Yesterday was World Pride Day–the conclusion to Pride Month–and thus it is apt to reflect on my experience with Pride over the last five years.
I have only been to a Pride event once, and that was during the summer of 2015, which was also the year I had come out to my family. The months preceding June 2015 were extremely difficult in my house…I had lied to my parents to even go to Pride. I had told them I was going to the city with friends, which was partially true. I was actually going to experience the parade in the city with my secret girlfriend.
I had packed a bag with the clothes I was going to change into on the train: rainbow pride earrings, a rainbow pride industrial bar, and a t-shirt I had customized with glitter glue and scissors. That plain t-shirt had transformed into a frilly crop-top with sparkly letters that read “I love [insert my ex-girlfriend’s name].” My ex had made a similar shirt, minus the glitter glue and fondness for scissors. We were very festive.
On the train, I rode a few stops alone before my ex and her friends boarded. When we got to the city, everyone and everything was rainbow. I had never experienced anything like it before. It was amazing to be around so many queer people, to feel validated, and to be supported.
My ex, her friends, and I watched the parade and I took lots of pictures, which I no longer have. I did, however, purchase a pride flag that I have to this day.
After the parade, I met up with a friend I had met at a summer pre-college camp. I remember that she had just gotten her nose ring. Anyway, we all went to multiple sex stores, and that is when I bought my first vibrator, which I also no longer have. (I have gone back to that specific sex store though and purchased a new one. In my opinion, that store has the best variety of non-penis-shaped goods in the entire city.)
Before boarding the train back home alone, I had removed my pride gear and tucked it back into my bag. My dad had picked me up at the train station and didn’t ask any questions, and so I had thought I was safe from interrogation. That was only true for a few hours.
The next morning, my mom had suddenly become skeptical of my whereabouts. She questioned what I had done in the city, who I had been with, and why I had been alone on the train. She blatantly asked me if I went to Pride, and I had responded with a resounding “no.”
And that was the end of that.
Fast forward to 2019… many of my friends went to Pride and invited me along, but I refrained. Part of my reluctance to attend any Pride event was a fear of large crowds, not wanting to cancel my Sunday Yin Yoga class (which I brought to my local community center and I’m super proud of it), and a fear of telling my parents that I was going.
Is that weird? I’m twenty-three and I’m afraid to tell my parents what I want to do, particularly if it involves my queerness. This is despite the fact that I had come out to them twice and integrated my recent ex into my familial life as much as possible.
I am unsure why I continue to have this fear that drives my preference to avoid queer topics. For years after I came out the first time, I blamed this tendency on them.
I had felt like they rejected me when I came out, which is why I had continuously lied to them. It had seemed like we were at war with each other for months, and I never forgave them. I didn’t feel like I could trust them.
It’s why even after my ex and I broke up, after years had passed, I still lied to them about where I was going and who I was hanging out with. I would answer questions they had about my personal life as vaguely as possible so they wouldn’t know that much about me. I would answer their questions snippily as well, which would cause conflicts about my bad attitude.
So much has changed between us though. Thus, my fear of talking about Pride and sexuality with them seems to stem primarily from residual pain. I have to constantly remind myself that they’re not going to yell at me or interrogate me about this stuff anymore. I’m no longer an eighteen-year-old in high school. I graduated from college, I work a full-time job and teach yoga on the side, and I’ve been a fucking adult for a few years now. I make my own choices. I don’t know why I don’t always find this rationale convincing.
Yesterday, however, my mom shared a sweet moment with me that reminded me of how things have improved between us.
I was sitting on my bed, wearing the Pride shirt my ex had gotten me, and planning my Yin Yoga class with the Pride Parade on in the background. My mom knocked on my door and asked to come in. Once inside my room, she asked me if I was watching the parade and I affirmed that I was. She asked if my friends were there and I replied, “Yes, they invited me and I wanted to go, but I love this yoga class I teach, so I decided to stay home.”
She nodded, understanding since she takes all my yoga classes and since she knows how important this class is to me. Then she invited me to watch the parade in her room. I declined the offer, and then she went back upstairs. A few minutes later, she returned to give me a hug and she told me that she loves me no matter what.
Twenty minutes later, before I ran out the door to take care of some errands, I went to her room and saw her watching the parade in the rocking chair she used to cradle my sister and I in when we were infants.
It was the sweetest and simplest moment, but it provided me with the validation and support that I had gotten from my experience at Pride five years ago. This time, however, it was from the person I needed the validation and support from the most.
I haven’t written stories in awhile, so I decided to start it up again with this short series about my love interests during my first year at school. The title of this series, Love Bites, is taken from one of my favorite NBC shows that unfortunately got cancelled. Similarly to the show, these stories are independent of each other, but they all have this common theme of love and lust, and they intertwine because of my presence in each story. I am publishing the Love Bites series Star Wars-style, which is my way of saying that I’m publishing the series backwards. So this story is the last story in the series, and the first story will be released last. A story will be released every Monday at 11am eastern, so stay tuned and enjoy!
I checked my watch. I checked my phone. I checked the clock in the lounge. All sources read the same time: 8:37pm, but she was nowhere to be found.
I sighed and looked out the window a fifth time and movement caught my eye.
I got this dress online from Forever 21. Forever 21 was having a crazy sale and this dress reminded me of the seventies because of the sleeves and it felt like something that Free People would sell (I love Free People but it’s too expensive) so I got this dress.
Here’s the back…as you can see the material is like a thick, knitted fabric. I wore tattoo tights with this dress that had this creepy corset stitching down the whole leg.
Here’s a closer look at my sexy legs lol the shoes I’m wearing are from my mom’s closet. Like I’ve said before, I hate flats but you can only wear low-cut shoes with these tights so you can get the full effect of the tights. I’m looking at buying a low pair of Docs soon…the ones I’m interested in getting are really expensive though but I know they’d get good use so I may have to make an investment. We shall see…when I finally get nice low-cut shoes I’ll make a shoe collection post because I have a decent amount of shoes in my opinion. They make my tiny closet at school really full lol
This is my beautified face…oh and there you can see the Betsey Johnson necklace my sister got me for my birthday that I wore in my birthday lookbook.
So let’s talk about my makeup today! The palette that I used is by the brand Beauty Gems and it’s called “Change It Up.” I’ve had it for about two years now so that means that I’m ready to buy another one. I have my eyes set on the Urban Decay Vice 3 eyeshadow palette although it’s quite expensive for me but I think I’d like it more than the one I currently have so I’d probably use it more than I use the Beauty Gems one.
I dislike the Beauty Gems palette because the quality of the makeup is just mediocre, like it doesn’t go on that smoothly in my opinion. I got it for ten bucks though so I can’t be expecting too much haha Also, this particular palette has a lot of neutrals, which I never wear because I feel like the point of eyeshadow is to have obnoxious, awesome colors on your eyelids rather than painting on eyeshadow that matches your skintone…but maybe I feel this way because I’m young and I do whatever I want regarding fashion and makeup. I wore a smokey eye and bright red lipstick during the daytime, in which I spent the whole day taking midterms. I don’t care, as long as I think I look good 🙂
Enough blabbering now haha okay so ideally I wanted to do bright red eyeshadow with grey/black eyeshadow around it to give it a smokey effect but my lame-o palette doesn’t have red. Vice 3 doesn’t have a bright red either but it has colors that are closer to red than the ones that I currently have. Anyway, I made do with pink eyeshadow and unfortunately I didn’t have time for fake eyelashes so I just used mascara, along with some eyeliner. I’ve really gotten into wearing fake eyelashes now that I’m not terrified to apply them and that I’ve applied them successfully haha
I’m also wearing foundation and blush. I’m really liking wearing blush, I have never worn it before until last week when I randomly decided to try it. I never get flushed cheeks, even if I run or anything, so it’s cool having flushed cheeks now because of blush. I think in this case it doesn’t suggest that I’m hot and sweaty as if I had run a mile, but it looks really feminine and makes me feel all…”come hither” to attractive people lol I don’t even know what I’m saying. I feel beautiful, okay? lol
I decided to picture my rings today…I always wear rings but I’ve never shown them before. The one on my left hand is a black rose ring I got at a cheap store in Manhattan most likely. The rainbow ring is my pride ring, which I wear religiously so other queer people can know I’m queer too, although most people don’t notice it because it’s subtle. My former boss actually noticed it and asked me about it and it was really uncomfortable…but he asked me about it because he wanted to segue into talking about his gay father, so that was kinda cool.
The last ring I’m wearing is a creepy bunny that reminded me of Frank from Donnie Darko. The fact that it’s a bunny also makes me think of my favorite YouTuber, Bunny Meyer, or Grav3yardgirl. I consider myself a YouTube junkie, and I particularly love her videos because she’s so down to earth and also really crazy. I feel like if I met her we’d actually be friends, and she has become my fashion and makeup inspiration. She’s really funny too, her videos always make me feel better so…if you’re curious about her channel, click here.
Anyway, that’s today’s ensemble. Tomorrow I have an interview so I need to wear “professional” clothing but I found ways to personalize it and make it more “me” rather than the racist, sexist, etc idea of “professionalism.” When I post the pics I’ll tell you guys why I think “professionalism” is dumb.
Lastly, I decided to include two inspiring picture messages today. I’ve been struggling staying positive lately…between school, my family, my ex…there’s just a lot of layers to the problems I feel that I’m facing currently and I came across these pictures on Facebook today. They really resonated with me and I thought I’d share them.
Have a good night! xo