Pride season is upon us, and this year we’re ringing it in by spotlighting the folks who make us proud to show up to work each day–the artists, activists, performers and personalities who make our community shine.
Josh Galassi is a PR professional and occasional Queerty contributor living with cerebral palsy. He’s currently based in Kalispell, Montana. (“It is about 45 minutes from Glacier National Park for the geography challenged,” he says). Recently single, 26-year-old Josh says he’s feeling sad but trying to look on the bright side as Pride season heats up.
Describe your first pride.
I went to my first Pride in June 2013. It was the Seattle Pride and I went with my friend, Danny. It was a lot of fun but at the same time, I found myself really self-conscious, because I was such a gayby at that point. I had just come out two years previously, and so was still learning about all things LGBTQ. Also, I am pretty sure I was the only disabled person I saw there, and noticed a lot of people staring at me. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was hot or disabled. The struggle was real!
What was your most awkward Pride moment?
My most awkward moment was probably that same Pride, in Seattle. You see, Danny and I had drunkenly hooked up a week before, and so the entire time I was questioning, “Oh my gosh! Do I have feelings for Danny?!” (I was really bad at separating sex from feelings back then.) Luckily, I didn’t have to question it too long. His ex eventually showed up to Pride and the two of them started kissing while I watched. I was just like, “Ummm, well, guess I don’t have feelings for Danny anymore!” It was so painfully dramatic at the time, but kind of funny in retrospect. (Also, if you are reading this, hi Danny!)
Aside from that, I think my disability always makes me feel awkward in any gay-centric setting. It’s hard because you never know what someone is thinking… Like, are they thinking, “Awww, look at that cute, little, disabled boy at Pride! He is so brave because no one would f*ck that!”Sometimes, I have to force myself not to overthink and stay confident.
Which city’s Pride is on your bucket list?
Definitely San Francisco! I have never been but all my friends who have visited tell me I would love it! Also, I was a huge fan of HBO’s Looking (set in San Francisco), so I really want to make it out there one day.
Ultimate pride song?
Oh, man. I love anything catchy! Beyond that, though, I particularly love Christina Aguilera’s “Light Up the Sky.” It’s a great song about standing up to those who try and drag you down. She has this great line where she says, “No one can tell us what we want / No one can stop us anymore / No looking back we’re moving forward / No one can take this moment away” and it just gets my heart every time and makes me feel proud for all the LGBTQ community has accomplished. Whether that was Christina’s intention or not, I don’t care. I love it to pieces.
Your ideal pride outfit?
I am so bad at anything fashion-related, so really, anything that screams, “HI. MY NAME IS JOSH AND I AM A RAGING HOMOSEXUAL.” I think one year, I wore disco shorts and a tank top, and another year, I wore I shirt that simply said, “Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride.” All of that is to say, you probably shouldn’t ask me for fashion advice during Pride.