The official theme for Pride this year is “40 and Fabulous.” So let’s all grab an organic cocktail and strap ourselves in for a good ol’-fashioned midlife crisis!
Some of us have already had some practice. Many gays long ago traded in cracked and hectoring first wife Madonna for trophy floozy Lady Gaga, raced around town in those sleek Miata MX-5 convertibles, and reached for the HyperGain. (Don’t get me started on lesbians and Justin Bieber here.)
But for queers of a more radical bent, it’s an opportunity to take stock of the past and wonder about the future — despite the fact that 40 is the new 20, at least in online marketing campaigns. Branding, darling, branding.
Or maybe that’s boring. Yes, we could lament the commercialization of Pride and kvetch that all our resources have been poured into trying to secure property rights through state-sanctioned social contracts and the chance to invade the wrong country, causing the unnecessary deaths of thousands. We could be awestruck by the amazing power and inspiration of our queer youth, despite the fact that hundreds of them become homeless every year. We could honor and celebrate the heroism of our elders, even while they’re pushed to the margins and out of their apartments.
But doing all that means sitting on our collective asses. Isn’t the whole point of a midlife crisis to change everything before it’s too late? Maybe, due to political expediency and because it makes us more acceptable to society, we’ve allowed queerness to become defined as something we are, rather than something we do. I’m not saying many of us aren’t born “that way” (or denying the social legitimacy that fact, apparently, confers). But what the hell are we doing? Fine. We’re fabulous. Now let’s fix things.