Pride! A time to get together, let our flame shine bright and be our fabulous over-the-top selves. A time when Madrid turns into a flamboyant ray of diversity: where colours, sizes and shapes don’t matter anymore (as long as you’re drunk enough). A time most of us have been preparing for months by carefully shopping for the right outfit, by going to the gym, training hard in order to arouse the crowd with our six packs and incredible biceps, but also a time for the more romantic ones to find their future husband in an endless sea of possibilities.
But Pride remains, and has always had, quite a conflicted time for me. It reminds me that the battle is not won; that my kind is being abused, imprisoned, and tortured in most of the world. All the while, here, we dance when we should be marching silently and demanding equal rights for all. I know I’m pissing on the parade but the sourness of shame I taste in my Gin & Tonics is overwhelming.
So I usually prefer to skip town and go hide in the mountains with a good book. Needless to say all my friends are appalled by my behaviour. But good friends being good friends, they always think they know better. And mine thought that it was time to take action, that it was time for an intervention! They gathered in my living room, sat me down and gave me a good talking to.
They had each prepared a letter in which they raised concerns about my mental and sexual health before concluding that it was out of my hands and that I would get laid whether I wanted to or not. They proclaimed they feared I would end up a bitter jaded pensioner mumbling about the unfairness of life if something wasn’t done soon. They also informed me that they had cancelled my train tickets as well as my hotel reservation, that they’d thrown out my old Tees and bought me wife-beaters instead, that they’d removed all my books for my bookcase and filled my fridge with booze and poppers. They even handed me an iPhone on which they had downloaded the latest hook-up app and created me a profile. It was Christmas or so they claimed, I wanted to borough my way down and never come out again.
Apparently I was to start rubbing myself against the naked hunks cramming the streets, and binge-drink myself into a coma, a coma I should preferably spend in the arm of another comatose queen who, on waking up the next morning, would most probably refer to me as a drunken mistake (but they left that part out). This should be done repeatedly and without moderation. I was also to take off my shirt as often as possible, pinch my nipples and snog whomever they would shove my way.
I tried to run; the door was locked.
I tried to talk sense into them; they handed me a cocktail.
I was cornered. I had no escape route.
Pride is just about to start, a week-long of festivities where gin and tonics replace water and during which sex is mandatory.
I’m scared… I’m so scared… as I write these lines, I know that oblivion awaits me…