Let me start this off by apologizing! I had intended on writing this blog ON Saturday after the Pride Festival but got into a car accident (mild fender bender!) on my way home. After that my whole evening was shot, and Sami and I opted to drop in on my parents’ house to use their hot tub (which was awesome!) to soothe our aching legs. After that, I got caught up in sewing commissions, and writing Chapter 11 of The Daffodil Witch! (It’s here, go read it!! But after you read this haha.)
ANYWAY, Boston Pride! Let me tell you all about it and how AMAZING it was!
BEFORE THE PARADE
Leading up to pride, I knew that I didn’t want to just show up, watch the parade, and be done with it! I wanted to leave an impact somehow, even if it was only on a few people. A few years ago my father took me to NYC for New York Pride while on a business trip and I had dyed a rainbow streak into my hair in anticipation of it!
This year, I wanted to do something more and really make an effort. I wanted to be involved somehow, but it was too late to organize anything big!
I ordered myself an awesome ace pride pin (which I have been wearing every day since), did my nails in the ace flag colors, and made a rainbow flower crown to start!
Was that enough? Nope! I also ordered a bunch of mini rainbow flags and a roll of 500 heart pride stickers to hand out to people! THOSE were a huge hit! You would be amazed at how excited people got over the stickers. Even on the train into the city before Pride started, I ended up hanging out stickers!
Look at Sami, isn’t she cute? That brings me to our awesome outfits. Sami is a huge Star Wars nerd and had only JUST come out as a demisexual lesbian after a long time of questioning. She decided to rock her pride and ended up buying a really awesome pin while we were there!
I went into the city with Sami and Brendan, who is part of what I refer to affectionately as my ‘game night crew,’ a tight-knit group of friends who I see weekly for games and what we deem real-talks (I’ll talk more about that in another blog post! But we talk about some pretty serious topics and are all very close.) Brendan is not queer, but he was the one who wanted most to go to Boston Pride. He’s the best sort of ally you could want!
How fabulous are we?! And yes, Brendan IS doing the same pose in both photos. He’s a great ally and a great friend, but also a huge dork. See my skirt?! I struggled at first with the decision on my skirt. I knew I would make something festive, but I originally figured I would make a rainbow skirt to be super festive! Then it dawned on me that I could actually represent MYSELF as an ace at Boston Pride instead of just going in with the classic rainbow. I took to Facebook, and overwhelmingly, my friends suggested I go with the ace colors.
You can’t tell here, but each fabric is SUPER glittery, and Sami’s fishnets are covered in rhinestones. We like to be seen from space. If you ask either of us what our favorite color is, the answer will be, without hesitation: glitter!
OKAY so, on to the parade itself!
Once we got into the city, it was a sea of rainbows, pink and glitter! We really couldn’t stop smiling and looking around. Rainbows were plastered in business windows, and flags were EVERYWHERE. It was an amazing feeling for me, as someone who has been out as queer almost my entire life–a feeling of being at home, of being safe, of being loved and included: a feeling of recognition. I can’t even imagine what Sami was feeling. Up until that moment, she had really only come out to maybe one or two people, and even when she came out to me it had been with the question of “am I allowed to identify as a lesbian if I dated a guy for so long?”
We ran into lots of awesome people we know, which was great! Took plenty of selfies. The first person we saw was our friend Danielle. Danielle is a wonderful specimen who somehow manages to show up everywhere at everything, and I run into her no matter where I go–EVEN IF IT IS IN A DIFFERENT STATE. We also saw my friend Lyndsey, who was representing fabulously in a Katsuki Yuri from YURI ON ICE! cosplay. Both of them walked in the parade (which we had planned to do until we got distracted by the lure of Starbucks coffee! Whoops!) Shortly after the parade started, we were joined by my friend Emmy, her younger sister and her friend Jennifer, who twinned with her in Wonder Woman regalia! (Don’t they look great?!)
The parade was amazing, of course! There was lots of free swag! Sami even got me this AWESOME Aladdin magnet, which I adore with every fiber of my being. (In case you don’t know, Aladdin is my FAVORITE Disney movie and always has been!)
The parade itself was LONG, as to be expected. I tried to take as many photos as I possibly could (I am not a photographer, and am used to not taking photos ever at events because I get immersed in them.) My phone died after a few hours and I wasn’t able to take as many as I would have liked, but here is just a bunch of them in a slideshow for you:
Yes, I had a BLAST. I loved the parade. I screamed so much I was sure I would lose my voice. I saw SO many flags and so much diversity… but I noticed that ONE thing was missing: I didn’t see a single ace flag in the entire parade. Did this ruin my experience? Not at all, I still had an amazing time–but it did stick with me that I didn’t see Black, Grey, White, Purple anywhere in the parade, and it made it that much more poignant that I had decided to wear my own flag to proudly represent asexuals.
The whole day, my companions and I were inactively on the lookout for more ace flags. We saw maybe three total the whole day, and I’m sure those people bought them ahead of time and brought them with them. This is why I am so happy I wore my ace colors rather than only rainbow.
I had at least fifteen instances where someone came up to me and thanked me for wearing the ace colors, or complimented me on my skirt and pointed out that they, too, were ace! I WISH my phone had not died, for I would have taken a selfie with every one of them to share with you. Alas, all I can do is share those moments that stuck out to me the most.
One girl I had noticed was lingering with her friends behind us outside of Starbucks as we watched the parade. They weren’t standing WITH the parade onlookers, but up against the building. I had noticed a few times that they were looking at me, and thought maybe they wanted a sticker. Before I could offer one, I was distracted by friends joining us.
Maybe a half hour into the parade, one of the girls stepped over and tapped my shoulder.
“I love your skirt,” she said. Her voice was weak and quiet, and I could tell she was shy.
I offered her a big smile and thanked her. Then she showed me the small, ace-flag earrings she wore and the ace-flag nail polish she had done and smiled shyly at me. I think she was probably in her teens. She was small, shy, and intimidated looking. I told her they were awesome, gave her and all her friends stickers. Then I saw a look in her eye and knew that she was going to cry. I hugged her tightly, and she held on for a while.
Even as I’m writing this, I’m tearing up myself. I don’t think she expected to see ace representation at the parade. Asexual erasure is a real problem–with the queer AND straight community. I touched on this before in my Pride Month post. We are made to feel like we don’t exist like we aren’t valid. I hope that this moment, for her, was an eye-opener. I hope she feels valid now, because I am sure by the way she cried and was afraid at first to look me in the eye that she was not at all confident in herself.
This happened over and over throughout the day. I got hugs, I was thanked, I had people scream “I LOVE YOUR SKIRT!” over the crowds of people when they couldn’t get close enough. People showed me their small, and sometimes hidden, ace memorabilia. One girl who had to have been 13 if she was a day ran up to me with wide eyes, took my hands and said. “You are beautiful!”
I was overwhelmed by her.
Next year, I am already planning to attend pride again, but I want to REALLY make a difference this time. I want to register in the parade and form a group of asexual and demisexual people to walk with. I want us to fly our flags proudly, to wear our flags, to carry signs that remind everyone that WE EXIST and WE ARE VALID.
Sami was also inspired by pride. She wants to organize a cosplay group to walk in the parade for next year–and has even made a group on Facebook (a global group) for LGBTQ+ Cosplayers! She wanted to create a safe place for queer cosplayers to gather, network, chat and share! Check it out!
Thank you to everyone who came to me to show their appreciation for my representation. Thank you for making my Boston Pride experience so memorable!