[For those of you not so interested in an account on the Interfaith service, just click below on “Continue reading.”]
Last year was my first Boston Pride, and only the second Pride I’d ever attended in my life. It was just so incredible and amazing and awesome that I had to go again this year (and then write about it).
First, this morning (being Saturday, June 12) I attended the 33rd Annual Pride Interfaith Service at the Old South Church. It was a beautiful service with elements from a number of different faiths. The 2010 Pride Interfaith Award Recipient was Reverend Ann B. Day.
Did you know that Rev. Ann B. Day, in her involvement with the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns, became coordinator for its new Open and Affirming (ONA) program and was largely responsible for this initiative? I didn’t know that until today. What is the ONA program? Rather than explain, I’ll take a quote directly from the ONA web site:
ONA is “shorthand” for Open and Affirming, the designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the United Church of Christ which make public statements of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.
That’s a pretty big deal – helping and recognizing congregations that welcome and affirm GLBT people. Rev. Day gave a humorous yet moving sermon that included lesser-known facts about the GLBT movement. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, I recommend taking that opportunity.
Okay, so that ‘s all well and good, but rather than turn this into a Dear Diary kind of post, I’d rather tell you about the guy at the CVS.
My friend Mycroft and I were going to watch the parade, but first, he stepped into a CVS to get something to drink. I stayed out front, leaning with my back against the building, checking emails on my cell phone, when I saw this guy…
So when I say, “I saw this guy,” what I mean is that I looked up because I noticed that this guy was walking directly toward me. It was obvious that he wasn’t headed toward the front door of the CVS — he was coming my way with purpose, and from the look on his face, it was obvious that he had something to say. To me.
He was probably in his late fifties, with somewhat long salt-and-pepper hair and a beard. He was about five-foot-five, wearing a hat and jacket for the rain and khaki shorts. He had unwavering blue-grey eyes.
He marched up, his eyes locked on mine, and stopped in front of me as though he had just completed a military drill. We looked at each other. I wasn’t sure what was about to transpire or what I should say, so I just smiled and said, “Hi.”
He leaned forward ever so slightly, as though he was getting a whiff of me, and then, with the utmost conviction, and still looking me right in the eye, he said,
… the most amazing …
… green hair.”
(Just so you know, my hair is not green. At least not today.)
Before I could even open my mouth to respond, he turned and quickly stepped through the door of the CVS. I took a step to follow him, without thinking really, when Mycroft came out and saw me with what must have been a bewildered look on my face.
I said, “This guy…”
“This guy?” he replied, shaking the bottle of protein drink he had just bought.
“Yeah, this guy… He said I had amazing green hair.”
“Well,” he laughed, “maybe it’s the angle of the light? Or maybe he saw your aura.”
Mycroft then assured me that my hair was not green and we headed off to eat a lunch of macaroni and cheese and watch the parade.
Now I could go into detail about the awesome, fun parade, or the cheering crowd, or the joy and energy of all the people, or the pouring rain that came down for about 30 minutes or so, or Alexis Arquette who was the Celebrity Marshal and went by on the back of a convertible, or all of the booths and food and people and entertainment at City Hall Plaza, or the awesome block party I attended with a friend, but what I really want to tell you about is what I learned at the end of the day from a slightly inebriated man.
I went to a gay club with a trans friend who was meeting up with some friends of his. One of them was a relatively young guy who had been there for a while before we arrived. He was very personable and funny. As we chatted, the topic of conversation turned to the metal stud he used to have in his pierced tongue. (For the life of me, I can’t remember how we ever got on that topic, but that’s where we were.)
Slurring his words a little and weaving slightly, he said, “People don’t realize that if your tongue is pierced and you’re drinking, the metal ball on the end of the stud rubs against the roof of your mouth.”
He demonstrated by making a back-and-forth motion with is finger, his mouth partly open.
“Like, it rubs the roof of your mouth and scrapes it so bad, it bleeds. You wake up in the morning and … ugh,” and he motioned with his hands as though he was going to grab the sides of his head in pain.
“So I took mine out, and the hole closed back up right away.” Damn that healing business!
“And when I put it back in…” He stuck out his tongue and motioned as if he was going to skewer it, and then he added, “… there was all this blood.”
“But I heard this trick,” he slurred, with one index finger pointing toward the ceiling.
“You mean, like fishing line,” I asked?
“Yes!” he replied. “You put that through the hole in your tongue and it keeps it from healing shut.”
And there you have it folks — the lesson of the day. If you’re heading out for a night of fun, frolic and drinking, keep the roof of your mouth damage-free by removing your tongue stud, and then save that open tongue piercing by running some fishing line through it. Ten-pound test line ought to do it, I would think.
That pretty much wraps up my testimony of a great Pride day. I hope that your day was at least as good, if not better. Happy Pride!!