Preparing for Capital Pride 2012, I get lost in rehearsals, costumes, and set design. I get so wrapped up in the madness of creating a show with excitement and originality that I forget to stop and ask myself, "What am I doing here? What is this event really about? What does 'pride' mean?"
For me, it's a feeling of being a part of something really big. It symbolizes incredible strength and determination. It represents love of oneself and of others. Plain and simple, it means truth.
As I stood last year on Capital Hill in Washington, D.C., in front of a crowd of more than a quarter of a million people, every bit of fear and anxiety that led me to that moment dissipated in a flash. What remained was something I had not expected. It was this overwhelming feeling of love. The crowd was filled with shirtless men in cut-off Daisy Dukes, and women dressed from head-to-toe in leather, spikes, and chains. It was a cavalcade of cowboys, Indians, cops, and robbers. There were transgender men and women and cross-dressers far more beautiful than I could ever hope to be, whose fabulous styles rivaled anything in my closet, and whose gorgeous up-dos outdid my golden locks on my best hair day. They might have heard my name once or twice. They may have known a song or two of mine. But they didn't know me. And yet I felt as though I was among friends. Family. It was more than just love. It was acceptance. Understanding. They were being exactly who they are, and furthermore, they accepted me -- welcomed me, even -- exactly as I was. It was truth.
I so look forward to returning this year on June 10. I can't wait to stand humbled once more by a community that stands in the face of so much adversity, and does it with a smile. They do it with dignity and with honor. They do it with so much flair, glamor, and pizzazz that spectacle is too small a word to describe it. I am honored to be in the company of such a people.
So what am I proud of? I'm proud of the fearlessness of the gay community. I'm proud of a progressive president who, months before an election, took a stand for gay rights and freedom in a country where so many are opposed and would rather look away and revert back to a policy of "don't ask, don't tell." At times like this I am proud to be an American. Most of all, I'm proud of a people who fight to be themselves, who fight for what's right, who fight for the truth.
Consuelo Costin will be performing at Capital Pride in Washington, D.C. at 4:30 PM. Her new single is "Feel So Alive."
Follow Consuelo Costin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/consuelocostin