Monday, June 27, 2011

Gay Pride Month

If your only experience with gay people is from watching Will and Grace or cheering for the cute gay kid on Glee, you might not want to read this.  I don't want to shatter anyone's fairy tale of how nice, polite and always cheerful we gays are. Because we aren't.

Last Friday the New York legislature passed a law recognizing marriage equality.  It was then signed by Governor Cuomo and takes effect July 24.   This is great news for the people of New York and LGBT people everywhere.   What made this particularly powerful is that it came at the beginning of Pride Weekend in New York, celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Something like Marriage Equality has the power to unite the LGBT community the way Pride parades and festivities used to do.

That's right, I said used to do.  Don't get me wrong, I don't believe there is anything wrong with having Pride celebrations, but I do think they're a bit hypocritical.  We come together under the colors of the rainbow to stand united for equal rights and common basic decency, but after the parades we go back to our lives of separateness and isolation within our own community.  We go back to being black, white, twinks, gym bunnies, fit, overweight,  bears, cubs, drag queens, leather daddies, chicken hawks,  hustlers, trolls, and dykes.

Of course each subgroup has it's own community, but as we section off and label each other, we become further and further apart.  Pride is supposed to bring us together. Not just for one day or one month. How about all the time?  We come together when we're fighting for our rights, or fighting for a cure to a deadly disease.  I have to believe it's possible for us to stop judging each other and finding what makes us different, and start looking for the similarities in each of us.

Can we live in a world where the gym bunny can have a conversation with a troll in the produce section of Kroger?  Where we don't look away from each other for fear that eye contact will obligate us to a quickie in the men's room?  Can't we just connect as human beings?

Legislature can give us all the rights we want, but if we can't treat each other kindly and with respect, do we really deserve them?


  1. As a white, hetero, female wife/mother/daughter/sister, liberal agnostic (I'm sure I forgot something!) ANY label besides 'human' divides more than unites. There's always someone outside the 'us.'

    Until we get past the arbitrary labels, and the not-so-arbitrary race/gender, and look for commonalities instead of divisions, the separateness will continue.

    Like you, I yearn for 'Can't we just connect as human beings?'

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Well said. I was talking to a friend who was at Gay Pride New York this year and after viewing some of the parade pictures I had to ask him about it. As a married mother, I would love to take my son to Pride to celebrate all of his wonderful Uncles. Unfortunately though, there seemed to be a lot of really underdressed men flaunting their stuff- not something I think really indicates "Pride" or family for that matter. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't take him to Mardis Gras either. I would love to see Pride parades develop into something that didn't perpetuate so many stereotypes- but what do I know? Am I totally out of line by suggesting that?

  3. Anonymous,

    I don't think you're out of line at all. I respect everyone's right to be different, but it is ironic that we have a parade celebrating putting an end to gay stereotypes by dressing up as our favorite gay stereotypes. I suspect the majority of us gays are the regular garden variety boring ones.