Gay Pride… Revistited.

Last month I wrote a post about Gay Pride, was it Triumphalist or rembering a historical battle for human rights? . The Daily Bohomian yesterday wrote a piece that towards the end touches on Gay Pride and raises some interesting points.

He wrote

I believe that there’s a fine line between showing off to deliberately make people feel intimidated and in showing pride just as there’s a fine line between not understanding gay people and being a thuggish bigot

I think this really sums up the feelings on Gay Pride. It is a very careful balancing act, that I beleive in some places falls they over themselves to be intimidating not just to people who feel ‘uncomfortable’ but also to some gays who like myself are a tad conservative. I dont believe that a Gay Pride Parade should be about men walking down the street in skimpy underwear or Lesbians topless on bikes. Thats not what Pride is about, but it is what it has become.

Pride should be about celebreting diversity, not just within the Gay Community but within wider society. It should aim to educate not intimidate.

For me as a Gay man, without that perfect body, Pride can be quite intimidating and it can effect your self-esteem. This is why I would never go to Pride in Amsterdam or San Francisco. This is why I love Cork Pride. Cork Pride is small, and welcoming. It is open to anyone who wants to join, Gay, Straight, Bisexual, transexual, whatever you describe yourself as. There are fun family events, like last year we went to the beach and had a Sports Day. It was great fun. Thats what Pride should be about, Respect and Fun.

Bohomian also raises an interesting point on where the Gay Community gets ghettoised so people only associated Gays with certain areas, EG London’s Soho.

And Soho has always been a Ghetto in much the same way. The predominance of rainbow flags serves as a mark of territory and man’s natural instinct is to challenge the territorial claim of his neighbours.

So what’s the answer? So we stick a sex shop, darkroom and G-A-Y bar on every corner? No but we do need to open the doors of our community and if Mohammed refuses to come to the mountain, take the mountain to Mohammed. This year’s London pride will stick to the same old route and the same people will take part. If the gay community wants to begin breaking down the divide that exists between the straight community and the gay community, we have to take pride to places like Dagenham.

The Gay Community needs to be open and welcome to questioning. Thats is the only way we can improve tolerence. We need to take the spirit of Pride and take it around our own local communities.

I hope one day we can live up to the words that Bohomian has written

We have to get our voice heard in the local press and be a clear presence at local events like town shows and carnivals. We have to become a bigger presence in pubs and clubs instead of sticking to those we know we can pick up trade in. And if we do all those things without ramming our cause down people’s throats, they’ll come to see that although we unite in one community to tackle homophobia, we remain individuals who still live by the values of decency and politeness, tolerance and that all important motto of “the right thing at the right time”. It’s a case of give and take and I truly hope that in the future we begin to live as members of a national family rather than members of polar communities

Yours in Pride,
Stephen

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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