Gay Pride: The good, the bad, and the ugly

13 06 2009

I went to Gay Pride in Boston yesterday.

It captured–in one hour–the good, the bad and the ugly of this moment in our community’s march for equality.

The good.

  • God LOVES Fags.  THAT should be the headline of Boston Pride.  I never knew there were so many churches in Greater Boston and I had NO idea they were so prideful of their gay flocks.  I mean, I can see why they would be.  We know how to make even the most boring, Puritanical, Yankee church look just fabulous.  That was evident from the brightly colored gay flourishes–rainbow wands, brightly colored streamers and the like–that colored the delegations of churches marching for gay pride. And there were a lot of them.  I mean… A LOT.  Take that, Fred Phelps!
  • Menino LOVE Fags.  And we love him.  Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s been such an ardent supporter of the glbt community, that he’s damned close to breaking into the Holy Trinity of Madonna, Cher and Judy.  He’s that good.  And there he was again, this year, marching as he’s done every year.  Not because he’s running for his–what?–34th term.  Nope. He marches because he “gets” that, on this day in particular, it’s as important to show his support for US as our support for him.  And, while I think Mike Flaherty’s a helluva good guy, we really should show “The Mayor” that we support him.  He’s earned it.

The Bad:  In the dualistic illusion we call society, what’s the point of having “good” without a little old fashioned “bad”? I mean, our movement has become so much about assimilation.  Can’t we–at least for one hour of one day–be our down-n-dirty bad-assed selves?  Looking around today, I guess the answer is “no”—fitting, perhaps, given the Stepford times in which we live and, probably, appropriate given the kids who now flood Pride, but, damn, I miss the bad, which is why:

  • I LOVE The Theatre Offensive.  There they were, with their fabulous placards–designed as name tags that read “Hello, My Favorite Sex Act is…”  They captured what Pride USED to be:  bold, daring, irreverent, ALIVE.  As they passed gayly forward, I thought, “God, I miss THIS face of the gay community (I can say that to God now, see above…he loves us).”  Then I wondered, “Can I only be accepted by being not who I am but by being who others will tolerate me being?”  That seems to be the prevailing wisdom in our movement these days.  And if it indeed is so, how tragic (and dreadfully dull) to trade one closet for another.
  • I kinda love the go-go boys.  Pride used to be filled with–well–eye candy.  Gyrating, sweaty, sock-in-the-jock eye candy.  It was fabulous!  (and, no, I’m not being sexist.  The lesbians have the dykes on bikes…they make the kind of impression that lasts an entire parade). This year, there were about five go-go boys.  And they weren’t gyrating.  They stood like bored, aloof statues (think what Mr. Freeze used to do to the good guys on Batman).  “Are the drugs that bad these days?” I asked a friend standing next to me

The Ugly.

  • The D-side of Pride.  Watching today’s Pride, it’s obvious that it’s become a D-list event.  Aside from politicians and the leaders of GLAD and MassEquality, no other “leaders” were there, not the Executive Directors of AIDS Action or Fenway or HRC, not the fabulous fund raisers, not the gay-listers.  Is Pride beneath them?  Especially THIS year… the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  Especially THIS week…three days after President Obama’s Dept of Justice compared gay marriage to incest and argued that it would be too expensive for his government to extend equal rights to our community.

It’s enough to make one downright UNprideful.  Except…for the pride present in the spectators who DID show up.  They –we–may not have been large in number or high in status, but we most definitely were overflowing—are overflowing– in pride.

And impatience.

It’s time to (re-) capture our Pride.  Not the “Stepford pride” that gay groups would foist upon us, but the REAL pride that’s deep inside each of us.  The “pride” that you don’t need a fund raising event or a politician or a press release to define for you.   The pride that is you, just as you are.  As we are.   Let’s take THAT pride, bottle it up like a good bottle of gin or nail polish and…

  • Say “f*&^k off” to the lazy, RICH, and bloated “leaders” who can’t be bothered with Pride .
  • Say “we want our money back” to Obama and his DNC/gay group apologists.
  • Take the hand of God AND the go-go boys…and go get us some equal rights!

Anyone want to come along?

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2 responses

14 06 2009
sus

“Then I wondered, “Can I only be accepted by being not who I am but by being who others will tolerate me being?” ”
I love this line. This line makes me think beyond equality for gays, but of society in general. I wonder about this idea for all of us. For me this question seems to contain a dilemma that I often ponder over. When, if ever, is it OK for society to say, ‘no you can’t do this here’? How and by whom is harm defined…
thanks for the thoughts.

14 06 2009
Ridgewalker

Well said, Will – couldn’t agree with you more. If you made it down to the plaza, the place had more of a feel of a county fair (sans hogs and cattle) than a gay pride event. Seems the community is feeling pretty content these days.

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