File Under: Pride
This is Pride month, and this weekend is the big Pride celebration in Chicago. Saturday is Pridefest, Sunday is the Parade.
This will be my 7th pride parade. Prior to attending my first parade, I wanted to attend celebrate, but didn't have the appreciation for who I am. I accepted it and had been out to my family and friends for a few years but when it came to the parade, I was intimidated by all of the "in your face" displays. The first year I attended, I did so on a mission, my friend Vahona and I were doing promotion for the Go-Go's last CD release (God Bless The Go-Go's) and we were distributing flyers, buttons and a bunch of handmade promotional goodies. We were working, so the parade happenings were just background.
Each year became more of an event. My friend Chuck would throw a party so it became an entire day long event. Now it's something I really look forward to.
My best friend Dan http://41north87west.blogspot.com/ was someone who helped me appreciate who I am and proved it was a good thing to celebrate it. He has always been an inspiration to me and I admire him for being forward, for standing up for his beliefs and working to make a difference. I look forward to celebrating this weekend with him and our friends
Unlike Dan who has posted on a daily basis on his experiences growing up gay, I've not shared as much, only because there hasn't been much to share. I don't have a slew of songs that shaped my gay youth. However one song does come to mind because its general message is about living life to the fullest each day of your life. I've droned on and on in the past about The Go-Go's and about Belinda Carlisle. They are the soundtrack to my life. Earlier this year I obsessed because I was seeing/had seen The Go-Go's in concert and actually got to chat with both Jane and Belinda a bit backstage after the show.
One of Belinda's solo albums was titled "Live Your Life Be Free," the single of the same title was released in the UK and was successful. It didn't garner the same success here in the States. What I like so much about this song is the message of going for whatever it takes to live life to the fullest. In the bridge she sings "And when you free your mind, you will leave your past behind." Truer words have never been spoken (or sung, in this case).
Belinda has performed at pride celebrations in LA and at gay clubs in the UK. This song has become her anthem for the audience, she always performs it. I'm posting it here, again because it's my message to anybody who might be holding back and fighting what they feel. Don't wait, go out and enjoy. Live your life, be free!
Happy Gay Pride, everybody!