Pride is not our arrival. It’s gas on the journey, a gasp while drowning. Pride is not the destination, just an exhale and a cigarette to remind ourselves to drop the fucks we gave. Pride is not the goal, but a utopia carved into the dystopia, an hour of sun after a month of monsoon, a stranger’s couch after a long stint in the cold. The big bang of a brick conceived a cosmos made of millions of stars almost always drowned by the blackness of night except for the days when we remember to shine. Behind a fence there is this world where black and brown and white bodies are all covered with rainbows. Where genderless bodies with boobs and beards and fat and muscles wear thongs and pasties as the norm. Where rubber dildos fall from the clouds, dousing young lovers who make out in the shade behind one white man and a megaphone and a sign with a bible verse who bellows ragefully outside the fence of joy misunderstanding the earth and the sparking bodies who have already found the queendom of heaven. Mothers with free mom hug shirts stand tall in rows like the mother geese who adopt goslings who have lost their parents, regardless of biological kin, lined up for queer goslings begging to be seen. Most days I still cannot touch desire or even whisper want. When I get close enough to think the words the voices cannot swallow the remaining space, closing out the sentence to put me in my place. I want adoption here. I needed adoption then. Can they still be my chosen family if they found me in a miracle? If they saw what I was blind to and gave life I never deserved? Am I unchosen by love? Unchosen by need? Unchosen by divine? Capitalism is fog that sneaks between holes in wire fencing. Corporations seek consumption, while queers seek spaciousness, while black lovers seek reparations, while immigrants seek refuge. We speak different languages because Pride is not complacency unless we want it to be. We ignore the logos with our dancing bodies exhaling. We blast music to drown it out. Our bodies touch and grind to the sin of freedom. Bring your guns and your bibles, bring your power and your vote. It’s all distraction from the truth which is joy in the fight, laughter in the movement When movement is all we have left we will tear the signs off the walls to create space for blank canvases to spill joy over the mask of the everyday loneliness of carving out space for our existence. I’m carving out space for your existence and the generations to come. I’m spilling paint on the streets as sacrifice to Marsha and Sylvia and the names we will never know. Pride is not always pleasure or satisfaction or dignity or confidence, but the whisper of a new day, the belief in the possibility of ecstasy, the charm of convincing oneself that even for today our lives are choices and we are choosing to stay.
About the author:
Hayden Dansky (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is a nonbinary rural queer kid trying their best to not to be smothered by capitalism. They have been writing and performing poetry for several years, and are currently collaborating with local experimental musicians, dancers and videographers to create performances that encompass multiple disciplines. They just published their first full length poetry book called I Would Tell You a Secret. Their most recent poetry can also be found in anthologies such as Bible Belt Queers, Thought for Food, South Broadway Ghost Society Online Journal, and Spit Poet Volume 8. They are also the Executive Director of Boulder Food Rescue, a nonprofit working to create a more just and less wasteful food system, through the sustainable redistribution of healthy food and participatory and community-led food access systems.
Facebook: Hayden Dansky