I love Pride Week. It's one of my favorite times of year. The city I live in does all kinds of cool stuff during Pride week. we had a barbecue on Sunday, which I only caught the tail end of because I had to work and then sing in the music celebration at church. Tonight is movie night, and I'm really excited. The movie I'm most excited about is Imagine Me and You, which according to afterellen.com is a lesbian movie with a happy ending. I will, of course, let you know how it is. Tomorrow is the community awards celebration. We give awards to outstanding members of the lgbt community every two years. It's a big deal. My campus lgbt group is sponsoring them this year. There are going to be a lot of drag kings. It should be fun. Friday there's a concert, and Saturday's the parade and rally. Our guest speaker this year is the editor of my favorite lesbian magazine.
I love the gay community here. We're quite a diverse group, but we have so much fun together. This year's Pride is particularly special to me because this time last year, I was living in the closet. That tends to happen when you're living in an unfriendly city with someone who isn't out to many people. It was hard. I'm out everywhere here. I'm even out in the classes I teach. I find that to be especially important because so many students are just coming out when they are 18 or 19. I've had many students come and talk to me about coming out. I like that they feel like they can do that. It's amazing how fast you can get used to living in the closet. It's scary, really. When I returned home last August, I was shocked that everyone knew I was gay and didn't care. I'd quickly forgotten what that was like. I was finally able to breathe freely again. It was a relief. It was really exhausting to hide who I was.
I don't ever want to hide who I am again, not for anything, and I don't want to be in a relationship or a job where that is required of me. It's just not me. I am an affectionate person, and it's hard for me not to hold hands with someone I'm dating or indicate in any way that I'm with her and I care about her. I'm going to be applying for jobs this coming year, and I plan to apply out. I have been talking to a man at my university who did that about how to do it in a tactful manner. I just don't want to hide. I spent too many years doing that, and I don't ever want to do it again. I like who I am, and I like events like Pride where I can express that with lots of other people.