What is gay "pride"?

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Hi to all my anthropologically enlightened escapists (and trolls)

My question is a simple one. I am a straight male, and witnessed a "gay pride" parade recently. I was utterly perplexed. I am not "proud" of being heterosexual, and I'm rather shy about parading (no pun intended) my preferential sexual activity. What exactly is gay "pride"? Is it simply mislabeled? Why would someone be proud of their sexual orientation?

I won't say "don't flame me etc." (or did I just say that?), but please keep the discussion serious and courteous.

If you wanna watch MovieBob's "Correctitude" video first, that would be helpful.

That's a good question actually. I for one feel pride should be reserved for something you've accomplished. Being gay isn't something you can control, so why would you be proud to be gay? Or proud to be an American? Or proud to have a genetic predisposition for male patterned baldness?

Stupid joke out of the way, i think "Gay Pride" is a poorly titled feeling of unity by the gay community meant to build confidence in homosexuals who are afraid of discrimination. I'm not too sure, i'm also straight and can't say i fully understand what homosexuals go through in life.

Silvianoshei:
My question is a simple one. I am a straight male, and witnessed a "gay pride" parade recently. I was utterly perplexed. I am not "proud" of being heterosexual, and I'm rather shy about parading (no pun intended) my preferential sexual activity. What exactly is gay "pride"? Is it simply mislabeled? Why would someone be proud of their sexual orientation?

Well, yeah, as I understand it, it's not quite the correct word, but closer than anything else, really. I think it's more teh aclnowledgement of the existance and legitimacy of homosexuality.

Heterosexuality swamps the media, it's assumed as the default. You don't have to parade your sexuality because people tend to assume you are heterosexual unless you go out of your way to indicate otherwise.

Homosexuality (or anything else other than a narrow view of heterosexuality) tends to be quietly overlooked. Massive outcry can arise from it's mere mention.

Now, the moment homosexuality becomes properly (or at least mostly) accepted in society, people won't bother with gay priude marches, or they will become outdated traditions that have lost their original meanings. I don't expect to live long enough to see that.

Pyramid Head:
That's a good question actually. I for one feel pride should be reserved for something you've accomplished. Being gay isn't something you can control, so why would you be proud to be gay? Or proud to be an American? Or proud to have a genetic predisposition for male patterned baldness?

Stupid joke out of the way, i think "Gay Pride" is a poorly titled feeling of unity by the gay community meant to build confidence in homosexuals who are afraid of discrimination. I'm not too sure, i'm also straight and can't say i fully understand what homosexuals go through in life.

This is exactly my question.

It's one thing to band together against discrimination, I am totally for that 100%. But flaunting your sexuality is something I don't understand. How does that get people to stop discriminating against you?

Any homosexuals want to answer this question?

thaluikhain:
I don't expect to live long enough to see that.

I don't think it's that far away. I expect gay marriage to be legal in most Western countries within the next 10 years.

Silvianoshei:
Any homosexuals want to answer this question?

Well I fit the necessary sexual criteria but honestly even I can't full explain it.

Closest I can figure it's primarily about just making ourselves seen and known. Overt heterosexuality is absolutely fucking everywhere (watch TV adverts for a couple minutes see how long you can go without something trying to use sex to sell their shit to you) but homosexuality is either overlooked as just "that other thing" or when it is focused on there's some huge outcry about it being evil.

Basically, from my understanding, gay pride is encapsulated perfectly by what many consider the 'slogan' of it: "We're here, we're queer, get used to it." It's about letting people know what gay people exist, we shouldn't just be overlooked and we're not just going to go away because really, why the fuck should we?

EDIT: And the "well I'm not proud of being straight" thing? I see your point, but I'd raise one key aspect: Because you're straight, you're don't have to deal with the bullshit that we have to go through. You never get people complaining en masse whenever straight characters have a romance on TV or in video games, never get people comparing you to all manner of fucked up other shit like you and zoophiles or paedophiles are just interchangeable evil-doers.

Of course gay pride parades always bring up that argument that by acting so flamboyant about our sexuality we're drawing attention to ourselves, or flaunting ourselves, or stereotyping ourselves, but I'm not going to get into discussing that unless I have to because frankly, such conversations grate on my nerves after I've had them so many damn times.

I doubt this gives any new information but hey, at least now you have a fag's opinion.

Silvianoshei:
Hi to all my anthropologically enlightened escapists (and trolls)

My question is a simple one. I am a straight male, and witnessed a "gay pride" parade recently. I was utterly perplexed. I am not "proud" of being heterosexual, and I'm rather shy about parading (no pun intended) my preferential sexual activity. What exactly is gay "pride"? Is it simply mislabeled? Why would someone be proud of their sexual orientation?

I won't say "don't flame me etc." (or did I just say that?), but please keep the discussion serious and courteous.

If you wanna watch MovieBob's "Correctitude" video first, that would be helpful.

It is a term that tells you when not to join the parade.....

Maybe it's just me, as a lesbian, but I personally view gay pride as just that. Being proud of what you are. In the case of parades, I see it as an opportunity for gay people to come out and be proud to stand for your sexual preference. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I just see it as a person's opportunity to, for a little bit of time not have to worry about being judged by others and can be whoever it is they want to be.

Silvianoshei:
But flaunting your sexuality is something I don't understand.

You might not personally flaunt your sexuality, but your sexuality is definitely being flaunted by others.

For example, go watch a random TV show, look at the ratio between straight characters to gay characters. Also include stuff like people with parents of opposite genders.

Also, look at the ads, see how many man/woman or girl/boy pairings there are compared to ones of the same gender (depictions of lesbians designed to appeal to heterosexual males don't count, unless you want to add them to the heterosexual lists).

Them heterosexual TV people are really ramming it down our throats, but we've become accustomed to that.

F4LL3N:
I don't think it's that far away. I expect gay marriage to be legal in most Western countries within the next 10 years.

Hopefully, yeah, but I don't see that as ending the problem. I know it's not the same, but the stigma on mixed race couples still exists long after they were allowed to get married.

It'd definitely be a massive step in the right direction, and if Canada can do it, so can the rest of the Commonwealth.

What is gay pride?

When you are happy and you know it clap your hands. Show people how proud and gay you are.

Thanks for the responses, I just have a few follow up questions.

Chasing-The-Light:
Maybe it's just me, as a lesbian, but I personally view gay pride as just that. Being proud of what you are. In the case of parades, I see it as an opportunity for gay people to come out and be proud to stand for your sexual preference. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I just see it as a person's opportunity to, for a little bit of time not have to worry about being judged by others and can be whoever it is they want to be.

But by flaunting it, aren't you just putting yourself out there for judgement?

thaluikhain:

You might not personally flaunt your sexuality, but your sexuality is definitely being flaunted by others.

For example, go watch a random TV show, look at the ratio between straight characters to gay characters. Also include stuff like people with parents of opposite genders.

Also, look at the ads, see how many man/woman or girl/boy pairings there are compared to ones of the same gender (depictions of lesbians designed to appeal to heterosexual males don't count, unless you want to add them to the heterosexual lists).

Them heterosexual TV people are really ramming it down our throats, but we've become accustomed to that.

I don't like that either, though. Just because heterosexual sex is used to sell stuff, doesn't make it right. I think using homosexual sex to sell stuff too, just for the sake of equality, is just as tasteless.

ReservoirAngel:

EDIT: And the "well I'm not proud of being straight" thing? I see your point, but I'd raise one key aspect: Because you're straight, you're don't have to deal with the bullshit that we have to go through. You never get people complaining en masse whenever straight characters have a romance on TV or in video games, never get people comparing you to all manner of fucked up other shit like you and zoophiles or paedophiles are just interchangeable evil-doers.

Of course gay pride parades always bring up that argument that by acting so flamboyant about our sexuality we're drawing attention to ourselves, or flaunting ourselves, or stereotyping ourselves, but I'm not going to get into discussing that unless I have to because frankly, such conversations grate on my nerves after I've had them so many damn times.

I doubt this gives any new information but hey, at least now you have a fag's opinion.

You're right. I don't have to deal with that sort of stereotype. That last point is critical though, particularly the flaunting and self-sterotyping thing. Why exactly does that conversation get on your nerves? Are you spending too much time talking to idiots (not healthy, ya know)? I assure you I'm not going to go that way...

Silvianoshei:
But by flaunting it, aren't you just putting yourself out there for judgement?

Well yeah, I suppose but that just plays into the overall message. We're here, you can judge us all you want to but we're not going away and we're not just going to sit down and be quiet because some people don't like us.

Silvianoshei:
You're right. I don't have to deal with that sort of stereotype. That last point is critical though, particularly the flaunting and self-sterotyping thing. Why exactly does that conversation get on your nerves? Are you spending too much time talking to idiots (not healthy, ya know)? I assure you I'm not going to go that way...

It gets on my nerves because it's one of those points that the people I end up arguing this with never fully understand. Yes we're stereotyping ourselves, but what they don't understand is that that's kind of the point. The entire idea of gay pride is to put ourselves out there and make it clear that we exist and we won't just be ignored or marginalised. That wouldn't work if it was just a bunch of "normal"-looking and "normal"-acting guys walking around holding hands.

To get people's attention, you need to present a spectacle. So that's what happens. We make it so it's pretty difficult NOT to notice it. So that people know it's happening.

Silvianoshei:
Thanks for the responses, I just have a few follow up questions.

[quote="Chasing-The-Light" post="528.363964.14240144"]Maybe it's just me, as a lesbian, but I personally view gay pride as just that. Being proud of what you are. In the case of parades, I see it as an opportunity for gay people to come out and be proud to stand for your sexual preference. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I just see it as a person's opportunity to, for a little bit of time not have to worry about being judged by others and can be whoever it is they want to be.

But by flaunting it, aren't you just putting yourself out there for judgement?

Not necessarily. In the sense of a parade, you might end up by the people who go to, say, protest it. But whoever you're there with you should be comfortable enough with. And if you're not there with anyone, then it's just an opportunity to be free for a day (or however long it is) and not have to care before going back to their every day life and, in some cases, back into the closet.

Silvianoshei:
I don't like that either, though. Just because heterosexual sex is used to sell stuff, doesn't make it right. I think using homosexual sex to sell stuff too, just for the sake of equality, is just as tasteless.

Well, not merely sex. If there's a family group, there will be one man and one woman, always. You could just as easily have kids trying to persuade their two mums that they shoot get an electric panda toy, or two dads discussing whether they should buy brand X or the superior cleaning product. But you don't.

Silvianoshei:
Why exactly does that conversation get on your nerves? Are you spending too much time talking to idiots (not healthy, ya know)? I assure you I'm not going to go that way...

Erm...resepctfully, everyone says that. Nobody goes into a conversation with teh disclaimer, "BTW, I'm really a homophobic bigot".

I am, on another site, a few posts further into the same thing, with someone that thinks of themselves as a reasonable, enlightened person, and it's fallen apart. I'm still going to try, but there's no way I can convince them they are being anything other than enlightened and reasonable.

I am fast to speak up when gays are bashed for some reason. On the other hand, the glittering hip trusting parades annoys the hell out of me. It is anything but dignified and doesn't help public opinion if that is the goal.

Gay pride is one thing. Flamboyant gay pride another. I honestly can't stand the latter.

Meh having a pride parade for anything is just showing off and going "look at me". Same deal with a 4th of July Parade. You can do it if you want I just think its silly. Celebrating accomplishments makes more sense to me but sure whatever do as you wish.

thaluikhain:

Well, not merely sex. If there's a family group, there will be one man and one woman, always. You could just as easily have kids trying to persuade their two mums that they shoot get an electric panda toy, or two dads discussing whether they should buy brand X or the superior cleaning product. But you don't.

Ok, but what exactly does that do? Since the vast majority of people are heterosexual, I dunno if it would make sense from a marketing standpoint.

thaluikhain:

Erm...resepctfully, everyone says that. Nobody goes into a conversation with teh disclaimer, "BTW, I'm really a homophobic bigot".

I am, on another site, a few posts further into the same thing, with someone that thinks of themselves as a reasonable, enlightened person, and it's fallen apart. I'm still going to try, but there's no way I can convince them they are being anything other than enlightened and reasonable.

Am I not being reasonable? I promise I'm just interested in the question because of my own ignorance, not because I have some secret ideological agenda. I promise. If I stop being reasonable I'll be the first to notice.

Chasing-The-Light:

Not necessarily. In the sense of a parade, you might end up by the people who go to, say, protest it. But whoever you're there with you should be comfortable enough with. And if you're not there with anyone, then it's just an opportunity to be free for a day (or however long it is) and not have to care before going back to their every day life and, in some cases, back into the closet.

THIS is what I was looking for. That makes a lot of sense.

ReservoirAngel:

It gets on my nerves because it's one of those points that the people I end up arguing this with never fully understand. Yes we're stereotyping ourselves, but what they don't understand is that that's kind of the point. The entire idea of gay pride is to put ourselves out there and make it clear that we exist and we won't just be ignored or marginalised. That wouldn't work if it was just a bunch of "normal"-looking and "normal"-acting guys walking around holding hands.

To get people's attention, you need to present a spectacle. So that's what happens. We make it so it's pretty difficult NOT to notice it. So that people know it's happening.

Ok, I sort of get it. "We exist and we wont be ignored," makes sense, but I always thought that the best way to humanize someone was to show commonality. Think about it this way: I know, not just from reading these responses, that many people now view gay "pride" parades as nothing more than a spectacle. It doesn't make people think, "wow, these people are just like me" more "Wow, these people portray themselves just like mass media does." I think it would make more sense to portray yourself as a normal human being, just with a different sexuality. A "gay rights" parade or something. But I felt while watching that pride parades promote the identity of gays as a foreign subculture more than a mainstream group. If you want to tell people you exist, wouldn't showing that you're just as normal as they are be more conducive to building a healthy coexistance?

Silvianoshei:
What exactly is gay "pride"? Is it simply mislabeled? Why would someone be proud of their sexual orientation?

Mostly it's because they're persecuted and discriminated against, it leads to wanting a way to express themselves more openly.

It's both a way to do that for oneself, and a statement towards homophobes that they do not own society. That is also relevant in other ways as it also shows the public that homophobia is not normal.

And it's also just a festival. The Amsterdam gay pride always draw well over half a million visitors. On a population of 17 million, that means one out every 34 people in the country is there.

But drive 40 kilometres from Amsterdam and you're in a place where there's debate in the Christian-dominated village council if the bookstore shouldn't be shut down for selling fantasy genre stuff that 'promotes occultism'. Not that it's legally possibly to shut down a bookstore over religious crap, but that they even debate it speaks volumes.

People have sometimes asked why there are gay pride events, when there aren't any sort of corresponding "straight pride" events. Some have even wondered why anyone would take pride in something that they weren't responsible for. And that's a good question. But the idea of pride isn't meant to treat being gay, or straight, as some kind of accomplishment on our part. Instead, taking pride in being gay is a response to the people who would want us to be anything but proud.

There are some people out there who'd like it if we were ashamed of ourselves. They'd prefer that we keep this a secret for our entire lives, or better yet, that we didn't exist at all. To them, being gay should be seen as something unmentionable and not suitable for polite conversation. And they certainly don't want us to be okay with who we are.

Taking pride in being gay serves as a direct response to the people trying to shame us into silence. It means rejecting the idea that it should be some kind of terrible secret for us to hide. So we don't hide. We have a massive public celebration of our lives. If people are going to condemn us for who we are, this is our answer to that. It's not about being proud of the fact that you just so happen to be gay. It's about being proud of living openly and without shame in a world that stands against you. It's a spirited declaration that we do exist, we're okay with being gay, and there's nothing wrong with that.

http://zinniajones.com/blog/transcripts/taking-pride-in-pride/

There's more. Honestly, Zinnia nails the point of gay pride in this article. It's not about being proud of the accomplishments of gay people, or being proud just because you're gay. It's about not feeling ashamed. It's about refusing to be shamed into silence.

Stagnant:
snip

Thank you so much for sending me this article. It was a great read.

Now I can understand the purpose of gay "pride" being a reaction to an attempt to "shame" homosexuality out of existence, and the points he makes on the whose "straight parade" thing, but what I still don't understand is the whole spectacle thing. It just seems to reinforce stereotypes.

Maybe think of it this way:
Many LGBTQ folk are basically told to be ashamed of their sexuality, and hide it, for fear of being attacked, repressed, ousted from their community, etc. This can even take the form of a common question: "Why are they flaunting their sexuality?" or another phrase: "What they do in the bedroom is their business, but not in public."

Many queer people consider their queerness to be integral to their identity. Not all of them, but many of them. So when they are told, "No, you may not express yourself that way in public", it begs the question "Why not?", which is often inadequately answered. This is one method of putting shame onto the identity, and it isn't the only one, just the one brought up in this conversation.

Pride is the way of counteracting that, coming together as a whole community to celebrate this part that is often labeled as "private" or unworthy of public spectacle. When everyone gets together, that is the way we create social change.

Is Pride as it exists, a universally good thing for all LGBTQ people? Hardly. Many are put off by some of the displays at Pride, like the nudity, leather or drag. There are plenty of queer folk who want to assimilate into the culture, and they are often the more privileged ones who are capable of doing that. For instance, while affluent white gay men have made great strides in being accepted by society (For reference, Mitch and Cam on Modern Family) many trans* people do not have that privilege yet of joining society and being accepted as who they are. They are constantly demonized as "fake women/men" and "transvestites" among others. So Pride is not a perfect institution.

So yes, commonality is something some people want, but I think part of the point of Pride is that it is supposed to upset our delicate sensibilities with its exaggerated displays, and hopefully make us think a little deeper about why it upsets us. What is the actual reason some activity is "private?"

I don't know the history of Pride so much, and I don't know the future either. I'd be surprised if it didn't go through many more changes in future years, but there's another point to be made here: it's FUN. I don't know anyone who's part of Pride who takes it super seriously. It's supposed to be over-the-top, extravagant and ridiculous.

TL;DR
Pride as a general term is because it's the opposite of shame. Displays at parades because the goal of certain groups may not be to assimilate with a society that, well, hates them. Their goal might be change.

Silvianoshei:
Hi to all my anthropologically enlightened escapists (and trolls)

My question is a simple one. I am a straight male, and witnessed a "gay pride" parade recently. I was utterly perplexed. I am not "proud" of being heterosexual, and I'm rather shy about parading (no pun intended) my preferential sexual activity. What exactly is gay "pride"? Is it simply mislabeled? Why would someone be proud of their sexual orientation?

I won't say "don't flame me etc." (or did I just say that?), but please keep the discussion serious and courteous.

If you wanna watch MovieBob's "Correctitude" video first, that would be helpful.

The thing though is that ever since it was considered immoral(which is pretty much since the introduction of Christanity) gay people have been told to be ashamed of being gay and that they shouldn't exist, this is them merely building up confidence in its members that it's ok to be gay. That's why they're doing such things. All groups had this happened to them when they got their rights and were recognized as equal.

Zaleznikel:

Pride as a general term is because it's the opposite of shame. Displays at parades because the goal of certain groups may not be to assimilate with a society that, well, hates them. Their goal might be change.

I actually read your whole post, lol. As to the why not, it's much as you said in your 4th paragraph: drag and stuff is...interesting, but the whole nudity and leather thing is more uncomfortable. I get that ya'll want to go over the top and have fun. Cool. but like Mardi Gras, I think that some standards decency should be observed...70% of the parade I saw was fine (even cool), but the other 30% made me wish certain people had more clothes on...

Also, as a general comment not specifically related to your post:

I don't think it's fair to homogenize American society as a one ruled by the ideology of the religous right. There are plenty of people, me included, who don't have any problem with gay people. Most people don't give a damn whether you are gay or not. The number of people who care is shrinking, possibly in proportion to old people dying.

Let's not bill society as a monolith, ESPECIALLY Amercian society, because I can guarantee there is no place on the planet that is more varied and diverse in terms of thought, color, and creed. In my opinion, that's why we have some of the best universities on the planet but one of the worst public school systems (attempts to corral education by age rather than merit, everyone's a winner, etc).

Silvianoshei:
Ok, but what exactly does that do? Since the vast majority of people are heterosexual, I dunno if it would make sense from a marketing standpoint.

In of itself, it's not really an issue, yeah, but it reflects a general trend of not acknowledging the existence of homosexuality.

Silvianoshei:
Am I not being reasonable? I promise I'm just interested in the question because of my own ignorance, not because I have some secret ideological agenda. I promise. If I stop being reasonable I'll be the first to notice.

I'm not saying that you are being unreasonable, merely that there's no reason to believe a person claiming not to be, and they'll be the last, not the first, to notice if they are being unreasonable.

Silvianoshei:
I don't think it's fair to homogenize American society as a one ruled by the ideology of the religous right. There are plenty of people, me included, who don't have any problem with gay people. Most people don't give a damn whether you are gay or not. The number of people who care is shrinking, possibly in proportion to old people dying.

Let's not bill society as a monolith, ESPECIALLY Amercian society, because I can guarantee there is no place on the planet that is more varied and diverse in terms of thought, color, and creed. In my opinion, that's why we have some of the best universities on the planet but one of the worst public school systems (attempts to corral education by age rather than merit, everyone's a winner, etc).

Not a USian, but I'm not certain about that.

There are an awful lot of people who might support homosexuals, "but". Or who would claim to, but only in the abscence of anyone who does not.

People are obliged to play lip service to believing in inequality, but not much more than that.

Well the opposite of pride is shame. So "gay pride" is about not being ashamed of being gay. Pretty simple.

thaluikhain:
I'm not saying that you are being unreasonable, merely that there's no reason to believe a person claiming not to be, and they'll be the last, not the first, to notice if they are being unreasonable.

I'm pretty self-aware. Part of my education was the ettiquite of disagreement, which should probably be apart of everyone education if the internet is any indication...

thaluikhain:

Not a USian, but I'm not certain about that.

There are an awful lot of people who might support homosexuals, "but". Or who would claim to, but only in the abscence of anyone who does not.

People are obliged to play lip service to believing in inequality, but not much more than that.

It's like that in the population centers. But OT: I don't doubt that there are people who only pay equality lip-service. Things are changing though, the little hidey hole that the "silent majority" (i.e. WASPs) has hid in since the 1980s is getting smaller by the day. There are realities that they and their children will have to face. Homosexuality, race/ethnicity, and a critical identity revolution. We are turning into a different people...and I think that much of the societal assaults on homosexuality are simply an expression of reactionary thought. Every generation thinks that they are the ones who will bring the change that will solve the worlds problems. We become more globalized and accepting of others, even as we forget the manners and ettiquite that we were taught as children, as we don the +9000 robe of anonymity granted by the internet overlords. My question is how much longer will we need this concept of "gay pride" until mainstream culture accepts the mundaneity of their existence? Or will they always remain a foreign subculture?

Silvianoshei:
Hi to all my anthropologically enlightened escapists (and trolls)

My question is a simple one. I am a straight male, and witnessed a "gay pride" parade recently. I was utterly perplexed. I am not "proud" of being heterosexual, and I'm rather shy about parading (no pun intended) my preferential sexual activity. What exactly is gay "pride"? Is it simply mislabeled? Why would someone be proud of their sexual orientation?

I won't say "don't flame me etc." (or did I just say that?), but please keep the discussion serious and courteous.

If you wanna watch MovieBob's "Correctitude" video first, that would be helpful.

Gay Pride, as I understand it from an outsider's perspective, is less about being proud of simply being gay, and more about taking pride in living openly as a gay person in a society where that is still a pretty hefty disadvantage in many places; it's about celebrating the "out and proud" concept, and the personal courage that committing to that concept requires.

The flamboyance involved in some of such parades is, I believe, essentially a middle-finger to the annoying type of wanker who transforms into a social conservative the moment the topic turns to homosexuality("I don't mind 'the gays'," they say "but I don't want to see them kissing each other in front of me"), into which it has evolved from the original purpose of simply ensuring that people took notice, that they didn't have the choice to turn away and ignore the core message.

I'm sure I'll be corrected if I've cocked anything up :)

Silvianoshei:
Ok, I sort of get it. "We exist and we wont be ignored," makes sense, but I always thought that the best way to humanize someone was to show commonality. Think about it this way: I know, not just from reading these responses, that many people now view gay "pride" parades as nothing more than a spectacle. It doesn't make people think, "wow, these people are just like me" more "Wow, these people portray themselves just like mass media does." I think it would make more sense to portray yourself as a normal human being, just with a different sexuality. A "gay rights" parade or something. But I felt while watching that pride parades promote the identity of gays as a foreign subculture more than a mainstream group. If you want to tell people you exist, wouldn't showing that you're just as normal as they are be more conducive to building a healthy coexistance?

It is a parade after all so I imagine that it being a spectacle is part of the idea. The pipers in the Paddy's Day parades I am sure all wear kilts. That probably seems fairly normal, a piper in a kilt, despite the fact that it is not at all normal attire over most (if not all) of the places the particular fashion comes from. And men in "skirts" is probably not very normal in most places outside pride parades. "But Paddy's Day is a celebration!" I can almost hear someone responding... well perhaps one might be mistaken in thinking that Gay Pride parades are really more political events than celebrations. I can not say that I have ever been to a pride parade but from what I have seen the celebratory aspect is probably the most prominent while the political aspect is perhaps just an underlying motivation. Why would I want to be solemn and tragic every year when I could be having fun and partying to celebrate the advancements and accomplishments that affect my life?

Silvianoshei:
I'm pretty self-aware. Part of my education was the ettiquite of disagreement, which should probably be apart of everyone education if the internet is any indication...

Ah, but you would say that anyway. Seriously, though, the thread has hit 28 posts and you've not turned into into an attack on homosexuality, that's what gives support to your claim. Many, many people would have done so before the thread got half this long.

Silvianoshei:
It's like that in the population centers. But OT: I don't doubt that there are people who only pay equality lip-service. Things are changing though, the little hidey hole that the "silent majority" (i.e. WASPs) has hid in since the 1980s is getting smaller by the day. There are realities that they and their children will have to face. Homosexuality, race/ethnicity, and a critical identity revolution. We are turning into a different people...and I think that much of the societal assaults on homosexuality are simply an expression of reactionary thought. Every generation thinks that they are the ones who will bring the change that will solve the worlds problems. We become more globalized and accepting of others, even as we forget the manners and ettiquite that we were taught as children, as we don the +9000 robe of anonymity granted by the internet overlords. My question is how much longer will we need this concept of "gay pride" until mainstream culture accepts the mundaneity of their existence? Or will they always remain a foreign subculture?

I dunno...I'm rubbish at predicting the future, but there's no reason (in theory) that we couldn't have a massive backlash and throw away all our hard fought progress.

An economic crisis and a scramble for scapegoats, for example, could make a mess of things. Or a decline in the US's military, could be blamed on the end of DADT by people wanting to avoid dealing with reality after a shock to national pride.

Silvianoshei:
Ok, I sort of get it. "We exist and we wont be ignored," makes sense, but I always thought that the best way to humanize someone was to show commonality. Think about it this way: I know, not just from reading these responses, that many people now view gay "pride" parades as nothing more than a spectacle. It doesn't make people think, "wow, these people are just like me" more "Wow, these people portray themselves just like mass media does." I think it would make more sense to portray yourself as a normal human being, just with a different sexuality. A "gay rights" parade or something. But I felt while watching that pride parades promote the identity of gays as a foreign subculture more than a mainstream group. If you want to tell people you exist, wouldn't showing that you're just as normal as they are be more conducive to building a healthy coexistance?

We should, and we do pretty much every other day of the year. Almost all of us (camp guys not entirely withstanding) do present ourselves as being just like everyone else all year round, because we are just like everyone else. But Gay Pride is just one of those occasions where we can really just go "okay, fuck it" and go all-out. To hell with what the haters and bigots will say.

And really, let's be the honest. The kind of people that will stereotype all gay people by what Gay Pride does are often the kind of people that wouldn't like us no matter what we do, so fuck those guys.

thaluikhain:
I dunno...I'm rubbish at predicting the future, but there's no reason (in theory) that we couldn't have a massive backlash and throw away all our hard fought progress.

An economic crisis and a scramble for scapegoats, for example, could make a mess of things. Or a decline in the US's military, could be blamed on the end of DADT by people wanting to avoid dealing with reality after a shock to national pride.

I don't have much faith in the overall intelligence of people nowadays but even I refuse to believe anywhere near a majority of people would actually blame gay people for a bad economic situation.

ReservoirAngel:

thaluikhain:
I dunno...I'm rubbish at predicting the future, but there's no reason (in theory) that we couldn't have a massive backlash and throw away all our hard fought progress.

An economic crisis and a scramble for scapegoats, for example, could make a mess of things. Or a decline in the US's military, could be blamed on the end of DADT by people wanting to avoid dealing with reality after a shock to national pride.

I don't have much faith in the overall intelligence of people nowadays but even I refuse to believe anywhere near a majority of people would actually blame gay people for a bad economic situation.

There is historic precedent for that sort of thing. I don't think it'd require a majority, though, just a lot of people in favour, and a lot people against opposing it very quietly.

Silvianoshei:
Now I can understand the purpose of gay "pride" being a reaction to an attempt to "shame" homosexuality out of existence, and the points he[1] makes on the whose "straight parade" thing, but what I still don't understand is the whole spectacle thing. It just seems to reinforce stereotypes.

I remember getting on a bus after the last London Gay Pride parade, and some girls who had evidently taken part were also on the bus travelling home after the event. They were both "larger" ladies, and were stripped to the waist down to their bras save for some face/body paint and various stickers on their skin with slogans like "We're here and queer", "Pride 2011" and so on. I remember thinking that if the Pride events were meant to be any kind of Public Relations exercise, then they were failing dismally, pretty much for all the reasons you gave: they emphasise otherness rather than shared ground, a lot of it seems to operate on shock value, it's gratuitiously over-sexualised to the point of fetishism, and so on.

Anyway, I had a lot of questions and a couple of months back I posted them on this forum, and a few members were very helpful in setting me straight (no pun intended). The key message that stuck with me is that I was getting too hung-up on the name of the event and the concept of "pride", and my preconceptions of whose benefit it was for. To summarise: Pride parades are for the benefit of the LGB participants; any awareness-raising is a very secondary consideration. One poster suggested I thought of it instead as a Gay Pride Demonstration, which cleared up any confusion I had about the intent or the "problems" with image.

In summary, I still feel that Pride parades risk providing a bit of an "own goal" for the advancement of an inclusive society where sexuality isn't an issue - in much the same way that the Black Panthers provide a convenient bogeyman for white racists to point at and say "Look, they're not like us at all! They even admit it!". But hell, if people want to have a parade, that's their business and they're fully entitled to it.

[1] Careful with the pronouns, can of worms and all that. On the subject of public image, I think Zinnia Jones is one of the worst spokespeople the trans community could ask for, his/her simultaneously smug and robotic style of speaking grates on my nerves and obliterates the content of anything (s)he's trying to say.

Why would someone be proud of their sexual orientation?

Gay pride wouldn't go ahead if there weren't still people in the world who hated others because of their sexual orientation. It's about being proud of "who you are" - heterosexual people have no reason to stage a pride event because no one goes around attacking people for being straight, and young straight people don't kill themselves for their sexuality.

Zaleznikel:
it's FUN.

As a bisexual with LGBT friends who is concerned about equality matters... Fun is definitely the main reason that I go to Pride.

And I've been to pride with bi, gay and straight people. We all have fun. Queer culture may not be to everyone's tastes (I'm not exactly involved with it myself) but having a sunny day surrounded by bright colours and Kylie Minogue and cute little hotpants with a crowd of cheerful people is by all means not necessarily a bad thing.

Silvianoshei:
If you want to tell people you exist, wouldn't showing that you're just as normal as they are be more conducive to building a healthy coexistance?

I've only been to London Pride so I can't speak for them all, but only some of the parade's like that. A good portion of it is upstanding LBG members of society like soldiers and nurses respectfully parading in formation. There's the element of "Look, we're normal people contributing to society just like you!" in it as well.

I'm bisexual but don't see much in gay pride parades myself. Still, as others have said, they find it fun. And it's a good way to show solidarity when there are still plenty of closed-minded people who attack and scorn LGBT individuals.

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