GHHD 2014

So the GHHDs1 are fast approaching. Pride is just around the corner. It was around this time a year ago that it dawned my dumb as that I was in love with a man, aka The Pup. He was in NY and I was in SF. So Pride has a sort of an additional meaning for me now. hehehe 

It was also the time when the shameful Prop 8 was thrown out in California. Pride in California took on an additional meaning as a result. I think this year’s Pride will be equally significant as every single state in the Union has either had rulings that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional or currently have lawsuits working thru the courts to that end. I think it is safe to say that the tide has turned in the fight. It isn’t over but it is no longer an uphill battle IMO. We still have a hill to climb in the fight for equality for our transgendered brethren.2 

The Pup and I are headed down to Phoenix the week prior. I get to meet his parents for the  first time. I’m not at all nervous as I have him so I’m cool. He is looking forward to the trip. It will be his first time back since the move to SF. We’ll be back in time for Pride here. Phoenix celebrates their Pride much later. I’m sure due to the extreme heat in the summer months. Anyway, we don’t have anything major planned. I’m sure we’ll go to the parade and the fair for a bit.
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And right on cue, the whole Pride-bashing brigade is in full swing. It happens every year now and frankly I’m sick of it. I’ve tried to gently educate folks over the years but I’m over the entitled self-serving attitudes. If you don’t like it, don’t go. But, shut your pie hole about trying to say no one else deserves or benefits from it. If you don’t think we need pride anymore than I encourage you to hop over and read this. When these attitudes and problems are no longer prevalent across America then I might agree with you. The article is a few months old but still happened recently. And just because YOU don’t need or appreciate Pride anymore doesn’t make it any less relevant or needed.

Why do we need to celebrate Pride, the straights don’t have a Pride day?  Well, let me tell you why. We don’t have Pride to show we are proud of being gay. We celebrate to show we can walk down the street w/o persecution or attack. We celebrate the hard-earned freedoms we’ve fought for in the last 3 decades. We celebrate our ability to be treated as an equal. There may come a day when we don’t need Pride but we are most definitely not there yet. Until we secure freedoms in every state for us as well as our Trans brethren the fight is not over.

Pride has become a corporate sell-out. And how exactly are they expected to put on such events when the community no longer gives money? Those corporate donors you whine about are floating (pun intended) the costs so we can have an event. If you don’t like that then I strongly encourage you to start donating monies to help offset the costs. Providing even the basics is not cheap.

“Those” people don’t represent me. That may be true but many of those people are the reason you have the rights you have today. They may not represent you personally but they are part of our community whether you deem them worthy or not. And frankly, if you would like to see more diversity in our represented numbers then you should step up and help. Have a float, go with a group, or walk with banners. Don’t not participate in any way and then sit back and whine about being under represented. Even better, next time look out across the crowd and see all the less colorful people enjoying the show. They do represent us because they are us. The people in the parade are not the only representation of us.

Too many straights are coming and ruining it for us. Yeah you are right. Shame on all those straight people for showing up in solidarity and supporting us. How dare they invade OUR event. I meant they could go just back to hating us, bashing us, or tying us to a fence in the cold to die. I mean it just boggles the mind that as we move into being mainstream that the straight community might want to partake in our events. I find this excuse the most insulting and arrogant of all of them. We’ve fought inequality for how many decades and now that we are finally on the road to achieving it you are mad that the straight community is embracing our events? How very selfish and hypocritical.

There are too much drinking and drugs. And this one is true but it is also not new. This has always been an issue. If you think the fair sells too much booze then you should volunteer or go to the community meetings about Pride. Reach out to your community members that run the event and give feedback. As for the drugs, it is a much larger systemic problem and has never been just during Pride. See a pattern forming here? Get involved. Don’t complain and do nothing, otherwise you are part of the problem, not the solution.

We have come a long way, not doubt, but we are far from equal. The story I linked to above is one example of thousands. Having been in a similar situation in my youth I still remember my first Pride. It was so affirming and empowering. It made me realize I was not alone. I would never deny that to a single person. And until we secure the same equality for our Trans brethren, the fight is not over.

Indifference is not a reason to stop having Pride. And because you may no longer need or want it does not mean it has no more value. You do not get the right to whine and complain and then do nothing. Or I should say you have the right to complain but your words are hollow and meaningless. If Pride is just not for you, that is perfectly fine, but don’t bash it simply because of that.

“Those” people are the ones who are still fighting to put on these events. They are the ones working their asses off so it will happen. They are the ones bouncing on floats to put on a show and help draw crowds. When you begin to step up and make a difference, then your opinion will matter. Many of us have fought so hard for so long to just be accepted, we are comfortable fitting in and not drawing attention. I get it and support it. But that does not equate to doing away with any and everything that might draw attention to us. Nor does it mean that everyone wants to confirm and ‘fit in’.

We need to practice what we preach and be tolerant of others. We need to step out of our indifference and be accounted for if we want to affect change within our community. Most of all, we need to stop with the idea that if it doesn’t benefit me directly then it isn’t worthwhile and should be done away with.

I hope that you have a safe and happy Pride.

  1. Gay High Holy Day []
  2. I have a few more thoughts on the increasing internal squabble about certain phrases later []

6 thoughts on “GHHD 2014”

  1. You’re the one missing the point. The Pride Parades of today are NOTHING like the original parades. I’ve personally marched in two San Francisco Pride Parades, but now I have nothing nice to say about the parade. I’m absolutely infuriated as a long time and very active member of the San Francisco gay community they are honoring someone like Bradley Manning.

    1. I gather from your comment you are conflating the idea of Manning as the GM and Pride itself, but let me ask to be clear. Are you unhappy with the decision in general or saying that because of the decision Pride is now not worthwhile? I’d like to know before giving you a reply.

      1. I’m just using that as one example. No matter what I say, you’re going to jump all over me………BUT, I started attending the parades in the 70’s and the mood seems to have changed from gay pride to a gay freak show. I know, I know, time marches on and things change. I’m just saying the parades today don’t seem to help the image of the gay community as much as hurt it.

        Think of it like a Homecoming Queen who stayed too long at the dance; she started the evening as a nice girl, but now she’s just a tired old whore.

        NOTE: All opinions stated are my own and I realize I’m substantially older than you and my views may sound like the whines of an old man, but because of my advanced years I believe my views hold merit. (It would be a lot easier if I could just send you back 30 years in a time machine so you could understand that in this particular case, they really were the GOOD OLD DAYS.)

        1. To your reply in general, I too am not happy with the MS Manning being this year’s Pride Grand Marshal. I felt it sent a conflicting message and further blurs the line between the failed ethics of all involved. But that one act does not overshadow Pride as an event or as a benefit to us as a whole. As to ‘jumping all over you’, not really my style even if I disagree.

          I did find it interesting that you referred to Pride as a ‘freak show.’ How many people still refer to us as freaks even today? I find that statement hard to swallow. For lack of a better description you sound intolerant of anyone within our umbrella who falls outside your scope of “normal.” I’d ask, how is that in any way helpful. I would add here no one needs to conform to deserve equality under the law. Maybe I’m reading more into it than you meant but out of your whole rant that was the one part I found upsetting.

          I’d dare to say you are more upset with how we as a society in general are moving in a dangerous direction. The latter affects us and our celebrations as well. We are deftly moving into an age where truth is defined by how many times it can be repeated vs facts. We are ever more indifferent to anything outside of our own selfish word view. Everything gets conflated into you are either with me or against me, there is no grey area. And so few folks even consider the idea of what it means to be a good citizen. Our dumbing down is eating away at us as humans, not as gays.

          But back to the point, Pride does have it’s issues, I’m not disputing that, never have. But if you do nothing to help/change the problems, complaining is pointless. It is OK to have an opinion and even voice it but don’t be surprised when people value it less because of said inaction. On top of that, refusing to participate deprives others of your wisdom, experience, and insights.

          As I previously said, it is perfectly fine to no longer participate or even support Pride. It is quite another to argue that it is no longer relevant or beneficial to others and argue it should be banned or stopped.

          1. I’ve been debating whether or not to leave a “smartass” reply, but I’ve concluded you wouldn’t expect anything less from me.

            So how’s that Halloween in the Castro working out for ya?

            (I still disagree with you regarding the parade, but I don’t believe in hijacking other people’s blogs – except Brett’s.)

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