While exploring the little coastal communities along Michigan's Thumb yesterday we happened to see a rainbow flag hoisted above a cottage. Fellow Traveler laughed as I gave it a jaunty salute.
"It's Pride Month," I noted. "What are we going to do to demonstrate our pride?"
Fellow Traveler became thoughtful. "You know," she responded, "as far as I'm concerned every day is Pride Day for us because we refuse to be anything except who we are."
I thought about this later, and it's so true. I remember the constant anxiety -- about what, I wonder now -- of living in the closet, even when I was single. I was so afraid of people's disapproval. Every day was like that scene in All That Jazz where Roy Scheider as Bob Fosse, looking into the mirror in the morning, throws his jazz hands into the air and proclaims, "It's showtime!"
The show is now over for me, and it has been nothing but a relief. And, a few awkward moments here and there aside, we've been amazed at the degree to which people, even in our small town, simply accept us. Because we share a common first name, a lot of our friends -- people from church, people with whom we do business -- know us as a unit, as The Lutheranchiks; as one of our Amish neighbors exclaimed after I showed up at her door to special-order one of her children's handicrafts, "Oh -- you're one of The Lutheranchiks!"
Believe me, I understand the value of the gay community periodically gathering in public, as both affirmation and as a counterpoint to all those who would chase us back into the shadows of secrecy and shame. But as for me and my house, we find that the best way we can live into the promise of a just and equitable society that includes us is to simply do that -- to be The Lutheranchiks on the street, in local businesses, in our church, on the road; no excuses, no lies. In our cultural milieu, it's as radical a thing as we can do. And that's where we, as a household, find our pride this month.