What is Gay Pride ?

What is Gay PrideSo what is gay pride?

A parade?

A state of mind?

pride in what?

Understand that I am gay, or queer or whatever the term of art is used these days for someone who isn’t straight. I am also a political progressive, some would say radical, who believes that the United States is in the midst of a serious class war that few recognize.

I tend to analyze things and what I see in the “gay movement” is beginning to frighten me almost as much as those rightwing teabaggers. I’ll say it: we are moving toward “normal” trending toward individuals beginning to criticize and censor what they consider “fringe” elements of the “gay community”

Earlier this week, New York legalized gay marriage. I won’t go into how I think marriage is a broken institution. It is an institution, with legal rights granted to it. As long as the United States government is going to grant privileges to people based upon entering into this institution of marriage thean marriage should be open to all people, no matter how they unite. Black and white, man and woman, able-boded and disabled, or man and man – everyone should be able to partake – IF THEY WANT.

Here is the rub.

Some of us don’t want to.

I cried watching the New York Senate vote. However, I seriously doubt that I will ever take those vows. I cried because it was a symbol of equality being achieved and I am very happy for those who want to get married. But please don’t think this is the only thing we should be striving for, or that the struggle will be over once we can get married. It is partially an acknowledgement of our relationships but it is also an assimilation into a broken society.

Assimilation isn’t good.

We need to take a long, hard look at the gentrification of the “gay movement”. I have heard and seen many gays who want to limit who may participate in gay pride marches – especially eliminating the drag queens and leather queers who started the Pride parades when many “mainstream gay” individuals were too closeted to attend a parade. Our “movement” is standing on the shoulders of people who many would prefer to push back into the closet now that we have some scraps…..

Generally, these individuals who want to limit who is in the pride parade are white and/or upper/middle to upper class. Classism, racism and sexism are not the exclusive realm of straight America.

The pride parade isn’t for everyone. Obviously there are conservatives who would get hives just thinking about standing next to one gay person. But within our community there are people who aren’t comfortable with everyone’s expression of themselves. Today, there are more children in attendance of both gay parents and straight allies – but the parade isn’t for children (maybe we need to have a kiddie parade during pride week). LGBT et al, is a very large diverse group. Our strength is our diversity. Diversity means acceptance.

What is Gay PridePride is about accepting everyone no matter what they look like, who they sleep with, or how they “do it”. And that means consensual sex. (Yes, that means of humans of legal age, for those numbnut conservatives out there who need definitions.) People’s consensual sex isn’t for you to define. Do what you want, in your bedroom, different strokes people. This weekend is about embracing all of who we are; Drag, queer, leather, vanilla, and straight –  all are welcome – with their open minds.

Like my very wise Aunt Gigi used to say, “Don’t like it? Then don’t do it!”

Don’t like drag – then don’t dress. Don’t like chaps – don’t wear them. Don’t like dykes on bikes – get there late (gay standard time). If you don’t like the way someone looks – look the other way, and frankly if you think quite a few people there will not be chiseled or ripped, well – you’re delusional.

Pride, like the rest of life, is what you make of it. There are many interesting people out there and this is an opportunity to meet a few of them. Even if they do things you’d never dream of….

Spice of life after all….

Enjoy the parades, celebrate the hard won marriage rights in New York have a great and safe day.

And on Monday, or maybe Tuesday pick up the fight again for equality everywhere. That is what the Pride Parade is about; diversity, unity and visibility for equality – FOR EVERYONE.

Kivi Neimi

random deviations of moral turpitude


  1. Gregg Gold says

    “You talk about “hard won marriage rights,” but marriage is NOT a “right.” As far back as recorded history goes, marriage has almost always been between one man and one woman. A few few exceptions existed perhaps, with multiple wives in African, Muslim and some the two-wife Mormon breakaway movements.

    Marriage is a privilege, and has been there for the good of society – that is the nurturing and raising of children by two people of the opposite sex for the continuation of a balanced society.

    Same sex marriage is a nonsense concept, plucked out of the air and dressed up as a “human right” and pushed through the courts where it has been entertained by activist judges like Vaughn Walker. Simply because heterosexuals have made a mess of marriage through divorce and spousal abuse does not mean that this institution should be deconstructed to allow queers to take advantage of a sacred institution. Indeed, many queers do not want to marry at all, and only see marriage as the last heterosexual barrier to be broken down in order to push their entire agenda into every facet of society society. |

  2. says

    I am openly gay… and live in the great Queen City of Charlotte North Carolina.

    Why do you feel the need to call people names?

    I happen to be a very well adjusted gay male AND a conservative Republican.

    Although you profess to support diversity, you labeled me as a “numbnut conservative” and stated that your are frightened of teabaggers. Perhaps you are not so progressive after all.

    I strongly support gay marriage and will do my part within the Republican party to make my views known. I love Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and neither of them support gay marriage, and that’s OK for now… but neither of them call people names like you do.

    We conservatives often find it ironic that we are the ones accused of “hate speech” and yet it is almost always diversity-loving progressives that call people names… often hateful names.

    In closing, my nuts are seldom if ever numb, except maybe while ice fishing, and I hope you can overcome your fears. Republicans believe in the individual… individual freedom to pursue excellence without a lot of government control or control by anyone… you have nothing to fear from us little one.

  3. Windthin says

    Okay. Here’s the long and short of it.

    People adapt.

    What I mean by this is, when you get two or more different groups of people together, there tends to be some mingling, even in the most militant of circumstances.

    People adapt. And adopt. They and their children learn the local language(s) and adapt aspects of its culture even as they are very likely offering facets of their own culture.

    Assimilation is NOT normalization always, nor is it necessarily control. It’s the natural tendency of human beings to blend and mingle and match and mix.

    So… if people want to marry… let them. And if they don’t want to marry… let them. You should have the right to do so… and NOT do so. It’s called choice.

    A person have a career… or be a stay-at-home parent. Choice. You can marry or just be partners. Choice. In the end, freedom comes down to choices. If you’re obligated to do it, you’re no more free than you were when you couldn’t do it.

    I can definitely agree, though, that the gay movement should be ALL inclusive. Again, it comes down to choice. Groups who may not associate with each other normally come together for the parades, because the very purpose of the parades IS inclusivity. That also may or may not be a word, I am too tired right now to look it up, but it seems to fit the bill.

    Race. Religion. Culture. Language. Gender. Gender roles. Sexuality. These and many many many more things make up a whole human being. And they DO matter. Not as facets to be singled out with laser-like precision so that we can draw lines in the sand and build walls between us, but as unique aspects that make us each gloriously different. Fact: we are not all equal. Some INDIVIDUALS are smarter. More athletic. Prettier. More artistically inclined. But we all deserve equal respect, equal opportunities to explore our potential, equal rights. Celebrate the ways we are the same AND different.

    Anyhow, I am tired. That’s my rant. My point is, coming back to it… there is nothing wrong with joining society. Yes, some traditions are best left behind and forgotten, but others can be embraced, and just because you don’t favor a tradition doesn’t make it wrong (unless it is, of course; being a tradition doesn’t make something right, either. I like to believe we can discern between good and bad traditions).

    Be well, all.

  4. Anon says

    You talk about inclusion and tolerance, but one thing that I found quite “insensitive” is that you felt the need to point out the skin colour and social class of people you were criticising. Could you imagine the absolute outcry we would see if you said, “generally, these intolerant people are black”. That would be wrong, but you seem to find it pallitable to make a judgment that intolerant people within the gay community must be white and upper-class, when in fact studies have shown that this demographic group is one of the most tolerant groups towards gay people within the straight mainstream population.

    I am the product of European and Asian backgrounds, and I just can’t believe how easy it is that self-described advocates of tolerance and diversity can just pass off comments that would so easily be seen as racist if that standard was applied to something else.

    Finally, assimilation is a great thing and an important thing. You’re being incredibly divisive when you look at assimilation as a bad thing. No society is perfect, and when you make the assumption that a straight man’s world is “broken”, you’re the one that is actually being judgmental and intolerant. When you try to define gay people as a certain group that MUST be separate from the mainstream community, you’re the one that is creating an “us” and “them” mentality.

    I find people with opinions like this ironic, on the one hand you scream for tolerance and diversity, and on the other hand you pass off incoherent points about remaining distinct and not integrating, using skin colour as a means of identifying the people you are criticising, and calling the community’s other people identify with as “broken”. Take a good hard look at that.

  5. kyfe says

    Although the article is good, it does not address the situation of the other side of the coin.
    I get harassed by gays for not being gay enough … I don’t like show tunes, I don’t get drag, or the leather look, and I like guys who happen to be gay, rather than guys whose only defining trait is being gay.
    People are free to be who they are, but not everyone is going to accept it.
    However I have found that the local “fringe” (as the article calls them) are very militant that all gays should be the lisping, limp wristed, effeminate stereotypes that get movies & TV shows calls from gay rights groups for promoting bad stereotypes.

  6. marcwolf says

    I’m of two minds in this.
    Yes I am gay. My friends know it, my workmates too. I am open and honest about who and what I am. I am an average guy who prefers the same equipment on his lovers as he has on himself.

    On the other hand I do not want us as gay people who want.. no demand the same rights and recognition to fade into the night. Forgotten because we just do not appear to exist, disappear into invisibility just like the rampant moralists would like us to do.

    So what IS the balance we need to achive.

    As mentioned I am an average guy. I have no interest in trying on Mum’s clothing and I am hopeless at rearranging wardrobes and making Quiches. All the steriotypes of what what some people expect as a gay guy I am not. I don’t call out “Darling” to all, wear pink (though I do have a white business shirt with red pinstriping that I really like) , or dissolve into excited squeals. Screaming Queens make me cringe.

    Soo. I’ll go in my own quiet way, being openly gay, honest with who I am, loyal to my partner of 15 years, and totally confuse all of the people who expect the stereotypes.

    Take care.

  7. GaryH says

    I was on the first committee of Gay Liberation Front Los Angeles, that organized the first Gay Pride parade in Los Angeles. That was a first, together with San Francisco, west of the Mississippi River.

    The values of Gay Liberation were freedom. Freedom to choose one’s lifestyle and express one’s nature. The freedom to be different.

    Today, the movement has been taken over by a conformist clique.

    This article, by example, illustrates vividly what has gone, but kindly and with a touch of humor and respect.

    I’m not so nice. I’m about as polite as a porcupine with its quills out sharp.

    Gay Liberation has been killed by a move for respectability and imitation of traditional social norms.
    The practice of traditional values, – – joining the military, marriage and family, little league, boy and girl scouts, etc – – should be the right of everyone. But those who test the boundaries of difference and free expression are being marginalized and told to stay out of sight and mind for the sake of assimilation and appearing respectable.

    The LGBT movement of today is a betrayal of the values we fought for in the early 1970’s.


    • Roy says

      Thank you Gary and Kivi. Yes, the Outcasts are what started the Gay (Pride) Parade with the chant, “Out of the Gutters and into the Streets”. I remember being at that first LA parade waiting next to the Egyptian theatre in Hollywood for “permission” to march with a parade permit. Without it, the LAPD was waiting to arrest us all. How many assimilated ones in the US now would be willing to confront the armed wing of the establishment? Equal rights and to be treated with respect are what we need. We don’t need alcohol companies to underwrite our events. The money is better spent on an AIDS cure.

    • John says

      Thank you all for being freaky and out, and changing the world. You’re an inspiration to all the pacifist war resisters, unreformable nerds, melodramatic bipolars, goth punks, homeless hip hoppers, recovering addicts, happy fatties, deadheads, radicals, polyamorists, graffiti convicts, computer hackers and idealists.

      Freedom now, for everyone, not just the nuclear family.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *