Let your Pride flag fly — gay or nerd

CN3-KristoferReynoldsHowdy, y’all! As most of you know, June is National Gay Pride Month. So I say we celebrate by being super gay all month. Wear rainbow clothing every chance you get. Even if you are in business attire, I want you to have on either hot pink or rainbow underwear. You can pick up all your Pride accoutrement at the shops on The Strip or at Target. I am going to need you to yell “Yaaasssss Kween!” at least 30 times a day or anytime you see someone on the street with a fierce walk. Snap your fingers and chant “Werk” for no apparent reason. Drop it like it’s hot and twerk before and after lunch. Quote random Beyoncé lyrics for no reason.

Ask every woman you see if she is Becky with the good hair.

I am kidding, of course. You don’t have to act like you just came out a week ago to show your Pride. I do know quite a few people that act “that way” all the time — that’s just a phase many of us go through. I remember how awesome it felt when I first came out and found my tribe. I wanted the world to know I was full of gay Pride. I was a loud nelly homo years before Cassie Nova was born.

Young James went through what I call my “faggot phase.” Yes, I know that word is horrible and I shouldn’t use it, but that is how I acted.

I had spent years trying to hide who I really was, so when I first came out and could act however I felt, I flamed. Looking back, I got on my own damn nerves. I wore short-shorts and combat boots everywhere and my ensemble was not complete without my freedom rings necklace. I think I still have that necklace here somewhere. To this day, when I hear jewelry jingling together I have fond (and sometimes embarrassing) memories of being a proud gay youth.

One year, on Oct. 11 — National Coming Out Day — a big group of us young guys and gals went to the Galleria for the sole purpose of letting the world know we were gay. From the parking garage to the food court we chanted, “We’re here, we’re queer and we’re not going shopping!” or “We’re gay, get used to it!” This was the early ’90s and it felt like a big deal at the time. We got a lot of eye rolls and strange looks, but a few people even joined us. One woman that looked like Ann Richards told us “Good for you!” and high-fived each of us.

I like to think that because so many of us did things like that back then, today’s gays have it easier than we did. I had it easier than the generation before me, and so on. But the fight for gay rights is nowhere near over. Sometimes it seems like we take two steps forward and three steps back … but the truth is, we are making progress. Slow, sometimes infuriating progress, but progress towards acceptance, nonetheless.

The truth is, now I show my Pride in more subtle ways. I introduce my partner Jamie as my husband no matter where we are. We were at a funeral a few weeks ago in Corsicana, surrounded by varying degrees of redneckedness, and I’d say “This is my husband” like it was the most normal thing in the world. We received no strange looks or double-takes. Everyone was very nice to both of us.

Sometimes you go further with baby steps than you do with a jump.

Show your Pride however you want. Whether it’s loud and covered in glitter or just holding the hand of your partner, there is no wrong way to show your Pride. Be you and be proud of who you are. If I could go back in time to my younger gay self and slap the shit of him for being so loud and in your face, I wouldn’t. I was who I was for a reason, so I could be the very subtle, low key gay that

I am now. Winky face!

Speaking of Pride, as most of you know, I am also a proud geek and last weekend I got my nerd card stamped big time. I went to Dallas Fan Days. It was a little overwhelming, but in a good way. My friend Ben won a Facebook contest and received two VIP passes and a meet-and-greet with Todd McFarland. He’s a brilliant comic book artist, founder of Image Comics, creator of Spawn, toy designer and all around badass!

The day started early for me (10 a.m.). I hadn’t been to the remodeled convention center yet but knew about where it was so I paid to park near what I thought was the entrance. I figured all I had to do was follow one of the many costumed attendees to the right door.

I should have followed a couple dressed as Team Rocket from Pokémon, but I went with a girl dressed as a Jedi and carrying light saber. I chose poorly. That Jedi bitch took me the longest possible way to get to the entrance. She did not use the force at all and instead took me half a mile to the left when we should have gone half a block to the right.

I knew I was in for some great people- watching as soon as we entered and saw a Spiderman sporting a better tuck than even I can get. Nice body, but no bulge at all. There were people dressed up in the most random costumes. I saw a guy in a white chef coat and fake mustache carrying a spatula. I guess he could have been the Soup Nazi, but then I guess he would have had a ladle. I have no idea who he was supposed to be. There were two huge bearded bear- looking guys in pink tutus, fairy wings, colorful wigs and sparkling lashes. They both carried signs that read FREE HUGS. I swear I saw them hug 40 people in 10 minutes. Little kids, old people and other big men all wanted and received hugs. It was really cool.

Game of Thrones was big at this convention. Jack Gleeson, the kid that played the asshole King Joffery, was there just walking around with friends when he wasn’t at his booth signing autographs. I saw a bunch of gals dressed as Khalessi. There was a chubby Khalessi, a black Khalessi and a few spot-on Mothers of Dragons. I learned that the plural of Khalessi is Khalessi. They take their shit serious.

I waved at George Takei and Stan Lee but they didn’t wave back, probably because they didn’t recognize me. I almost bumped into Chewbacca Mom. She was there signing autographs and I got to meet Peter Mayhew, the man that played Chewbacca. She was charging 20 bucks for an autograph but said that the money she made went to a charity at her church. Talk about making the most of your 15 minutes of fame. I think she’s awesome.

My favorite costume of the day was a guy dressed as Spock from Star Trek with tentacles coming out of his uniform shirt. Many people looked at him confused but I knew immediately, he was Spocktapus! I have a feeling if I didn’t have drag as a creative outlet, I would be at every convention dressed as something fabulous. I love that these conventions are a way for others to find their tribe and be with people that appreciate their creativity and showmanship.

So whether you are gay, a geek or both, be proud! Let your rainbow freak flag fly!

Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.

If you have a question of comment, email it to AskCassieNova@gmail.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 17, 2016.