Last Sunday was Philadelphia’s Annual Outfest.
Now I need to be honest and say that I usually don't attend gay pride events. I went to one about two years ago, but that was work-related because one of the companies I used to work for had a booth set up to sell things.
I’ve been an openly gay man for as long as I can remember, but for those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now, know that I don’t think it’s a big deal being gay because I really haven't written that many posts on the topic over the past six years. Nor do I need an annual reminder that I should be proud to be gay because I have always been comfortable being a homosexual.
And as a matter of fact, I am not proud to be gay. I’m proud of who I am, and being gay just so happens to be one part of who I am. Being gay is similar to how I feel about being Italian. I embrace and enjoy it, but it’s not my totality.
I have never insisted that anyone accept me for being gay. I insist that people treat me with respect yes, but that they treat me with respect as a human being, not just because I’m gay.
Altering how the world views homosexuality does not come from my trying to get others to accept it or even understand it, it comes from being who I am. I can say more from not saying anything and just being myself.
I was ridiculed and verbally abused for most of my school years. I was never physically bullied, but I was verbally bullied. And even to this very day at 58-years old, I still have certain people throw words my way, calling me a faggot or a homo.
But that’s one of the great things I've learned from being gay and being different. It’s taught me the importance of learning how to live in this world and be a part of it, but not allowing the world to define my worth or approval.
I have to say that my family, friends, and people who actually meet me for the first time, have never NOT accepted me for being gay. In fact, they don’t even see me as gay. They see me as Ron. My sexual preference is not even an issue.
And I think that’s because I have always seen myself as equal and valuable as anyone else, so I’m very casual about being gay.
I don’t hide it, nor do I make a big deal about it by making it my main focus.
That being said, I can still enjoy a gay event now and then because they're FUN – the music, the dancing, the craft vendors, and the drag shows. And the really nice thing about gay events in a city is that they are usually all-inclusive meaning, that gays AND straights party in the streets together, and I like that. You’ll often see straight couples at these events because they genuinely enjoy them. And you’ll even see the Philadelphia Police Department there, for security purposes, actually having a good time themselves.
I didn’t get out to the festival until late in the day on Sunday, but I took my camera and got a few fun photographs.
Here, take a look…
I was sitting in a Starbucks having a cup of coffee, when I looked out the window and saw this delightfully cute gal standing on the corner across the street. I immediately grabbed my camera and snapped a picture. I LOVE this photo because it felt like I spotted a magical fairy princess who had suddenly landed on earth.
And look...even magical fairy princesses carry an iPhone and TEXT.
Two drag queens getting ready to go onstage and perform. And I love how the one is nonchalantly leaning on the police car. And notice the cluster of young girls on the right. They look like they're saying, "OMG...LOOK...REAL LIVE DRAG QUEENS!"
As you can tell, this drag queen had a HUGE fan club. And you should have seen him posing for pictures. He moved like Cindy Crawford posing for a photo spread in Elle Magazine.
I love the look on the face of the two girls watching the drag show because you can tell they're REALLY enjoying it.
I shot this from across the street of inside a bar.
Is this doggie not the most precious little thing?
He's like, "Please get this fucking red sweater OFF ME, it's too TIGHT!"
Have a FESTIVE weekend everyone!