(No?) Pride Parade

As most gays and their gay-friendly counterparts know, June is Gay Pride month. Like with Black History Month, it is meant to be a time set aside to celebrate who we are, to come out of the closet and be proud of ourselves and our achievements as gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, and so forth. But some of us don’t feel so proud around this time of year. In fact, some are ashamed to be lumped together with what many view as an embarrassing spectacle that further outlines our differences from “normal” straight folk.

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This month, cities around the world will be celebrating with parades and events, as they do every year. Gay pride parades are said to have their genesis in the legendary Stonewall Riots which occurred in June, 1969 when patrons – from drag queens to “regular Joes” – fought back at police harassment at the Stonewall Inn, a New York City gay bar. The following year, an anniversary commemorative parade was held, effectively the beginning of annual gay pride parades. Over the years, pride parades – and the gay rights movement itself – have undergone notable transformation. What began as a demonstration of defiant activism mutated into a brash display of gay identity as defined by the personal politics of the time, as well as unabashed sexual freedom.

The problem with the gay pride parade, and the movement itself, is the same problem faced by any large sociological or political movement with an umbrella that is too big. There are too many different kinds of people, with different opinions and goals pulling it in too many directions. Over the years, the movement has needed to evolve, just as the feminist movement did. Stonewall was about standing up and showing that we existed (not just in seedy darkened corners) and that we weren’t going to be pushed around anymore. The 70’s were about coming out, literally, and claiming our sexual freedom. Bathhouses thrived, and the stereotype we often see associated with gay pride parades was born. Drag queens, leather daddies, naked circuit boys, rampant drugs and promiscuous unprotected sex. This is the image the local news trots out each June to show what those “colorful” gays are doing, and to reassure traditional suburban families that this “other” exists only in the big bad city, not right next door to you. This is the image that sells. But this is not what the majority of gays and lesbians are like. Not the ones that actually live in your neighborhood, and not even in attendance at the parades themselves.

In fact, the handful of gay pride parades I’ve been to (starting in the mid 90’s) have been rather underwhelming. Perhaps it is just a Chicago thing, and the other ones around the country are like an amped-up episode of Queer as Folk, but my experience has been rather vanilla. Sure, you still have the go-go dancers and the drag queens. But at a certain point it becomes sort of a feeling of “so what.” The most controversy I ever felt was years ago when my partner, Melissa, her then-husband, and I agreed to march on behalf of a local political candidate. We thought it would be cool to be in the parade and what not, even though we had to hold signs. We were already well into the parade when we realized the candidate was a Log Cabin Republican. We quickly snuck out of the parade and ditched the signs and ran away.

Some reject the notion of the parade altogether, citing an undue emphasis on sexual orientation as the sole identifying factor of a group of people with which they identify. The truth is, that is how we’ve always been defined and it will be a hard label to shake off. In the 80’s, the gay sexual revolution came crashing down when the AIDS issue blew up. “Gay” became synonymous with “AIDS” and, admittedly, most gay rights groups became AIDS activist groups. Beginning in the 90’s, and snowballing today, we face the issue of marriage equality. In each case, we are defined in some part by our sexuality, our libido, whom we choose to have sex with. The push for marriage equality seems to be an attempt to show that we are not all about our sex lives or our bedrooms – that we want real, legitimized families like the rest of America – but once again, it is something that comes down to our gender and the gender of whom we choose to love. And so, when celebrating our diversity and our right to be who we are at a gay pride parade, it is hard to divorce the sexual identity element from our struggle for equal rights. Politicians will mingle with drag queens, who will rub elbows with PFLAG, who can’t help but grin at the glistening muscle men. And so on.

Is this wrong? It calls to mind the debate several years ago about Queer as Folk itself. It was a brazen, no-holds barred look at gay life. Not everyone’s gay life – a magnetized, soap opera-tized version of gay life. Much like the exaggerated makeup on a drag queen’s face, or the elaborate pageantry that sometimes goes into a pride parade. It was a caricature of several types of people who may exist in real life. Or stereotypes, as one may argue. Those same people may also argue that the parade is detrimental because it puts those stereotypes on display and makes us look bad to the mainstream world in a time when we are trying harder than ever to assimilate into that world.

I think there is validity to the concern that we don’t want to come off as a bunch of freaks and perverts. Who wants to be painted in such an ugly light? But I think it’s also important to remember – no matter what we do or how “normal” we try to act, mainstream conservative society will always find a way to vilify us and exclude us from their world. Why should we turn our backs on the drag queens and leather daddies who stood up for our rights in 1969, and who should still have the right to be who they are today? Should we ban them from the parade just because the evening news is going to point a sensationalized finger at them? That seems hardly the spirit of inclusiveness and diversity we’ve claimed to support over the years.

I would caution any of you “normal” queers who just want to fade into the woodwork that we will not get anywhere as a movement if we do not stand up for everyone involved – gay moms and dads, drag queens, transgendered men and women, etc. Truly, the gay community looks less and less like a community these days, and more like a bunch of fractured niche groups bumping into each other. To me, that’s not a good thing. Perhaps a parade, which gives us all a chance to mingle at least that one time each year, can be viewed with the positive spirit in which it’s meant, whether you’re covered in plaid or waving your naked muscled arm to the beat.



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41 responses to “(No?) Pride Parade

  1. MR. Bill

    Well, I hate a parade. When a bunch of people head in one direction, I tend to want to go the other way. (I don’t care for the American Musical, either, with some signal exceptions, having acted in too many..)

    But that’s just perversity.
    I’ve been in a Pride Parade, in Atlanta, in street clothes (too hot for the leather jacket). It’s too much of a show for me to enjoy. I’ll pass, and encourage those who like this sort of thing to participate. I understand your point, but I don’t even like going to the city anymore.
    I’m afraid I’ve become an ole, cranky county guy like my dad.
    And the Gay and Lesbian group in Ellijay GA is having a potluck that nite I will attend.

  2. Nice post Todd hon.

    I like Pride … seriously, I really do. I’ve been out since my late teens as lesbian and yet I still love Pride.

    I have come close to getting blaze about it, but a couple things have happened to remind me at crucial moments how insanely special this day (month) really is.

    One particular moment was a couple years ago with my then girlfriend. She was from rural Michigan, and this was her first major Pride (and hell, in Chicago, with half a million people turning up on a BAD day, it’s definitely major). I actually could see the day through her eyes for a moment. Suddenly everything came into fresh focus for me.

    The day suddenly became that rare moment when we get what straights get all the other 364 days of the year; namely expressions of our relationships are not jsut tolerated at best, they are celebrated. We get to experience what straights experience the rest of the year.

    Her and I could hold hands and kiss, as not just a lesbian couple, but also an interracial couple (she was african-american), which where she came from was bad enough, and people would smile at us, or simply not even notice us. Pride is so special because it allows us to not be hated on one day (though of course there are those that would stop us from having even that one day).

    But there is more to it than that in my opinion as well.

    I am an HRC dyke. I am a guppie (gay yuppie). I fit conventional expressions of femininity, and unfortunately can blend into the general populace without even trying. I am HRC primary target population, I admit it, and if I were a conservative *shudder* I’d probably be log-cabin *throws up a little bit*

    But honestly, I’d seriously rather have the over-the-top, almost-embarassing 6’5″ drag queen representing us than the suit-wearing, log-cabin, ‘striaght-acting’, white-boy.

    Why? Because while those of us that DO wear suits and fit-in in a board-room do the incremental changes for legal and civil supports, it’s REALLY those that can’t possibly pretend to be ‘normal’ that REALLY push the boundaries of what is appropriate, that REALLY make the space for the leaps forward. Without them pushing the boundaries out, we would have no space to make our small steps.

    I owe my modern quiet lesbian existence to those drag queens, who were noisy, powerful, strong, offensive and embarrassing. And got shot in the streets for doing so. Pride gives me a moment to remember this.

    Is Pride perfect? Hell no. It’s getting a tad bland, a tad vanilla, and more than a tad commercial. But anyone who thinks its not really needed anymore really doesn’t understand Pride, and is fooling themselves into thinking we don’t need it still. We don’t need those queens to tone themselves down at all, we need them to scream louder for us.

    Because until we have equality, and are not killed even once for asking for what everyone else takes for granted, our sexualities ARE public, 100% of the time. Pride just makes us remember that, and a lot of us are scared by that. Until the bigots stop making our sexualities be public, then they’ll remain public, and Pride will not just be welcomed by me, but also seen by me as unwaveringly, uncompromisingly, desperately, needed.

  3. Melissa McEwan

    This post reminds of two posts that Spudsy wrote: Confession Time: I’m a gay man, and I hate the Pride Parade, in which he addresses the parade’s lack of purpose, his feelings of exclusion from the community, and the commercialization of Pride, and Winner of the Pointless, Infuriating Twaddle Award, in which he takes to task a shitastical article that gives breath to the fears that overcoming stereotypes is indeed a Sisyphusian task.

    I think you’re right when you say that “no matter what we do or how ‘normal’ we try to act, mainstream conservative society will always find a way to vilify us and exclude us from their world,” the key word being “conservative.” But, even allowing for bumps in ass-backwardness like we’ve experienced the last couple of years, mainstream society gets ever less conservative. And even while the GOP majority was (futilely) flogging the Federal Marriage Amendment, there were more out LGBT characters on primetime television than there had ever been before. So you’re totally right–there’s no need to pander to those people, even without regard to the principle of the thing. They’re dinosaurs, and they’ll soon be extinct.

    At which point, mainstream conservative society will be that much less conservative by today’s standards. It will always remain conservative by comparison to the margins, but that’s life–at its best and its worst. That’s the struggle, but it’s also rock and roll.

    In the meantime, I say we all let our freak flags fly and fuck anyone in the ear who doesn’t like it.

  4. Errr, so why isn’t my comment showing up?

  5. I’ve been out since the 1970s and am not crazy about parades either – I’d much rather work booth while the parade is going on.

  6. Melissa McEwan

    Errr, so why isn’t my comment showing up?

    I dunno. Sometimes things get kicked to moderation and I don’t know why. Sorry!

  7. There was a little flare-up on a Pagan board recently about “those” Pagans, in their purple velvet capes and so on, making us “normal” Pagans look bad.

    I think there’s value in embracing the whole of a community, and choosing to allow the extremes as well as the normalcy. Why swallow the paradigm and argue from there? It’s like in politics, when the Dems let the Repugs frame the language, and we have “death tax” instead of “unearned wealth tax.”

  8. I like the parades I’ve been to, though I tend to avoid the one in Dallas because it’s hot and Mister Sun is not my friend. Frankly I don’t care how commercialized (gee, another beer company slapping their logo all over everything. I am shocked, shocked!) they get.

    It’s noise and visibility and that’s a very good thing. I pass for straight okay, but I have a picture of my wife on my desk at work and I don’t hide that I’m gay any more than the other folks here hide that they’re straight. Like Lee Kottner and I were saying in the Shame and Blame thread, Queer Nation was right. SILENCE = DEATH. I will not go quietly.

    And I’ll always have a weak spot for the dykes on bikes. “Daddy, could I get a ride?” 😉

  9. it’s REALLY those that can’t possibly pretend to be ‘normal’ that REALLY push the boundaries of what is appropriate, that REALLY make the space for the leaps forward. Without them pushing the boundaries out, we would have no space to make our small steps.

    sarah, word. fucking word.

    great post todd.

  10. JoshWatermanMN

    Thanks for the history lesson. The reason behind the Pride parades is not mentioned enough–the parades are not just a reason to “freak out the normals,” but to celebrate a watershed moment in our history.

    That said, I am probably bowing out of the festivities this year, not because I think the parades are distasteful–in Minneapolis, the parades are pretty uneventful–but because I think they have strayed from their routes. Walking through Loring Park, you would think you might have stumbled upon an outdoor trade show, what with all the corporate booths. Don’t get me wrong, to have major corporations getting behind us is a great thing, but I don’t need to spend my weekend being tempted into signing up for a free Saturn.

    My time would be better spent volunteering for a GLBT interest charity or organization, something that celebrates our community and also addresses issues that face us all.

  11. Todd

    The funny thing is, I don’t really go to them anymore either because they’re crowded, hot and annoying and I’m tired and old. I simply disagree with those who put them down or say we should be ashamed of them. I fully encourage everyone to go. I just don’t feel like going myself. Haha.

  12. I’m planning on going to the one in St. Petersburg at the end of the month with Boatboy_srq like we did last year. It was fun and it was nice to get out of town for a weekend. I don’t read much more into it than that.

  13. The funny thing is, I don’t really go to them anymore either because they’re crowded, hot and annoying and I’m tired and old.

    Brother! 😉

  14. My gay-supporting friend Amy and I will be attending the Brooklyn Pride Festival this Saturday, which will certainly be festive and happy and a spankin’ good time.

    And there will be photos.

  15. PortlyDyke

    I love Pride, always have, even though I’m a bit of a curmudgeon about leaving the house for ANY reason.

    Todd and Sarah spoke my mind on most points.

    Here’s another. For me, when I was first coming out, my experience of gay culture was pretty age- and gender-stratified (I only saw dykes around my age at the dyke-bars, and few bars were mixed G/L). So, for me, Pride was an exposure to a broader band of people — which was important to shaping my sense of community.

    One of my greatest frustrations during my activist years was the sense that each new generation of young queers was “re-inventing the wheel”, and few had a real sense of queer history (I didn’t, when I came out).

    As for the “we’re just like you” (read “assimilation”) meme — I have very mixed feelings and thoughts about it. On the one hand, if the GLBT rights movement succeeds in securing full equal rights, I imagine that we would assimilate in some ways. On the other hand, we are already “just like you” — and also not.

    It’s fine with me if someone wants to assimilate fully with the status quo — but not if they are going to marginalize and oppress other queers to do so.

    I fully agree with you, Todd — it is about who we fuck — because the right would have no problem with me having a female “roommate”.

    I think a lot of the marginalizing that goes on in the queer community is deeply rooted with the sex-phobia intrinsic in general culture.

  16. Moira sez: I like the parades I’ve been to, though I tend to avoid the one in Dallas because it’s hot and Mister Sun is not my friend.

    A few years ago, Houston finally figured out that the Pride Parade should happen at night. It’s still hot and humid then, but not as brutal as daytime the last weekend in June. The actual festival gets started at noon though. Mad dogs & Houstonians come out in the noonday sun…

    I haven’t been to a Houston Pride Parade in years, but that’s because I’ve tended to travel around that time. However, I should have an opportunity in Portland OR this year.

  17. Is it about who we fuck, or is it about visibility? It seems to me that the more rabid anti-queer folks are involved in a terrorist campaign (and I do not use the word lightly) against us. Every gay-bashing is a message: If you don’t hide who you are and hide it well, we will hurt you. The Supreme Court did rule that laws criminalizing gay sex are unconstitutional, but no one seems to have told the State of Texas. The laws are still on the books, and people are still arrested for violating them. Apparently the equal protection clause of the Constitution doesn’t apply to us. Our demanding equal rights is somehow made into a special-interest campaign for special rights that other folks don’t have. Our relationships simply by existing harm them.

    They wouldn’t care if you had a roommate, and I’m not sure they’d care a whole lot if you fucked her. As long as you never, ever let it show in public.

  18. A few years ago, Houston finally figured out that the Pride Parade should happen at night.

    Ooo, that’s a good idea. Ours is in September. Gah. >.

  19. Brynn

    Why? Because while those of us that DO wear suits and fit-in in a board-room do the incremental changes for legal and civil supports, it’s REALLY those that can’t possibly pretend to be ‘normal’ that REALLY push the boundaries of what is appropriate, that REALLY make the space for the leaps forward. Without them pushing the boundaries out, we would have no space to make our small steps.

    Like MB said, fucking word.

    I don’t march every year, it depends on my mood. But Pride is always important. Like Sarah said, it’s our one day of the year to be ourselves in a big enough crowd that we don’t have to worry about being killed. (Although that ends when we stray from the crowd, as the bashers are drawn to Pride. So be careful out there!!!)

    The Transgender Equality Network Ireland, of which I’m a part, will be marching for the first time as an openly transsexual contingent in Dublin’s Pride Parade on the 23rd. Some of us will be wearing T-Shirts (my idea) that say, “I’ve been diagnosed with gender euphoria,” on front, and “TENI” and our logo on the back. I’m honoured and tickled pink to be making history!!!

  20. Well, I am going to the Mecca of Pride Parades, San Francisco. And we are a city that believes in letting our freak flag fly high!

    I mostly go to Dyke March on Saturday night and this year I am hoping to be in a contingent of dyke Browncoats (Firefly, anyone?).

    I am on board with the too many people etc., objections to Pride. I am going to Pride because my beloved is going to be in California for the first time this year and this will be her first SF Pride. So, you know, we gotta do the whole thing.

  21. And, Moira, the Equal Protection clause doesn’t apply to us, just the due process part.

    The Lawrence decision is based on the Due Process clause, not the Equal Protection part of the 14th Amendment.

    And from what I can tell, the fact that Texas is “like a whole other country” is more that just marketing to tourists.

    And I lived there for two years so it isn’t just California chauvinism.

  22. Reba

    I live far from any major city, so I don’t get to the Pride parades anymore. Yeah, I’m straight, but I always used to go, especially after my sister and her partner died. When we were cleaning out their house, we came across a banker’s box full to the brim with love letters, notes, postcards, drawings. They lived together but they mailed each other cards expressing love, gratitude, remorse, joy. They left each other love notes around the house. There was one taped to the water cooler the day they died. There was a poem on the pillow. Every person in the world should have the chance to experience a love that strong. I attended the parades to show my support for love.

    It has gotten easier, in my lifetime, for people of different sexualities to live as they choose. It is not by any means easy, and there is still too much hate directed at people simply because of who they have sex with. But I am grateful to those who continue to stand up, to fight, to attempt to reason, to refuse to pretend to be someone they are not. Because it’s not just gay folks who benefit from that. It’s everyone.

  23. Oh, Reba, that story is so sad and so lovely.

  24. Melissa McEwan

    Because it’s not just gay folks who benefit from that. It’s everyone.


  25. PortlyDyke

    “Is it about who we fuck, or is it about visibility?”

    I’ve thought about that one a lot — but if I really drill down through the “visibility” aspect, then the question is, the visibility of what?

    To me, what is asked to be hidden is sex. Reba’s sister didn’t need to hide that she loved her friend — everyone knew they lived together — but that she loved her friend in a sexually intimate way.

    Who is marginalized when the assimilation meme comes to town in LGBT?

    Usually, trannies, whether they remain in an orientation that is considered externally “straight” or not — because they’ve (gasp!) changed their naughty bits, and we all know what naughty bits are for — sex.

    Or those distasteful naked boys wiggling their bits about on a float. Or those scary dykes with duct-tape on their nipples.

    I think that this is precisely what makes some more “mainstream” g/l/b folks nervous and likely to give the axe to certain parts of the GLBT community on our most “visible” day — a squeamishness about sexuality.

  26. Interesting to hear this viewpoint, myself being a straight ally to a couple of queer friends. JoshWatermanMN, I live in Minneapolis and I agree with what you’ve said, as well.

  27. I keep forgetting that it’s both/and. They don’t like what we do (which always begs the question of why do they care?), and failing to be invisible about that just reminds them of it and makes them feel all weird and creepy inside. Which of course gives them every right to want to make life as hard as possible for us so we’ll become nice decent straight Christian cisgendered folks and have lots of babies and kill ourselves in the garage with a hose running from the tailpipe of the car into the window.

    Oh, wait, that last part wasn’t supposed to be out loud. Please ignore it.

  28. The funny thing is that it’s really about ‘Teh Sex’ for the bigots, that’s what they focus on the entire time when they think about us.

    Why this is funny is that what makes us LGB (T being slightly different in this regard) ISN’T having sex (though not knocking it mind you! *smile*), it’s that we fall in love with someone of the same sex.

    As a bisexual friend of mine once said “friction is friction”, and I know plenty of straight women that fuck the occasional woman. So what distinguishes me from those straight women isn’t who we fuck, it’s who we fall in love with.

    So, despite their insane focus on ‘Teh Sex’, the bigots’ efforts don’t actually stop us from having sex, it merely attacks the thing they really don’t think about it; namely our relationships, our love.

    And of course, they can’t think about our love, because then they’d have to admit to themselves that maybe we are perverts, and that maybe they are more like us than they want to admit.

    And that scares the shit out of them (course, its not the only thing that scares them about us)

  29. You know, it seems like pretty much every single comment I post goes into moderation …

  30. Melissa McEwan

    You know, it seems like pretty much every single comment I post goes into moderation …

    It’s not going into moderation; it’s getting caught by the spam filter. It could mean there’s someone who shares your IP range that’s been blacklisted.

  31. It’s not going into moderation; it’s getting caught by the spam filter. It could mean there’s someone who shares your IP range that’s been blacklisted

    You know, given I am posting from campus at the moment, that’s eminently possible …

  32. oddjob

    What Minstrel Boy said!

    I have only been to parts of two (maybe three) pride parades, so obviously it’s not as though I live for them. Nonetheless I firmly approve of them, and understand very well that were it not for the truly threatening (to “mainstream America”, however so defined) sexual rebels the rest of us would still by and large be closeted worrying about who might know about us and whether it could lead to our being fired or otherwise harassed. To all of them I owe a debt of gratitude!

  33. PortlyDyke

    I’m not sure about that “it’s who we fall in love with” stuff. I’m open to considering it.

    I’m remembering when “Fried Green Tomatoes” came out — now those two women were clearly in love — Capital L-o-v-e love — and that was somehow OK with the mainstream , until someone suggested that they were also lovers (meaning in the friction sense — which the movie pointedly did not make explicit, but was pretty obvious to me) — then people were all “No they are NOT lovers!” — “Yes they are!” — “Not!” “Are!”

    If the issue is who we’re in love with, rather than who we have sex with, why would it make a difference?

    Fried Green Tomatoes never made the “most challenged book” top 100 — “The Color Purple” did. The difference? Sex.

  34. PortlyDyke

    Oh, maybe, race — huh, ya think?

  35. PortlyDyke

    That should be: Oh, AND maybe race.

  36. Lee Ann

    There’s a contingent of dyke Browncoats in SF? I may swoon from joy and envy 🙂

    I agree with Sarah in Chicago that the bigots can’t handle the fact that we love those of our own gender. I’m not saying that same-sex fucking doesn’t drive them up a wall, too, but let’s face it – any fucking beyond the man/woman/ChristianMarriage dynamic gets their panties in a twist anyway. It’s that we love and commit to and wish to live and die with our same-sex partners that seems to be the monster in their psychological closets. Why is that so scary for them? That’s not a rhetorical question; I really don’t understand why.

    I don’t do Pride parades, but then I don’t do any parades. I remember Stonewall from the news reports (I was 20 at the time), and I understand and support the reasons behind the Pride events. I guess I just wish that we lived in a world where it didn’t have to be the big deal that it is.

  37. Dr. Loveless

    Both Todd’s and Spudsy’s Pride posts hit home for me. My first three Pride parades were in West Hollywood, Berlin and Toronto — the parade where I live now is tame and dull by comparison. Beyond that, there’s a superficiality and clone-centric conformism to the gay community here that I’ve grown increasingly to dislike. Me, I am a middle-aged, overweight, bisexual Little Person who uses a wheelchair, likes science fiction, hates disco (or techno, or whatever the kids are calling it these days), knows nothing about fashion, has never watched American Idol, and prefers discussing current events or philosophy over dishing about celebrities. Any one of these things makes me an outsider in this town.

    And yet I want the Pride parades to go on, even if I’m personally ho-hum about it. I most likely will stay in out of the sun this year, but if I do venture out to see it, I know that the eye-candy will be nice to look at and the PFLAG float will make me cry as always. Also, there will always be people for whom it’s the first time, and God bless them.

  38. PhoenixRising

    Fried Green Tomatoes never made the “most challenged book” top 100 — “The Color Purple” did. The difference? Sex.

    Well, race is the gobstopper there, but also the books are not typically read by the folks challenging them.

    And Fannie Flagg’s book is Sapphic enough that…well, we read from it at our first, ceremonial wedding. And referred back to it at the extremely hasty legal wedding as well.

    The movie elided the sexual nature of the lifelong relationship between the two women to make the sotry more palatable to a mainstream studio. Which undercuts Sarah’s point in a way–in 1990, when that movie was being pitched, the sex was the thing that had to be erased.

    However, today I think that movie would be ‘read’ as a lesbian love story even by a straight audience. Because due in part to assimilation, in part to AIDS-related political organizing and pushback, and in part to small local victories, it’s no longer possible for anyone in this culture to ignore that we exist. (Please note that the passage of time was not listed as a cause, as I believe that MLK was right in referring to time itself as neutral.)

    That in turn supports Sarah’s point, which I agree with based on my contact with religious extremists in politics: They want our loving, normal, real families to disappear nearly as much as they want us to stop fucking–oh I mean sinning.

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  40. So, despite their insane focus on ‘Teh Sex’, the bigots’ efforts don’t actually stop us from having sex, it merely attacks the thing they really don’t think about it; namely our relationships, our love.

    I agree, Sarah. Yes, they do have a problem with our sex lives but conservatives seem to have a bigger problem accepting that our relationships aren’t just about sex but are full of affection and mutual caring. That’s why they see an innocent wedding photo and declare that we’re pushing our sex lives in their face, that’s why one of the arguments against same-sex marriage is that ‘it’s only about economic benefits’ because its easier to pretend that our relationships are only a matter of financial and sexual convenience than to realize you’re advocating for a system filled with situations that would be unacceptable if it happened to your mother and father.

    I remember reading a few essays claiming that the “red state” family dynamic is based on obligation, you’re pressured to take care of your parents not out of love but so that you can have children and pressure them to take care of you later, while the “blue state” family dynamic is about people freely choosing who makes them happy. Thus the “blue family” is a threat to the “red family” because our existence says you shouldn’t form family bonds made of obligation but out of love.

    I’ll be honest, there’s lot for me to dislike about the SF Pride Parade — too much of a crowd, too many politicians there only for their image, too much commercialism. I always love the after-celebrations that go with a Pride Parade though. I think it’s one of the most positive things to have a place where community organizations can set up booths and you can learn about the community around you. Sure, there are local guides where one can look up all those groups, but there’s something about being able to spend a day talking to so many little groups in the community, all in a place where you feel safe and accepted. I’ve been to these sort of events in Hawaii and SF and I hope they’re in many other cities.

    As for the media coverage of Pride parades, I always feel mixed about that. I think before they were looking for freaks, but usually if I see the parade and then see how its covered in the media, I realize that they’re showing the most interesting visuals from the parade. Like I say, my reaction is mixed… is showing the drag queen in the rainbow-themed outfit the equivalent of showing the person with the most outragous red white and blue at a July 4th parade?

  41. Pingback: New York Pride Parade Suffering at Shakesville

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