Pondering Pride & the Anniversary…

Sometimes less is more. In this case, as editor, I step back as TC’s heartfelt ponderable points to his daily FB posts reflecting what pride means to him during this transitional year. Read on! – the editor

A brief one off.

It will be one year, on June 22, since my life changed forever. To say I have been introspective during the last year is an understatement. I guess my observational skills may have been enriched since my mobility had been limited. While being a fan of people watching, it can be challenging to observe during over-stimulation. Essentially, through all the noise.

The irony of a year ago, I had my surgery in the middle of Pride month. Gay pride.

When I came out in 1987, in the eyes of many, it was a liability. An opportunity to be bullied, rejected, and ostracized still existed. The AIDS epidemic was still rampant, and you had to pull teeth to get current President Ronald Reagan to even say AIDS. (Thank you Dionne Warwick). The F—work was used in front of and behind my back. Concerned about how my family would react, it was a different time.

Through the years, the onion, so to say, had been peeled back. Slowly I learned to laugh at myself and not take things so seriously. I was comfortable to talk to my Mother and siblings, and later in life, share with my Father. I was especially protective of him, since he was involved in local politics and I didn’t want to be a liability for him. Being a fat kid…eventually a fat man… a fat gay man… played cruel tricks on my self confidence and self esteem.

Drag got me out of my “shell” and brought me the confidence to speak in public and interact.

That being said, Drag is a LOT of work, needs LOTS of cash, and staff. I could never do what the girls on RuPaul’s Drag Race or the current Miss’d America pageant, the contest I won in 1996, can do now.

Drag let me to meet all kinds of people, that lived different walks of life, some I did not and could not understand. Living in Atlantic City, NJ, I can truly say I can understand how it feels to be a minority, especially in a diverse city like that. I cherished my time— 19 years in the region — being part of that community.

The AIDS crisis took many of my friends away, early in life. When I had no money, I gave my time and talent to perform for many benefits. My involvement in Drag Wars, Drags R Us, and the Miss’d America Pageant had been a labor of love for our departed friends, such as the AIDS Quilt Project did in the 80’s and 90’s.

Enter 2024…

Political discourse had oversimplified and demanded categorization of people, for or against, anything they do not understand. Last year, Gay Pride became a subject of ridicule. Because a company wanted to broaden their business and include people like me in their marketing, they were chastised for being “woke.”

Is bullying back in? Why do I deserve this? Have they met me? Why should I have to be collateral damage to make others who don’t know me more secure about themselves? What’s next?

So last June, while getting ready for my surgery and post-op recovery, I took to my social media, Facebook, to change my profile page daily, extolling my celebration and a defiance for being who I am. A gay man.

This year, I started a Project…

For Pride month, I decided to shift from changing my profile photo daily on my Facebook, to dedicating a daily post, to Facebook friends, living and deceased, LGBT+ and allies, to the people who made me what I am today: A proud Gay man.

It is a continuation of my “Year of Gratitude” — which started with the departure of “Agnes” (AKA the old leg) and the arrival of “Peggy” (AKA the new leg) —acknowledging the countless “villages” that got me through this transition .

That’s a Wrap…

There are some sampler posts below. Feel free to hope over to my timeline on Facebook to see more.

I am excited of the possibilities of this project. This will be the equivalent of a home made thank you card that I am sending out for the world to see.

One more thought…

During my Mother’s funeral service, I read in my eulogy a line I saw in the titles of a Jerry Lewis movie:

A Great Cast is Worth Repeating,

Recognizing the existence of encouragement, kind words, kind deeds and of course, love, is what Gay Pride is about, in addition to where we were and where we came from.

With that, as my editor says, “pencils down!”

Thanks for reading and hanging out with me!–TC

Sampler Posts…


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