For too long I’ve thought Gay Pride to be an affirming retreat into one of our nation’s most accepting communities. The festival and parade enticingly promise a wide range of opportunities that appeal to every individual within this community on an incomprehensible number of levels.
But is this community accepting? Is this event truly made to bring us closer together? Is it here to offer a sustaining message to our youth and our gays?
To examine this, let us first define what pride is and where it comes from. Pride is best defined as: a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. This suggests to us that to be proud of something, of anything, it requires a choice, an initiative, or an accomplishment of some sort.
This is where perhaps the most blatant fallacy of logic reveals itself. After all, the LGBT community has been insisting for a great while that we are “born this way”. What does that mean, exactly? To me, it suggests that being gay is grounded in our basic biology. If homosexuality is a biological instantiation that manifests itself through sexual proclivity, that would imply that it is something we have ZERO control over. So, by this same standard of fact, it would make just as much sense to anyone who supports Gay Pride to host a pride event for those of us who have blue eyes as opposed to brown. Or perhaps we need a festival that celebrates being short rather than tall.
Now, one might say, “How dare you?! You just hate gays! For you to say that we should not be proud of who we are is to promote hatred for who we are!” Absolutely not! I’m not saying at all that we should be aghast at ourselves for being gay. I’m certainly not saying that we should try to STOP being gay any more than straight people need to stop being straight.
What I am saying is that perhaps everyone may want to step back to ask himself what defines the difference between WHAT we are and WHO we are. WHO we are is defined by the choices we make, how we interact with the individuals around us and how we respond to our environment. WHAT we are can be boiled down to basic biology. Since being gay is WHAT we are rather than who, it is absolutely nothing to be proud of at all.
Now perhaps one may contest that gay pride is more than the literal sense of the word “pride”. You might think to yourself, “It’s also a protest! It’s about going there to stand up against oppression and advocate for equality!” But is it?
Sometimes I look at a homosexual – the rainbow swathed, cosmetic-covered fellow in his high-heeled shoes – and wonder what the devil his bloody reason is for attending pride. The event organizers never seem interested in inculcating a specific reason behind Gay Pride. Everyone just ASSUMES that we go to pride to remember persecution, but there is little to no evidence to suggest that. So, what can their reason possibly be?
This reason is largely self-evident to any who do not identify as LGBT. I once dragged along a friend of mine who was not by any means gay. Upon our arrival, he became instantly appalled at the wretched, provocative displays so often seen in Pride events. The nudity, the sexual attire, and the public wearing of sex toys left him disgusted and queasy.
Not long into it, he pulled me aside and demanded, “Why not just take me to have my eyes burned out with a hot poker? Why does everyone here feel the need to advertise what they do in their bedrooms and slap me in the eyeballs uninvited? This is NOT how normal people behave.”
It struck me then that we are either mistaken or deluding ourselves when we claim that pride is about “remembering persecution.” From what I see, Pride does nothing of the sort. I’ve even often thought to myself that the greatest constituent that defines the identity of the LGBT community is debauchery. Gay Pride – arguably the most significant manifestation of LGBT values – is a case in point, here.
In short, Pride is little more to most than an excuse to prance about sluttishly in highly suggestive attire as they “check out” the others who came to do that as well – that and watch the commercially endorsed displays of the very same thing. Perhaps a few of us go for the networking, commercial opportunity, or even just to check out the vendors! But ask yourself – would you really do any of those things in a jockstrap with a plug up your ass?
This brings me to my final consideration. What has prompted such a change in this community’s priorities? Why does this community no longer think it prudent to use this integral occasion to further a sustaining message to its own members?
Here’s a theory… Perhaps the first message of pride is lost on its members because deep down we all know that despite what the leftist intransigents insist, homophobia is by no means ubiquitous. The original argument on which the validity of Gay Pride was predicated is no longer tenable.
Now you may think, “Well that’s not true! Gays battle against oppression with each day! Our existence is questioned even by those we love every minute!” You may think so, and yet…our actions speak louder than our self-proclaimed thoughts or values. We can tell ourselves this same thing at every available opportunity, but when it comes time to prove our suppositions to ourselves and our fellow gays on the most readily available political platform… Few actually do.
I truly, truly wish that I would see more people meditate very deeply on WHY it is they wish to go. Is it to fight for “acceptance”? Is it to prove to the world that we are (for lack of a better word) normal? Or might it be just because we’re looking for fun? Might it be because it is the only day or two out of the year that we get to publicly flaunt an excess of skin without getting strange looks?
As the “Pride Month” of 2018 closes, I’d like to see more people think about why and how it is that this movement could undergo such a dismal transformation. Let’s stop trying to validate our existence with a political platform and start trying to prove our potential for harmony within the world, minority or not.