related philosophy is that this also allows an opportunity to dispel stereotypes makes the large population of buff rollerblading Speedo-clad twinks and older hairy bearded men in dresses that seem to dominate a local Pride parade contrary to the interest of the cause.

Both the evolution of LGBT cinema to include indie films that are as good as their mainstream counterparts and the devolution of some Pride festivals to being the type of spectacles described above are behind focusing the themes discussed above on a first-time Pride experience that would provide good fodder for a releasing film.

Plans to meet someone from out-of-town to discuss establishing a support group prompted going into Washington, D.C. during an early '90s Pride festival. On arriving early at the Mayflower Hotel near the festivities for the meeting, a small group from California that came for the festival asked a question and then engaged me in conversation.

The thoroughly unexpected instant strong attraction with a member (whose name is remembered as Carlos) of the group was the type of bond that '30s films pulled off so well and that comedies from the '80s and beyond have parodied equally awesomely. Resisting the urge to cancel the meeting and spend the day with Carlos and his friends was very tough.

Because the event that the visitor was attending was at the end of a very long hallway of conference rooms in the lobby of the Mayflower, finding it required looking at the placards for several events before connecting.

The visitor and I had spoken for roughly 10 minutes when he said "someone is trying to get your attention." On turning around, I saw Carlos standing there with a huge smile on his face. Because he did not know the name of the event where I was scheduled to meet the visitor, Carlos finding me required that he first look in at least 12 large conference rooms.

I introduced the pair, and Carlos told me that he told his friends that he would meet them the next morning at the home of the local friend with whom they were spending the weekend. Before I could say a word, the visitor smiled and said "you boys have fun." He assured me that he did not mind my not meeting with him.

The combination of the aforementioned mutual attraction, Carlos literally and figuratively going to great lengths to connect, and the wonderful vibe of Pride made for a perfect moment. Seeing 1,000s of gay men gathered and merely having a terrific G-rated good time during an era in which two men holding hands in even a city as cosmopolitan as Washington was uber-awesome. It merely was a relatively rare gathering for that period and did not require outlandish behavior, outrageous clothing, or overt political messages. In other words, this was a kinder gentler version of the Million Man March.

The caste closed lips kisses with Carlos in the midst of all this provided the sense of Pride that the first organizers of such events intended. Namely, to express your true self in a socially acceptable manner.

The West Hollywood movie feel to the day continued with going to an Indian restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia that evening. Asking for a booth after being seated at a table led to the nice surprise of saloon-style doors in front of each booth increasing the feeling of intimacy at the hotel.

The strong compatibility continued until the next morning to the extent that an offer to fly back to California with Carlos was incredibly tempting. Being unemployed, having a month-to-month lease, and only having one close friend at the time made it feasible. Only fear of regretting moving across the country on a whim prevented taking that leap.

A subsequent letter from Carlos stated that he greatly missed me and that the combined impetuses of Pride and meeting me prompted him to come out to his parents, who were very supportive. The temptation to move to California that time was even more difficult to suppress.

Fastforwarding many years brings things to the point of eagerly anticipating moving to the aforementioned large house with the aforementioned professional man. A former child star/equal rights supporter/current friend agreeing to officiate if we ever marry and that our knowingly goofily thinking of our relationship in terms of the lyrics "here we are face to face, a couple of silver spoons, hopin' to find we're two of a kind. making a go, making it grow. Together" from the '80s Rick "Don't Call Me Ricky" Schroeder sitcom suggest that we will be together for "a million more" years. Sha la la.