stageright…stageleft


happy pride
June 23, 2006, 8:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

well it’s officially pride in the twin cities. so before i get cynical, here’s wishing a wonderful pride weekend to all my friends out there in the blogosphere. the above picture is taken from kelly’s blog
rambling along in life with a stern point of view. he has a wonderful eloquent post on pride, and i urge you all to check it out. he’s not a cynical as i am about the whole thing

i have a love/hate relationship with pride and always have a bit of a mixed feeling in my belly regarding the festivities.

while i know how lucky i am to be a gay man (and wouldn’t trade it) in today’s day and age, and i’m very humbled by what our older brothers and sisters have gone through to make life a little better for future generation, i’m reminded about how far we have yet to go. i’m also lucky that i’m able to work for a very forward-thinking company, and i’m completely and totally out in all facets of my life. i love that minneapolis/st. paul is so open and welcoming. and i’m lucky that my mother is accepting (in her way, it’s still not something we talk about on a frequent basis, but it cuold be alot worse).

the world seems to me to be spinning wildly out of control. environmentally, socially and most importantly, from a human perspective; it’s just not a world i understand. pride, for better or worse, also seems to be a bit out of control. the constant debate on gay marriage just offends me on every level and it scares me that the opposing side seems to be gaining speed. i just fundamentally don’t understand why this is such a big thing. arnt’ glbt entitled to the same thing as our non-glbt friends and family?

pride is a crucial component in moving glbt issues to the public eye. but the party atmosphere of pride repesents only one aspect of life. where are all the glbt folks the other 51 weeks of the year? where are we when it’s time to maintain visibility and being vocal when it comes to taking a stand politically? where are we in every day life, are we all out as much as possible? are we standing by and supporting each other (or are we tearing each other down and building walls in our own community)?

i absolutely believe in the power of pride and would never question our communities highlighting glbt life during the festivies. but are we showing the right face to the world when we march in the parade, or peruse the booths in the park? i’m all for personal expression (god knows i’m about my personal expression), but are wearing assless chaps or a 8′ strap on phallas while marching down the street really helping our cause? a strong sense of sexuality is a big part of who we are as glbt people (natch, human people), but there is a time and a place – on the street corner is not the place in my opinion. that said, i have no problem with public displays of affection, but i don’t need to see someone getting a blowjob on the corner of 9th & hennipen. in a bar – fine if you must, children aren’t gonna be in a bar.

like a moth to a flame, the media that covers pride is going to gravitate to the more gratuitous images from the parade and the park – shots of hunky guys in leather gyrating with each other on a float, or the queens in feathers and sequins spraying each other with whipped creme (and lapping it off each other) is just not good p.r. for the glbt world. again, there is a time and a place – i can appreciate a hot guy in leather (trust me), and i love a good show – but does flaunting the sexual aspect of gay life really help our cause.

we all know that being gay is not about sex. much of the straight world still sees us as sex starved perverts (their words) and love nothing more than pointing to pride to prove their theory. now sex is awesome (and i’ve been called a pervert a time or two – in a good way ), but there is more to me about being gay than about sex.

of course there are good things about pride as well – growing up, seeing (sneaking reads of the local paper covering it) pride made me feel like i wasn’t wrong, it gave me hope that i could be part of a community – part of a group of people just like me. of course, it’s not quite the same world today as it was 20 years ago, but i’m sure not ever gay teen is out… hopefully seeing pride on the local news helps them feel less alone.
and then there are the wonderful social organizations that are doing amazing work and really only get the kudo’s they deserver during the parade. there is still something amazing (and still sends chills down my back today) about seeing everyone stand as the p/flag group marches by.
but then again, pride has become increasingly commercialized – it’s not just about the gay organizations, today it seems that every crafter wants to sell their cheaply made jewelry to us next to every big box corporate store trying to woe us and our (apparently) considerable disposable income. it’s getting kinda tacky.
::sigh::, it’s time to remember my first pride… the first time i saw two men completely at ease with who they were and their relationship – walking hand in hand down a street on the way to the parade. that’s what pride should be if you ask me. the parties are great, the over-the-top’ness of it all is a fun diversion, but a couple, showing pride in who they are in public – putting a face to us all for middle-america. that’s what pride is for me.
so to all my friends around the country celebrating who we are, i raise a glass in your honor. now, don’t forget to celebrate who we are every other day of the year.
peace.

music heard during the writing of this post:

faster kill pussycat / paul oakenfeld & brittney murphy
pulsatron / siobahn fahey
devil inside / utada
red blooded woman / kylie
ooh la la / goldfrapp
whitehorse / wonderland avenue
chains of love / erasure
promiscuous / nelly furtado & timabaland
girlfriend / queen pen & me’shell ndegeo’cello

they can’t take that away from me / robbie williams & rupert everett
in or out / ani difranco
bring me some water – acoustic / melissa ethridge
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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i am finally getting my head out of my ass for a few minutes to see what you are up to
this is some fine writing fo’ sho’
and i will have to send you the editorial i just wrote for a ny paper on exactly this.
yours is far less cranky than mine
love you

Comment by j

Thanks for posting the picture and very nice post..I understand what you are saying…things are different from city to city and here in Richmond, VA…capital of the south…we no longer have a Pride celebration…we have lazy gays here (i being one of them)…who would rather buzz up to DC or zoom off to some other city, because this city affords them the ability to have a low cost of living and high paying jobs…which means, c-ya later Richmond on the weekends…but, with the attention the photo has gotten, It does give me a little faith in our community as a whole…there is good and there is bad in each segment of our country and thats what makes us a great country to live in…well, most of the time…Happy Pride and have a great weekend…

Comment by Kelly




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