Safety in NumbersJune 29, 2004
I found out that after the dyke march on Saturday, one of my pals was bashed. She was beaten up, kicked and punched by a drunk male who broke her nose, threatened to rape her friend, then went on to beat up the same friend and punch three other women. He was arrested, that’s the only good part of the whole story. He’ll have a felony hate crime permanently on his record. Forever. District attorneys aren’t pleading out hate crimes right now, thank god. It’ll stick.
I think a lot of people picture Gay Pride as a parade full of queens wearing boas and tiaras and little else. But that’s the smallest, most colorful side of it, and it’s all the news cameras care to catch. What it really is: It’s the grouping of women and the people who love them on the lawn in Dolores Park on Pink Saturday, before they march through the streets, peacefully and joyously, with no corporate advertising or sponsorship, just regular women walking with their friends, safe. It’s the families who gather on the lawn at the Civic Center on Sunday, dads with their children, grandparents and friends and co-workers who picnic and people-watch and apply sunscreen. It’s seeing the way you love reflected, for the only time all year, back to you in hundreds of different happy faces, faces that look just like yours, or look very different. It’s being able to kiss your girlfriend without doing that tiny look-around first – that safety check that we do without even registering that we’re doing it. It’s being able to dance together outside, in the sun. It’s safety in numbers. It’s pride.
Bashed. In San Francisco. On Pride weekend. No one’s safe, and it makes me terribly, awfully sad.