Published in Ignite Seattle Magazine
I’m Woody Shticks and I haven’t paid for toilet paper since Barack Obama was President. (The first time.) Thanks for tuning in! As the days get longer and my shorts get somehow shorter, I’ve been considering what I need for the annual journey through rainbow flags and intersectional infighting so that I can shriek to the hazy sky: Happy Pride, y’all! Oh wait - damn. I always mispronounce that. Happy “T-Mobile, Premera, and Uber present Seattle Pride brought to you by Walmart, Smirnoff, and Delta Dental.” What a time to be alive. Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson threw bricks at a cop so that the Holland America Cruise Line could help us “Savor The Journey.”
But are we well-packed? The savory journey to willful ignorance is not over equal terrain. For some, the trip to splashing in the International Fountain at the end of Sunday’s Pride Parade is a more straight-and-narrow affair. Their moderate march through responsible puberty, coaches who cared, and heteronormative pair bonding with partners who look like their siblings is accomplished in little more than rainbow flip-flops and a pleather harness fashioned by a child working for food. It doesn’t matter how they’re outfitted because it’s a short walk to Pride-edition cupcakes, bad drag, and conspicuous consumption. Settling the middle ground is their inevitable destiny because they just live out loud
But what to do when you can’t find the right thing to wear? Even when you read the articles, follow the hashtags, and believe your blonde friends about half the time? Maybe you just call your sisters, pretend to brunch, and settle on cry-proof mascara and a fanny pack because it’s getting warmer on every side and polyester is unbearable.
If my too-many years of spooky parochial school taught me anything, it’s that inciting a riot is too hard in uniform. When righteous indignation sparks, it burns too brightly and too quickly to be bothered with a rainbow tutu. You have only two instantaneous options: shoot up like a firework and explode in fleeting brilliance, or land in the bushes and spread the flame. The baby-you’re-a-firework option may feel more fun, but by yourself, you’ll burn out in a matter of seconds. Faggots catch quickly when they’re in parched bundles and then you just keep the blaze alive. It’s the only way to learn what’s built to last in the first place
Sometimes you singe an eyelash, but our brightest leaders have always been the most glamorous: court jesters and queens of the night and royal pains in the ass. We won’t tell you what to wear while you frolic in the fountain, but we will ask why you came at all. And whatever you do: please don’t douse the flamers around you because those sparks took a long time to build and there’s still plenty to burn.