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Some lasting ideas for this Gay Pride, 2006

Ah, How much can be covered by this nice little American flag!

    Tom Paine called Patriotism "the last refuge of the scoundrel." The truth of this is demonstrated every day of the Bush administration and by the Christian Right and their strange public commingling (talk about politics making strange bedfellows: Carl Rove and Pat Robertson—wow! Two uglier little men you could hardly imagine). But it is something we need to remind ourselves this Gay Pride Month. It is terribly sad, a tragedy really, that this little American flag, something that so many of our fathers and even so many of us have died for, is now covering up so many lies. We have the continuous lie of the war in Iraq; the lie that gay marriage can ever threaten marriage itself (when, as John Tierney in The New York Times said, what really threatens marriage is divorce—especially divorce brought on by the economic insecurity brought on by George Bush's White House); the lie that cutting taxes for the rich can bring prosperity to the poor; the lie that you can protect the environment by destroying it; the lie that can we can find some kind of magic Band-aide to get us out of the energy crisis and the crisis of global warming—

   Just too many lies.

    Camp has been called "the lie that tells the truth," but the truth is you don't need a whole lot of elaborate lies to look at the truth. Most of us see it everyday, if we care to look hard enough. We see hard-working men and women who don't have a clue how they're going to stay well without medical insurance; we see wonderful gay men and lesbians who are not TV glamorous--who are something more than just "consumers" of Grey Goose, Absolut, and Toyotas. We see people who genuinely care about young people and old people and the AIDS crisis that is still with us and decent housing for all of us, not just condos and upscale McMansions for the rich.

    That is the truth about us.

    So this year, this Gay Pride Sunday, and the next few months that come with it, I want us to think about the truth. That place in our own hearts that sometimes scares us but makes us feel good to be alive. And remember that the only thing that changes human life is love—and the truth that goes with it. We queer men and women have been knowing this for centuries. Sometimes we've felt alone knowing it, but we have. And no matter how much noise is going on around us, no matter how left out of it we may feel when the Parade does pass us by, I hope all of us will feel good about this.

    So, let's don't let any little flags cover up the truth. But let the rainbow flags and the real flags inside us, the ones that say, "I can sure tell a lie when I see it!" reveal what we are. Proudly.

    Happy Gay Pride. 2006.



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