A few years ago, I was on the N Judah returning home after a Saturday night of drunken debauchery out in the avenues. It was a bright, Sunday June morning, not unlike any other beautiful San Francisco day. I was trying to remember the name of the woman I had woken up next to…Svetlana? No…maybe it was Caterina…something Russian. I think. I remembered that much at least.
As the train approached the tunnel to head downtown, I noticed a large, colorful crowd of people waiting to get on at Church and Duboce. At the time, the only people on the N Judah was your hungover Bay Area Brit (sporting a silly grin), the driver, and an old Asian woman.
As we drew closer, I could see that there had to be 200 people eagerly waiting. Although they were 100 yards away, I could sense their excitement.
The N Judah pulled in to the stop and suddenly the Asian lady and I were inundated with 100 or so gay revelers. Of course! Well that would explain why it was such a beautiful day: Gay Pride was happening this weekend…. and not only that, it was happening on our train.
I love Gay Pride. It’s a great time to celebrate the many diversities of life and love.
After about 2 minutes of riding, a chant came from the back of the train: “WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER, GET USED TO IT!” A hundred grown adults chanting in unison.
These gay brothers and sisters seemed angry, and were doing that fist-pumping and pointing thing. I’ve been to soccer matches in England where hooligans were less intimidating. I looked over at the Asian woman and thought, are they chanting at us? What did we do wrong? And if they’re not aiming it at us, then who are they chanting at?
I thought of Lisa Simpson’s smiling response while watching the Gay Pride parade in Springfield:
“YOU DO THIS EVERY YEAR, WE ARE USED TO IT!”
Was it that obvious that I was straight and not “one of them?” I thought about chanting along with them and encouraging the old Asian woman to join in. What I really wanted to offer was an alternative chant:
“I’M STRAIGHT. I WAS OUT LATE. STOP YELLING AT ME.” Quickly followed by: ”I HAVE A REALLY BAD HANGOVER….BUT I SUPPORT YOUR RIGHT TO CELEBRATE!”
I got off of the train at Powell and felt kind of strange. Because I was not wearing the colors of the proud, did they think that meant that I was against them? Maybe the driver was their target?
Either way, that moment stuck in my head because for the first time in a while, I felt like I was the conservative guy that wasn’t cool–an outsider. I thought about it and realized that many of these people moved to San Francisco so that they could safely express themselves without fear of being targeted, and so for a brief minute I didn’t mind appearing to be the straight, uptight outsider that wasn’t part of the cool gang.
Happy Gay Pride Weekend To All My Brothers and Sisters!
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: | Bay Area Brit, British writer living in the Bay Area, Funny true story, Gay Pride, humor, Matty Stone, The Bay Area Brit, The Gay Area Brit, We're Here We're Queer Get Used To It