Sunday, June 26, 2011
Love is Stronger Than Pride
But as most Pride events go, I'm rarely proud.
Because of the NY decision, I thought we should go - even though it was like 60 degrees and on the verge of rain.
We've been the last few years - after years of inactivity - and each year it gets what our friend James would call "tragic'.
Even that word seems 'gay'. Yet it is quite accurate, I am sorry to say.
This isn't the rant about drag queens and/or go-go boys on floats. Or men in leather. Or dykes on bikes. Yes, all those things that people say are the ones that make the news that continue to keep us on the fringe of society. I don't really dabble in any of those groups, but I'm ok with their participation. I'll admit there was too much Lady Gaga t-shirts. I muffled my best Miranda Priestly to not say "ground breaking", in her best sarcastic manner.
I probably said it last year, but at least Cleveland's event has little to do with Pride. Plain and simple, anymore, Pride is a vendor fair.
It mostly has to do with the money making beer garden.....or the vendors who might be gay-friendly, but are really looking to make a buck off of the DINKS. Am I to believe that the bathroom retro-fitters or Key Bank are there because they love the homos so much?
Don't tell me that these guys are there because they need to subsidize the event. Save for a fairly lame parade on rolled-up downtown streets, the only people there are the ones in it, not watching it - this is the event.
Secondly, decades went by with Pride parades and gatherings afterwards that weren't underwritten by State Farm Insurance and their reps furiously trying to hand you literature. I'm not sure anymore if this is a cash making event or an awareness one. Well, that's not true. I'm pretty sure I know.
The music. The booths. The beer. The food. The county-fair attire. The port-a-johns. Pride has turned into every other street fair - be it art, rib or jazz.
Denton made the observation that if he didn't know it was Pride, he could have been plopped into any other downtown gathering. I guess you can take that two ways: we've arrived where we are just like everyone else, or Pride itself has marginalized itself so much that it has become next to nothing special.
Even the life sized penis I had my picture taken with (um....I'm the one on the right!) didn't have a volunteer to get into the costume.
I made us go this year. Ok...urged....not made. Next year, I do not see myself being that insistent on participating in the event. That kind of bums me out, but
Song by: Sade
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No, it's too easy.
I understand what you are saying about this year being special because of NY. I considered running up to NYC for the parade today to be part of the celebration, but 1200 miles round trip takes the fun out of it.
RG from Boston said exactly the same thing about the commercialism of Pride. My town had its first ever Pride week recently and there wasn't a commercial vendor in sight.
It was a sweet, low-key affair which stuck to the GLBT message, probably like Pride celebrations used to be in your area.
Maybe you're just jaded like I am. I think there still may be a role for those who are young and coming out. Or it's just passé. Maybe a bit of both.
I enjoyed my first "big city" pride (Atlanta) that I went to in my mid 30's.
After that... quell tragic.
I have to point out that the commercialism of these events could be considered “progress”. Perhaps not aesthetically but from the notion of acceptance – isn’t it about being treated like everyone else? Now your right up there with ribs and jazz.
On a side note at my town’s pride event I got to meet Mr. Cheeks in Chaffs 2010. And ya he was wearing nothing but chaffs. And you would be surprised what a rockstar he was in this situation.
Kids need to see boring, middle aged "grown ups" who look just like their parents at these events. Boring normalcy is a great equalizer.
Besides, as your photo shows, how often do you get to play with a 6' dick?
I agree with some of the others; even if merchants are out to make a buck, at least they are not shunning us!
The only Pride I've ever been to was in SF in 2005. The only thing I enjoyed was the parade itself, and I felt portions of that were extremely "commercialized", mostly by beer and alcohol companies. After the parade, the Pride park areas that were set up were all "buy our stuff, buy our stuff".
It made me feel like I was at any other trade show I had ever been to in my short lifespan.
While I hope I'm not overly jaded about such things (but probably am), I'm at least glad that non-gay businesses are at least pandering to the gay community.
I guess such is the price of acceptance.
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