The Way I See It
Big doings this month. We’re in the new season, it’s Pride month, and we’ll soon celebrate the 4th—especially since we’ll have fireworks this year! In the spirit of Pride, I’ve been remembering my first march in DC. It was the late 1980s and I hadn’t been in the city that long. I’d been out for a decade but had been living in South Carolina, where, if I’m remembering correctly, there were no Pride festivities at the time. So June of 1988 heralded my first real Pride, and it’s something I’ll never forget. The spirit, the camaraderie, the joy, the floats, the pumping music, the bodies on display. My partner and I jumped in the march, dancing and sweating our way down the parade route, waving at the crowd as they waved back. A glorious feeling!
There have been many Prides since then for me. My best memory may be New York in 2004, on the back of my girlfriend’s motorcycle, as we led off the NYC Pride Parade. That was another first—another amazing experience. Also in New York, I had the honor of taking the woman who would become my wife to her first Pride. Warm, fuzzy hearts there.
When I moved to Delaware, I also got that joyful feeling—albeit on a less dazzling scale. But our Pride celebrations are just as meaningful to me, and I go every year to our events in Rehoboth. So far, I’ve been able to catch the Queer Queens of Qomedy at the Milton Theatre—what an absolute hoot that was! And, if you haven’t yet visited Aqua, there are some wonderful surprises—find out more in Dining OUT.
Pride has always been important to me, since I came out before many of the hard-won battles for our rights were won. It’s a celebration—and a touchstone marking how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. For me, Pride is a state of mind, that sense of freedom to just be who I am. But we’re all well aware that this is not the reality for all of us within the LGBTQ community. So I celebrate because I can’t afford to take Pride for granted. I participate in the hope that everyone can someday enjoy these same freedoms.
This issue celebrates Pride in all the many unique ways our community does. Some writers are remembering their first Pride celebrations, some wonder if you can overdose on rainbows. One writer describes how images from a childhood family slideshow helped him realize he wasn’t alone. We have a story about out and proud Kelly Smith, Miss Rehoboth Beach, who will be competing in the Miss Delaware pageant this month. And if you’re not aware of what happened at Stonewall, you can learn about your history.
We’ve also included two columns on the decision by the governing body for the New York Pride Parade banning police participation in New York City Pride events until 2025. It resonates here because of all the hard work CAMP Rehoboth has done for three decades—and continues to do—to bring the police and our community together.
And, what’s in a name? Several writers tackle this question and the language we use to identify ourselves.
Plus, we offer stories about how CAMP Rehoboth is there for us in good times and bad, who’s hanging out at Poodle Beach, what’s up in women’s sports this summer, and—big finish—find out where you can meet the Queens on our cover!
Be well and enjoy!