by Admin on June 24th, 2010
filed under Wide-Eyed and Musing
I’m not proud to be gay. I’m not ashamed to be gay. I’m just gay. Queerer than a basket of rainbow colored cocks, sure, but it’s not an achievement. It’s not a quality to be admired. I didn’t have to work hard to be gay. It’s just…simply not something to be proud of.
Back in the day, gay pride used to mean visibility. It meant coming out. Bringing gay rights to the national stage. Now it means…what? I don’t know. Not eating for a week before the parade, getting fucked up (and hopefully getting fucked) among a ton of other like minded gay folk. All while wearing the brightest, tightest, shortest whatever floats your boat, and maybe a couple pasties.
I can hit the clubs any other weekend. And in a dwindling economy even the lavishness of the parades seems limited in scope to a marching meat market. It’s been asked before, but I think it bears repeating: is Pride passé?
I never used to have mixed feelings about Pride, but a lot of people I’ve talked to this year seem to be plagued with a similar sense of ambivalence. Part of it has to do with the sheer amount of drama that tends to come with Prides. Let’s face it, we gays are dramatic. Some thrive on it. Others get dragged into it. But with that many gay people in one place there’s just a huge vortex of drama that’s going to suck you in no matter what you do. If gay drama was measured on the Richter scale, big city Prides like Chicago’s would be about a 9.5. It’s the Big One. And Market Days is the after shock.
Aside from that, though, I think there’s just a sense of been-there-done-that when it comes to Pride for a lot of people. It’s crowded, the lines are long, and you’re bound to run into someone you don’t want to see. Why bother?
Well if you’re like me…you know why.
First of all, it can be a hell of a lot of fun with the right group of friends. Daytime drinking? Fun in the sun? Cuties with real big ol’ ghetto booties? Heck yeah! Count me in! No one parties like the gays. We know how to have a good time, drop our worries for a weekend and just let it all hang out…sometimes literally.
But I’ll take it one step farther. Even though Pride is not as politically charged as it was in the 70s, I still think it has value. I remember when going to Pride used to fill me with a sense of optimism. I’d feel like I belonged to something. And that’s an important feeling to have in a community and culture, especially for those who are newly out.
And just because I don’t always get that feeling now doesn’t mean that Pride’s not for me. I still gush when I see the PFLAG parents marching. And I laugh my ass off when half naked twinks take pictures making out in front of the anti-gay protesters that always show up. There’s just a sense of togetherness and joy that pervades on that day that isn’t always present in the community. It’s a time of laughter and expression. A time for dancing and encouragement. It may not be about letting the world know you’re proud to be gay, but just that you are gay, and that it can mean belonging to something larger than yourself.
I understand the criticisms of Pride about the blatant sexuality. That it emphasizes otherness. That it shows us on our worst behavior. Those are all valid points. But who cares? Pride’s a celebration, more like Mardi Gras than anything. It’s positive reinforcement for a culture still struggling for our rights. Pride does have a place, and it’s something worth participating in no matter how old or young you are or how many times you’ve been-there-done-that.
Pride isn’t passé, and you aren’t either.
So everyone have fun this weekend. Be safe. Be wild. Be proud, even, if that’s really what you’re feeling. And as always…Get Some!