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PERSPECTIVES

opposing viewpoints Continued from page 26 sexy beasts, the ones who were so full of that je ne sais quoi, the ones who could not pretend, they were the ones who broke ground for those who could conform. They were themselves not only while risking the disapproval of family and society, but often under the imminent danger of violence. It is on their backs that we have come to be where we are. I am not arguing that everyone should live that life, but we should not deny their existence either. Nor should we retreat to some safe de-sexualized zone. If we retreat now, we risk wasting the incredible sacrifices those who’ve come before have made. Denial of innuendo will not make Pride universally acceptable. Grandma may still not approve because she might not approve any shade of LGBTQIA. How many folks are still consternated by the sight of two women walking down the street holding hands? How many folks still insist on using the pronoun he — when she has already communicated that she is a she? Pride is not for the onlookers as much as it’s for the marchers. Pride is about celebrating who you are. Not ever yone in the parade will want to partake in the sexy aspect — nor should they feel pressure to. The parade is about celebrating their sexuality as much as anyone else in the greater community. Conversely, those sexy beats should get to show off their innuendo, their costumes, etc. These folks are part of the community and Pride is a celebration of the community as well as being about acceptance. Among our “family” we can find renewed strength against the still very real adversity that lurks just beyond the safety of our community. The community is our rock against the storm of wavering public sentiment. However, communities and families only work when they are united. When Pride stops being a celebration of the community and all its members, we have nothing to be proud of. pqmonthly.com

WHISKEY & SYMPATHY

Dear Sophia and Gula,

What are the do’s and don’ts of Pride celebration etiquette?

-Out and Proud and Polite in NoPo

Sophia St. James

Dear OPP in NOPO, There are many facets to Pride etiquette. I want to cover two areas that I think are most important: the Portland Waterfront festival/parade and Pride parties/hooking up. When it comes to the Waterfront festival, courtesy goes a long way. One of my biggest pet peeves (and I’m sure others will agree) are people who stand in the middle of the walkway and have a conversation. Move over to the side so folks can pass — especially if you are part of a large group. Another thing is to be mindful of others around you. I understand it’s an outdoor event and it can be difficult to do so, but taking the time to look around to make sure children are not in ear shot when you want to have a swear-a-thon might prevent you being humiliated by an irritated parent. During the parade, please don’t crowd into the streets. The floats and marching contingencies need room to get through the parade route and if parade watchers slowly make their way into the street it slows the parade down. If you smoke, please stick to the designated smoking areas. They are there for a reason. Yes, I know it’s your right to smoke it up, but it is also the right of others to not inhale your secondhand smoke. If you happen to encounter a “God Hates Fags’ person, don’t act like an ass. That is what they want. They use that behavior as ammunition to make their point. I think the best way to deal with these people is with humor or not dealing at all. We all know they are full of it. We should actually feel sorry for them. On to the nightlife of Pride. First and foremost, if you are going to drink DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. This also includes riding your bike or skateboard. Arrange for other transportation, such as TriMet, cab companies, and pedi-cabs. You can also arrange for a designated driver. Party it up for Pride, but do it in a safe manner. Carry safer sex items with you, ‘cause let’s face it, it’s Pride and there are a lot of hot, sexy people out in very little clothing. There is going to be sex in the bathrooms and lots of rubbing on the dance floor. It never hurts to carry a couple gloves, condoms, and maybe lube with you when you go out. Trust me, you just might need it. Most of all, have fun, be safe, and celebrate who you are!

Polite?

OK, I think I might have been smoking under the bleachers when we went through this in school, but I will try to answer with the very best of my abilities! Pride. This is our day. Everyone has a birthday, but not everyone is a parent, secretary, Irish, or Latino with a special day devoted to you! It has taken a fight most of us don’t remember to have this day! My first “Do” is to take a minute and look up the Stonewall riots, the Gula Delgatto Christopher Street Liberation Day, “Gay is Good,” Daughters of Bilitis, and Mattachine Society. Get your history down and you will have a better appreciation of what is happening around you! Or find an elder who was around in the 70s and ask them about their experiences. You will be amazed with the stories you will hear on what life was like for queers back then, and the fashions too! So I say enjoy Pride with all your might. It’s not just a parade and a block party, it’s remembering and thanking our community for giving us Pride! Every Pride I’ve been to the PFLAG section of the parade goes by and you see signs and faces from loving, supportive, and proud parents so happy to walk for the love of their gay child. A knot balls up in my throat, my eyes water, and my chin starts to quiver. It’s beautiful! My second “Do” is to scream your head off when they walk by! Show them we love them back! We need a world filled with parents and loved ones like them! Other Do’s: • Do get up­ and look fierce! • Do get as much sun as the day will allow. • Do wear SPF foundation! • Do have a few cocktails. I’m not the police! • Do have water! • Do say “Happy Pride” to random strangers. • Do be careful; the wrong heels could ruin your day. • Do stop partying at some point and/or find a food cart! • Do take a photo of your favorite moment of Pride and post it to www.facebook.com/pqmonthly. • Do dance like there’s nobody watching. • Do find love. • Do tip a stripper • Do have an amazing Pride celebration! My little ghouls, there are tons of functions and I will try to hit as many as I can. If you see me, come up and say “hi.” Let me know there are people out there reading this! I will give you a big Happy Pride Hug and you can buy me a shot! DON’T do anything I wouldn’t don’t!

xox, Sophia

-Gula Delgatto

Need some advice from Sophia and Gula? Send your query — with “Whiskey & Sympathy” in the subject line — to info@pqmonthly.com Sophia St. James has been an erotic entertainer since 1996. She has traveled performing and educating the public on self confidence, self worth, and the art of sensuality no matter their outer appearance. Working as a sex and sensuality educator, sex toy/product reviewer, adult film director/producer, model, and erotic visual performer, Sophia is a well rounded woman with drive and determination. Sophia is also a mother and healthcare professional who takes pride in being a body positive and sex positive fierce femme.

Gula Delgatto’s life began in a small rural farming town in Romaina. She was scouted singing in a rocky field picking potatoes by a producer of a “Mickey Mouse Club” type ensemble. While touring the Americas the group fell apart due to jealousies and drugs. She later transitioned from Vaudeville to starring on the big screen to woman’s prison, and eventually advised the Dali Lama on fashion n-stuff. Currently she’s taking her life knowledge and giving back in an advice column for PQ. June/July 2012 • 33

PQ Monthly: June/July 2012  

In this month's issue, we largely focus on Pride celebrations happening throughout the region. Also includes: an interview with k.d. lang, a...

PQ Monthly: June/July 2012  

In this month's issue, we largely focus on Pride celebrations happening throughout the region. Also includes: an interview with k.d. lang, a...