Today is Chicago’s 2016 Pride Parade. I’ll be working on the parade route at my serving gig at Wood. In the wake of the Orlando tragedy, I’m not as chipper on this gay high holiday as in the past. I know that we aren’t just checking I.D.s at the door. We are also checking bags… for guns and bombs. How did we get to such a volatile and uncertain present? I’m ashamed and saddened that the biggest terrorist threat in the U.S. is from our own citizens. And why so much hate? I love the gays!
As a single woman of a certain age, I’m indebted to the gays. When I moved to Chicago twenty-two years ago, I fell into the gay community. In the 90s, my second job was bartending at the Lyric Opera. I was the minority hire as the only woman and straight person. And the gays took me in. They never made me feel like an outsider. They accepted me for who I was and who I am with the occasional bitchy sidebar about what I was wearing. I spent most of my thirties hanging out in the gay bars. And my forties and now fifties as the beloved in my gay entourage. I’ve been under the influence of gays for over two decades. I am the ultimate fag hag.
I am proud to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community today and everyday. Happy Pride!