Pride: Hell yeah I'm proud!
Is there anyone gay out there that doesn't know that June is Gay Pride month? Ok, so I'm sure there are (considering those newbies and all) but for me and in my house it is huge each and every year. Although our participation has varied from year to year our hearts have always thumped louder during the month of June.
This June the activities that we have been involved in have been abundant. My husband Michael has written for Jersey Pride, I have written for the Pride Guide and started writing for this blog, our kids gave a beautiful interview for Inside Jersey Magazine coverage of gay pride in New Jersey and that's just the beginning. We have attended two pride festivals, prepared for other events and soon will be marching in the NYC pride parade with GAAMC (gay activist alliance of morris county).
While gay pride "stuff" may have been keeping us busy it has been just a sideshow here in the Galluccio home. You see our daughter, Madison, graduated 8th grade last night. Here in North Haledon, that is a BIG thing! June started with an overnight trip to Rocking Horse Ranch with the 8th grade class. The madness or room assignments, packing and just anxiety was week one. Week two's event was the 8th grade dance. The actual prep work for that little diddy started somewhere in February when we began looking for the perfect dress! But as the event drew near all sorts of plans came up. We tested makeup and hair, had a few dress rehersals and even changed shoes. Week three was like, OMG we have finals!! To be honest, I forgot finals too so who could blame her for forgetting. Which brings us to the big event of last night.....the graduation.
Before I go on, I just want to add that Adam, remember him? the famous little toddler we fought the state of NJ to adopt as a couple. Well Adam is 15 now and autistic and NEEDS to be the center of attention sooooooo while pride and Madison were demanding our attention somehow Michael and I, a therapist, a behaviorist and a staff of angels at school were able to meet his needs as well. What a great team we have keeping him on track!
So, I'm sure most of you have been to a graduation of some sort before so I won't bore you with the details but I will share this. After diplomas came awards. In the audience for Madison were Michael and I, Adam, Rosa, Rosa's husband Jose, and their three children, our grand daughters, Maryanna, Leila and Joselyn. That's not it because Michael's parents as well as mine were sitting right there with us when we heard:
"The Humanitarian Award is given to the student, who consistently exhibits genuine acts of kindness, compassion and concern for everyone. This award is presented to (wait for it!) Madison Galluccio"
There isn't a soul on this planet that can question me about pride today. I have pride dripping out of each and every pore, gushing like rays of sunshine from my eyes. Most of this feeling comes from having such a beautiful daughter, a beautiful family, but it all is wrapped up in the pride I have being a gay man that has refused to settle for anything. Remembering countless interviews where Michael and I defended our right to have and raise children. The absurd, sometimes hateful, "facts" how we would destroy the children, the family as a whole....blah blah blah
Today I rest easy knowing that somewhere Rev. Fallwell (may he rest in...), who wanted to take our children away and find them "good moral homes", knows that Madison Elena Galluccio, daughter of Jon and Michael Galluccio recieved the Humanitarian Award.
So am I proud to be a gay man? I'm so proud you better find a new word for it!! So tell me, what are you most proud of this June?
Remember if you're in NYC this Sunday June 26th for the pride parade look for us marching with GAAMC. If you can't find me, look for Michael, Adam, Madison, Rosa, Jose, Maryanna, Leila or Joselyn afterall pride is a family affair!