Over time, the list of seven deadly sins has changed a bit, but in almost every list, pride (or hubris or superbia in Latin) is considered the original and most serious and the source of the others.
In these lists, pride is defined as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God). Dante’s definition of pride was the “love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one’s neighbor.” In Jacob Bidermann’s medieval miracle play, Cenodoxus, pride is the deadliest of all the sins and leads directly to the damnation of the titulary famed Parisian doctor. In the story of Lucifer, pride was exhibited as his desire to compete with God and was what caused Lucifer’s fall from Heaven and his resultant transformation into Satan.
Luckily, there are other definitions of pride which are more closely aligned to what we celebrate each first weekend of June here in our pretty, great state.
Definition 2, according to Dictionary.com, is the state or feeling of being proud.
I actually don’t think this is what we celebrate at Pride, either. While I, personally am proud of how I have dealt with my sexual differences from the norm, I’m not necessarily proud of them any more than I’m proud of the fact I have hazel eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my hazel eyes nearly as much as I love my sexuality. But I think our reason for celebrating is more about the third definition:
“A becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.”
Or, as I read in another article, our definition of pride that we celebrate is the antonym of shame.
There are those in the world who would have us believe that we should feel shame for our sexual differences. It is for them, it is for us, and it is for those who have fear or trepidation in their hearts that they are us that we celebrate Pride at least once a year.
And we do so in a bold fashion. Yes, the television news loves to show the glamour and glitz of those of us who wear foot-tall high heels, glitter and gold lamé underwear, but should we blame them? How exciting would the news be if they only showed a bunch of conservatively-dressed people politely sauntering down the street? Would anyone even take the effort to lift their eyes to the screen?
Pride is our Mardi Gras in many ways — a time when we shed the social norms, if only for one weekend, if only to go back to the “grind” the next Monday (or, if you are like me, Wednesday. Who can even wake up on Monday or Tuesday?).
Personally, I’d rather live in a world of guys and girls and others wearing only the briefest of festive skivvies and lipstick of multiple colors. If I were king of the world, Mr. Mac would sell nothing but Andrew Christian underwear and red pumps.
So, to those of you fabulous enough to shed your inhibitions for a weekend, happy Pride! I hope the rest of you will join us next year in the full experience.
Tah for now. I need to run and iron my gold lamé skirt. I can’t find the setting on my iron, though.
Please find us at our booths at the south end of the Festival, across from the Dance Stage.
Also, join me at the Grand Marshal reception on Friday night as I am presented with the Kristen Ries Community Service Award. I’m humbled by the company I’m joining and, yes, proud to receive it.