So what is gay pride?
A state of mind?
pride in what?
Understand that I am gay, or queer or whatever the term of art is used these days for someone who isn't straight. I am also a political progressive, some would say radical, who believes that the United States is in the midsts of a serious class war that few recognize.
I tend to analys things and what I see in the "gay movement" is beginning to frighten me almost as much as those rightwing teabaggers. I'll say it, we are moving toward "normal" trending toward individuals beginning to criticize and censor what they consider "fringe" elements of the "gay community"
Yesterday New York State legalized gay marriage. I won't go into how I think marriage is a broken institution. It is an institution, with legal rights granted to it. As long as the United States government is going to grant privileges to people based upon entering into this institution of marriage than marriage should be open to all people, no matter how they unite. Black and white, man and woman, able-boded and disabled, or man and man - everyone should be able to partake - IF THEY WANT.
Here is the rub.
Some of us don't want to.
I cried watching the New York Senate vote. However, I seriously doubt that I will ever take those vows. I cried because it was a symbol of equality being achieved and I am very happy for those who want to get married. But please don't think this is the only thing we should be striving for, or that the struggle will be over once we can get married. It is partially an acknowledgement of our relationships but it is also an assimilation into a broken society.
Assimilation isn't good.
We need to take a long hard look at the gentrification of the "gay movement". I have heard and seen many gays that want to limit who may participate in gay pride marches - especially eliminating the drag queens and leather queers who started the Pride parades when many "mainstream gay" individuals were to closeted to attend a parade. Our "movement" is standing on the shoulders of people that many would prefer to push back into the closet now that we have some scraps.....
Generally, these individuals that want to limit who is in the pride parade are white and/or upper/middle to upper class. Classism, racism and sexism are not only issues of straight american.
The pride parade isn't for everyone. Obviously there are conservatives who would get hives just thinking about standing next to one gay person. But within our community there are people who aren't comfortable with everyone's expression of themselves. Today there are more children in attendance of both gay parents and straight allies - but the parade isn't for children (maybe we need to have a kiddie parade during pride week). LGBT et al, is a very large diverse group. Our strength is our diversity. Diversity means acceptance.
Pride is about accepting everyone no matter what they look like, who they sleep with, or how they "do it". And that means consensual sex. (Yes, that means of humans of legal age for those numb nut conservatives out there who need definitions. ) People's consensual isn't for you to define. Do what you want, in your bedroom, different strokes people. This weekend is about embracing all of who we are; Drag, queer, leather, vanilla, and straight all are welcome - with their open mind.
Like my very wise Aunt Gigi used to say, "Don't like it? Then don't do it!"
Don't like drag - then don't dress. Don't like chaps - don't wear them. Don't like dykes on bikes - get there late. (gay standard time) If you don't like the way someone looks - look the other way, and frankly if you think quite a few people there will not be chiseled or ripped, well - your delusional.
Pride like the rest of life is what you make of it. There are many interesting people out there and this is an opportunity to meet a few of them. Even if they do things you'd never dream of....
Spice of life after all....
Enjoy the parades, celebrate the hard won marriage rights in New York have a great and safe day.
And on Monday, or maybe Tuesday pick up the fight again for equality everywhere. That is what the Pride Parade is about; diversity, unity and visibility for equality - FOR EVERYONE.