By: Isadora Akemi Bugan
Every June, my family and I would awake to the joyful cacophony of loud cheering, pop music, and party floats. There, parading through the avenue below, were thousands upon thousands of LGBTQ people marching, demanding their rights and celebrating Pride. I would spend all day on my tiptoes, when I was still so short that the balcony’ handrail obstructed my view. The street as I knew it was transformed: just the previous night, the avenue had been mostly quiet, or as quiet as a busy street in a city of 12 million can be. Now, it had turned into a huge, colorful event; with giggling same-sex couples, rainbow flags and flamboyant queens who danced atop enormous floats. It was as if the entire street had fallen under a spell.
Years later, when I realized that I was bisexual and came out, Pride became associated with an entirely different kind of magic in my mind. Pride became an opportunity for me to be myself, to celebrate the battles for rights that the LGBTQ population had won and fight for the many we are still fighting. Since I still lived in my childhood home and I have a wonderful, accepting mother; during the week of Sao Paulo Pride my house became the HQ for all my LGBTQ friends and acquaintances. Instead of watching from the porch, I started attending the Pride Parade itself and the various events associated with it. Still, even then, the details behind the scenes still eluded me.
Through life’s twists and turns, I ended up coming all the way from the tropical beaches of Brazil to the freezing and never-ending winters of Rochester. Though I am sad to miss Sao Paulo Pride for the first time in my life, I am excited to be interning at the Out Alliance and learning all the hard work that goes into creating the ‘magic’ event that I adored so much in my childhood.
What I once thought was a spell turned out to be much more complicated: boxes upon boxes of flyers to be folded, a massive amount of meetings, a seemingly endless list of tasks to be done with increasing urgency. However, despite all the hard work, I can’t help but become increasingly excited to experience my first Roc Pride and hope that everyone is able to experience a little bit of the ‘magic’ of this wonderful event.