This past weekend I saw some truly amazing things. Just walking around the West Village where I live, I saw men of all different shapes and sizes shirtless, in tutus, in dresses, wearing collars, and any combination of those things. I saw women with fascinating hair colors and outfits making out with other women on the streets. And I felt nothing but love and acceptance all around me. So much so, that even I started to feel immense gay pride, and I'm not even gay! After getting caught up in it all, I looked down at my hairy chest and thought to myself: why isn't everyone this proud of who they are?
Don't get me wrong, this is a truly glorious moment for gay people in New York City. Gay marriage is legal, and gay people are one step closer to being treated just like everyone else. I just wish there was this much pride in all of us. So many Americans don't feel as though they can fully express who they are, for fear of bullying or taunting. Sexually, we are a very repressed nation. How many white, suburban, heterosexual males and females feel sexually repressed? How many of them would secretly adore the opportunity to throw on a collar and go crazy for a day without being ashamed? I bet quite a lot, even if they may be too ashamed to admit it.
I have a dream that one day we'll have a human individuality parade. Different floats for different folks. There will be an autism float, a schizophrenia float, a float for nerds, a float for geeks, a float for scientists, a float for artists, a float for those who embrace long-term relationships, a float for those who embrace the swinging lifestyle, a float for goths, a float for every minority group, and of course a float for gay people. Heck, there could even be a float for narcissists -- I imagine it would be one of the gaudiest of them all! None of these people I just mentioned can help who they are, and no matter how they make you feel, they just want to be accepted for who they are just as much as you do.
The great thing about the parade is that it would allow everyone to share in the excitement of being each and every kind of person, showing both the importance of individuality but also connecting all of us as humans. I think we are on the verge of a new era of appreciation of individual differences, for which gay pride is just one significant step toward a much broader advance in humanity. So I shall continue to wave my gay pride flag until the day I no longer have to sit on the sidelines and I, too, can completely embrace my very own heterosexual awkwardness, nerdiness, and sexual openness in all of its hairy glory!
Follow Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sbkaufman