Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gay Pride?

My cousin went to the Pride Parade this year and came back with some photos she had taken. She posted them and they drew very many varied comments. This was one of them and it kind of provoked a reaction in me that I thought would be a good discussion or at least allow me to express my thoughts about it. Seldom does a photo do that so I wanted to write a bit about it.

I myself have never been to or participated in a gay pride parade. I've often wanted to go and even march in the parade to show my support for my community and my pride for who I am as a person. I am a proud out lesbian and I would like to see equal rights for all just the same as many other GLBT people would.

Some of the various comments this photo got from people were: How can gay rights be taken seriously when people show these kinds of behaviors? Someone else said I am not a homophobe but I get tired of it being shoved down my throat. There were other comments saying how people just want to be free and have fun and we all need to support and respect everyone's right to express themselves. Another comment was about pride and acceptance and about having the freedom to just be yourself without judgement.

My reaction to the photo was probably a mixture of all those rolled into one. I full heartedly agree that if you want to gain dignity and respect from others you should show dignity and respect not only to others but for yourself as well. If you want to be taken seriously, then act like it and basically don't make an ass out of yourself. How can we as a gay community expect to gain respect and support from others if you are engaging in behaviors that are disrespectful of others.

Personally I don't care if somebody chooses to bare it all to the world however, gay pride for me personally does not mean exposing my goods for everyone to gawk at. Why would anyone feel the need to do that, if not to just gain attention and for just the pure shock value of it? What message does that send? How does that help to gain respect and equal rights for the gay community?

Most certainly if I had children, there would be no way I would want my child to be exposed to the public nudity that was displayed. If a man shows his willy to somebody in a public setting, it is against the law and he is committing a sexual offense. So why would it be acceptable behavior in a gay pride parade? It doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman. That type of behavior is mainly to attract attention and to say look at me! So is that really pride or public voyerism under the veil of gay pride?

Expressing yourself and feeling the freedom to be who your are is one thing, but if you feel the need to walk around exposing your nakedness to everyone, then join a nudist colony. Yay for you that you are comfortable in your skin and want to show it off.. But the gay pride parade is not the appropriate outlet for that because it sends the wrong message and goes against the very thing we are struggling to gain- respect for our community and to show everyone that we are just like everyone else and deserve to be treated as such and have the same rights as heterosexuals have.

I mean seriously, if you are showing your pride for who you are by baring your breast or penis, what exactly are you trying to accomplish and gain? That you want the right to walk around naked with your nipples to the wind or your tally swaying in the breeze? Are you showing your goods to attract sexual attention? You want to be accepted for who you are because you feel rejected with clothes on?? Seriously!

If I had children I would teach them to value everyone and to show respect and dignity to everyone. It's how I live my life. It shouldn't matter who you love as we should show kindness and compassion and love to everyone valuing each person for who they are as a person. I have always been amazed at how suprised straight people are sometimes when they realize how much alike gay people are to heterosexual people. We are all the same people! We just happen to be attracted to and love somebody that is the same sex. We all put our clothes on the same way and have the same issues as our counterparts. It's called being human.

Sure there is a small percentage of people who are gay who behave like idiots and give the reputation of being sex starved perverts who go from one partner to the next, but then again there are just as many if not more straight people who do the exact same thing. All you have to do is turn on the news and see the daily sex scandal of the day....polititions, clergy, celebrities, sport stars. That small percent of folks is not the norm for all of us gay or straight. Most people live their lives with the same sense of normalcy trying to get by in this world we live in.

I understand the struggles that gays, lesbians and trans people go through. Nobody wants to be rejected for who they are. Nobody wants to be shunned and discriminated against just because they were born gay or born into the wrong body or even born with both sexes. The basic human need in this world no matter who you are is to be loved and accepted. Unfortunately we live in a world full of people who have a lack of compassion or understand for others, and who express hatred and violence toward those that are percieved different than them. Fear is what it is called. Fear of the unknown. The biggest thing is that if people were to really be open enough to see each other as human beings, they would find that there aren't as many differences as they thought there were.

Anyway... the photo was certainly a thought provoking one for me.... so what thoughts or reaction did it bring to you?

PolarB ;)


Sarge said...

After twenty years of military homophobia I have finally gotten to an acceptance level with other people's sexual orientation. As with the immortal words of Rhett
Butler, "Frankly, my dear; I don't give a damn"...
What those people do is none of my damned business and who I am to judge in the first place anyway?
Gay marriage is a GOP stir up the base issue and nothing more - actually from an estate planning viewpoint; it makes perfect sense...

Don't we have other issues more damned important that worrying about what Jimmy and Steve are doing living together?

Movin On..


the yellow fringe said...

Youth does carry some flare for overboard statements, demonstrations and arguments to a problem. I wish them well, I support their interest and goals where ever I can.
I think these type of events are less about arguing the case and more about a pep rally and a way to measure the size of the team. I think there a hoot. But I do think they are counterproductive. The GOP and others use these very event photo's as fund raisers and fear generators. I agree with you, and my advice would be a bit more modesty at the parade will deprive the opponents of gay rights issues some of their funds and vigor.
What is really cool, the word verification I need to complete for this comment is "flare". Love it.

Whit's Whittlings2 said...


Whether one is heterosexual or homosexual is not the issue in the case of a parade. There is a certain amount of human dignity that must be preserved in either case.

PolarB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PolarB said...

LOL I couldn't agree more Sarge! If people put that energy into stopping child abuse or something like ummm let's see fixing this broken economy, well just imagine what might get resolved!

Bear Hugs!
PolarB :)

PolarB said...

You've got that right Fringe.. the youth of today are today different than the youth of my day. And flare is the word of the day!

Heck... maybe I am just becoming a fuddy duddy.

Bear Hugs!
PolarB ;)

PolarB said...

Well said Whit! It is about having dignity and respect for yourself as well as others.

Bear Hugs!
PolarB ;)

Sherry said...

I looked at that picture and had a vision of Biggie T dressed as Tawdry Hepburn during a Gay Pride weekend in Atlanta.

Is she making the statement that if she were a guy, nobody would say a thing?

None of this is anything I would do, but heterosexual people do the same thing. Life gives us all kinds of opportunities for people to express themselves and we're apt to see all kinds of expressions.

People are going to judge the behavior of others no matter what. She's not doing anything that hasn't happened before at large gatherings of people. Woodstock and Spring Break come to mind.

I wouldn't do it but I sometimes wonder if it's because I've been raised with what amounts to a double standard. One that says women don't do this and "real" men don't dress in drag for the fun of it.

On a much more important note, to me anyways. While I was sleeping last night, NY passed a same sex marriage law and it's all ready been signed. In 30 days my cousin and her significant other can finally get married. I've been sitting here crying with joy for her.

Skinny said...

Great post, very thoughtful. SF's parade is today, and I remember when I first saw it. I was coming in to work to get some stuff done, and had no idea it was scheduled. Couldn't believe my eyes. As a straight, somewhat sheltered guy, it was wild, wild, wild.

In later years it toned down a fair amount. Although I only saw it two or three times more, at one point I was thinking "Man, they ruined it, it's almost vanilla, like all the heterosexual parades". There were much more normal people marching fully clothed.

As fringe said, the parades are more about pep rally and the size of the team. And if you attend, the actual number of crazy celebrants is dwarfed by the number of average people. I like the nudity and outrageous costumes, as it seems to make the event much more fun and interesting. I think the general integration and acceptance is progressing more slowly through TV (gay characters much more common now), exposure to neighbors, co workers, etc, and the overall progression of the population, where the young are ascending and are more accepting of gays/lesbians, etc.

In the hetero world, you have Mardi Gras, spring break, etc, where nudity and craziness are encouraged. Another example of the gay and straight worlds being more similar than alike.