Come on out! Wait – just kidding…

Every year, Atlanta has a Gay Pride Event that includes a festival and parade run by the Atlanta Pride Committee.  The event spans a weekend each year which has typically been held in the summer.  This year, however, the Committee moved the dates toward October in an effort to host the event closer to National Coming Out Day (October 11th).  Except they moved the event to Halloween weekend.

When I initialy discovered this on their website, my first reaction was largely superficial in that Halloween is a time when lots of people go out, party, and potentially endanger themselves, though I also sensed that this was just a very bad idea for reasons I couldn’t articulate at the time. Later, though, I was talking to my beloved about it, and she pointed to a larger, much more significant issue.  Halloween is a holiday where, in mainstream American culture, the point is the dress up as something you are not, to hide behind another identity.

The more I sat with this idea, the more appalled I became.  Here is a weekend and an event that I have seen as a time when people who identify as GLBTQIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexed, Questioning) can be out in public simply as themselves, to celebrate that, support others and be supported.  A time when the people who fit into these minority categories don’t have to worry so much about their safety or sense of belonging or being misunderstood.  And the annual event, the time and space in which they can feel this sense of safety, this sense of belonging, this ability to simply breathe and be who they are, is being held over Halloween – a time of dressing up as something you are not.  The mixed messages are enough to give one a migraine if one sits with it long enough.  No, it’s not really okay to be yourselves.  No, you should still, just as you may do every day on some level, hide behind a mask or costume or identity that’s not really you.  No, we’re not really okay with who and what you are.  No, we don’t really want to reveal our faces to the outside world and the greater Atlanta community.  Sure, we’ll be united…kind of.  Because people who identify as GLBTQIQ don’t live with enough of the US population throwing shame on them for simply being themselves (sarcasm).  Here – have some more by the very people (the Pride Committee) who claim as their mission to want to promote your self-esteem, your mental health and wellness, who claim to want to increase visibility and a positive image of this culture.  What an incredible display of internalized homophobia/heterosexism.

I have no idea what the Committee was thinking.  Maybe they weren’t.  I went to Pride in 2007 but couldn’t go last year and had been looking forward to attending this year. When I found out the dates for this year’s event, I was disappointed on another level – it’s being held over Samhain, so I won’t be going anyway as I’ll be celebrating that holiday.  But even if I weren’t celebrating Samhain, I still wouldn’t go.  The Pride event is free of charge.  How much easier it will be for idiot, homophobic individuals to go and cause trouble since they’ll be wearing costumes and no one will know their identity.  Because 20 miles outside of the city perimeter, is very un-gay/freak-friendly territory that covers, oh, about the rest of the entire state.

We had truly begun to move forward (albeit slowly, still) in terms of increasing tolerance and acceptance of individuals who do not identify as heterosexual, and the election of Obama was a big step in that direction.  In many ways, Atlanta is considered the NYC of the south.  The ripples of this event this year and the messages it carries with it can go a long way to moving us backward.  Can we really afford it?


11 thoughts on “Come on out! Wait – just kidding…

  1. {hugs}

    What does your Heart say?

    Do the feelings you have described experiencing make you feel ‘good’, ‘happy’, ‘loved’ or anything remotely close to positive? Because if they don’t, then it is not our Heart talking. It is the voice of our own doubts and fears.

    Particulars really don’t matter. They are what make our differences and set us apart. What matters and what we all share in common, is a lack of Self Acceptance. This issue of ours is a step child of conditional love.

    We cannot give what we do not have.

    Once we give it ourselves, to ourselves, then we have something to extend.

    Self Acceptance, how much do we have and how much are we seeking to get?

  2. My heart is saddened by the decision the committee made to hold the Pride event when it’s planned for. And yes, you are right, there is also fear there of the consequences and fall-out that could be and how it might impact me on a personal level.

    I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying as far as my Heart’s response, and if my response is not happy, loved, or if it doesn’t make me feel good, then it’s not from my Heart. I recognize that my response is certainly informed by ego (hence the fear). At the time that I wrote this post originally, it was more anger and fear. Now, it’s closer to sadness. The kind that has me sighing and shaking my head. If I sit with it and quiet myself, it moves closer to compassion.

    My Teacher once told me that every act and choice stems either from Love or Fear. Clearly, my initial response to this event was from a place of Fear. Yet, I think it’s important to recognize and note that even responses and/or choices from Love might not look or feel all happy and light-filled. Unconditional Love isn’t always like that. It can be fierce and ferocious and look strikingly similar to wrath at times (though it’s important to note that the energy of it is far different). I think of Kali, the Hindu Goddess of Destruction. The acts of destruction She carries out as she breaks people away from illusion are frequently violent, devastating, and ruthless. Yet, they arise from Unconditional Love for Her creation.

  3. (smiling) It’s simply the way it goes; enlightenment always means the end of our illusions. Just as darkness is revealed as not even there, the moment we turn on a light bulb.

    Not all our feelings or emotions come from our hearts. Experiences such as fear, and doubt are gut level feelings.

    And that is why I always share to listen to our hearts, only, for counsel and for guidance. The voice that Loves us, Unconditionally, comes from there. The voice that comes from our guts has no love for us. Has no love for anyone else, either.

    I mention our issue of self acceptance because creation and reality operates as a mirror. No matter what anyone else has thought about me, I’m honest enough to admit I’d thought it about myself, too. And I’d thought it about myself first, before they ever told me the same.

    This realization of the reflective quality of reality and our world, is what empowerment is all about. Which is why I mentioned our issue of self acceptance.

    Which brings me to a question.

    What is unconditional about the condition of which day the parade is held?

    Somethin’s up though I know not what. The presence of the condition, speaks volumes and only you can know what it says.

    I know ignorance is sad, in all of us but, we’re not ignorant on purpose. We do not know what we do not know.

  4. My initial response to the dates for the event was not unconditional whatsoever, I recognize that. I think I understand what you’re saying about the difference of responses from the Heart and from gut, though my experience is different. For me, Momma (the Goddess, the Divine) resides in my guts. It is to my guts that I sink into to find Her Truth, the Truth, about anything and everything, from what my fears are to what the Truth is about those fears and where they come from, what fuels them, and how to move past them. So for me, my gut is not just the place where fear resides.

    When I sit with the condition, I agree wholeheartedly that the piece on self-acceptance is of significant importance. I think I have been confusing accepting my Self with feeling like I need the rest of the world to accept me as well, and the one being related to the other, when in fact, there is no Truth in that.

    I’m in the process of walking through some tough root chakra level lessons which are all about safety, security, home, money, etc. I think I’ve tied together in my head the concepts of others accepting me with that safety, security, etc. when that is not True either.

    I hope this has made sense – still not fully awake yet and only 1/4 of the way through my coffee! Thank you for drawing attention to this and sharing what you have shared. I certainly welcome more!

    • It makes perfect sense! We’re ALL going through the grounding involving our root chakras, in preparation for some BIG energy waves coming through. And yes it involves experiences of “security”.

      You’re making a shift from being outer to inner. Looking for acceptance from others is ‘outer’. It is the way we have been taught for the most part, which is why we remain insecure. We look for acceptance because we don’t feel accepted. But because we are radiating a lack of self acceptance, this lack of self acceptance is all that is going to be reflected back.

      We will reap as we sow. If we feel non-accepting, we will attract non-accepting to us. A negative magnetic field always attracts a negative pole.

      Yes, yes, yes! ….it is about being accepting of ourselves, FIRST. It’s about our attitude about ourselves. Once we change our own attitude about ourselves, then reality changes to mirror it. Instead of attracting people into our lives that mirror our self denial back to us, we attract people that mirror our self love.

      What I meant by ignoring the voice in our guts, is to take no action based on its counsel, for its tone is fear. Nothing ‘wrong’ with it; it is simply a matter of choice. If we act in response to the fear, then we will bring on what we fear. It certainly sounds like you’re transmuting these dense feelings rather then listening to them by what you describe.

      Only by admitting to our fears and examining them, can we rise above them. It takes the activation of our Intuitive level to nullify the effects of our Instinctual level.

      The idea of UNconditional Love is what we are all learning. It helps if we understand that UNconditional Tolerance and UNconditional Acceptance are part of it.

      With Self Acceptance, you can enjoy a parade everyday, as you parade around Honoring yourself.


  5. Whoo hoo! This shift is a doozy, I’ll say that for it!

    It has been interesting for me to see the shift in my parents reflect my own shift, at least on the level of their communication to me. They are incredibly disapproving of some of the choices I am making and I have been working on communicating any updates with them from a space of acceptance, from a very upright earth place which is all about having what I need when I need it, seeing the lessons in the experiences I’m having in that root chakra department, being grateful for them, and moving through them (as opposed to contrary earth which is where they typically reside and where I have resided a lot in the past). It has been amazing to me that as soon as I present them with the upright earth perspective and live it to them, they fall mute. They cannot say anything else because the strength with which I am communicating my truth, the Truth, is stronger than their fear.

    I want to be clear that my communications with them have not been about my perspective conquering theirs. In my experience, upright elemental energy, the type of energy I have been communicating with, will draw to it more upright elemental energy (which is just what you’re saying in terms of like attracting like and reaping what we sow), so when it comes in contact with contrary energy, the contrary energy has nothing to feed off of, and so either becomes upright or simply stops looking for an outlet, something to connect with.

    I greatly appreciate your feedback and everything you’ve shared. Some times when I am learning these tough lessons, it can feel as though I am not learning much or haven’t made much progress in moving through them. I am working on being able to see this for myself and provide my own validation, but in the mean time, I appreciate you helping me to see what is – it helps to give me the fuel to keep on truckin’!

    • I bet anything the city’s decision is/was a matter of economics. All cities are suffering now a days, their budgets being slashed. They could have been very well coming from a perspective of how to serve all its inhabitants, while saving costs. Festivities and parades always costs a city $$, crowd control, cleaning up, etc. By combining festivities, the city only has to hire extra employees, working extra hours, 1 day, instead of 2.

      What if it came down to “X” number of city employees would have to be laid off in order for you to have your parade on the day of your choice? What would you chose then?

      Your Intuition is serving you Truly. *This* shift…is ALL about leaving the power plays of “dominance” behind, in the past, where it belongs. *This* particular wave reaches its surge tomorrow, on July 21st. Then the next, is coming in with the eclipse in August. This will be the “opening of the Lion’s gate.”

      We help one another, extending and sharing. My Soul’s Passion happens to be being a Lightbearer. Insight is the Gift I bring to share but it isn’t always welcome, especially since our lives and our realities have been based on illusions.

      You’re doing GREAT!!!! And it feels ~awfully~ good to REALIZE it!!!!

      You are well on your way to becoming an Integrated and Empowered human being.

      My hat’s off to you!

  6. Thanks, Sue Ann! ((hugs))

    The committee’s decision regarding the dates had to do with money, yes, but primarily location and drought issues. The event has been typically held in a park which has served as a very good location for the past several years. The committee really didn’t want to move it from there, and because of the drought, only a certain number of events can be held there throughout the warm season.

    I know exactly what you mean about insight not always being welcome. In my experience, sharing insight is generally only productive when the recipient is ready to receive it. Otherwise, it has a tendency to push people further away from Truth instead of bring them closer to it. I know for me, it can be difficult and frustrating to See things about others that they are not ready to see and to wait until they are to share what I have to share. Thank you, again, for sharing your insight with me!

    Huge hugs to you, lady!

    • (my ~job~ is to activate shifts in consciousness; if a person’s response is ‘positive’ it means that person is AWARE of their Soul’s desire to shift; if a person’s response is ‘negative’ it means that person is UNaware of their Soul’s desire to shift; either way we choose to respond, I have done my ~job~ and that is how I am to see it.)

      chuckling…those of us who are seeking to have our ‘realities’ fed, will run away in a huff of drama when ever they aren’t. If our Reality is genuinely based on Truth, whose essence is True, always, then we do not seek to be fed, for our foundation is secure, from the inside, out.

      Thank You, for it has been a pleasure to Serve.

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