Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pride Parades...A Symptom of a Deeper Problem?

In going along with the idea of more philosophical posts of late; I have been contemplating why the gay community feels the necessity to be so "outspoken" with such things as "Pride Parades" and their own sexuality. If I am comfortable with my sexuality do I need to flaunt it in front of others? I personally don't feel as though I need to. But why might someone feel this way? Why do we have Pride to begin with?

A common theme at Pride is that "we are out, and we are proud." Basically saying to the world...I AM GAY and I am HAPPY TO BE GAY!!! (caps intentional). I am of the opinion though, that many people do not go to pride parades and recount this mantra because they are happy at all. Instead, I postulate that there might be some deeper issues that need to be addressed and looked at before we get on the bandwagon of the whole "PRIDE" ideology.

First, why is sexuality a big issue? Do heterosexuals go around flaunting the fact that they are, in fact, heterosexual? Of course not, for them to do so would be silly. Yet why do gay people do this, and why is this looked on as a positive thing? I believe that we as the gay community have fallen to the notion that our sexuality defines who we are as a person, that it is so integral to our being that in order for someone to understand us they must first be very much aware that we are gay. We claim that we want equality and that we want to be treated the same as others, yet at the same time, at Pride we idolize and flaunt our sexuality in front of others.  We want the world to treat us as equals, yet our actions say "we are different". Yes we can appreciate our differences in sexual orientation or gender identity, but does this define who we are? And must we be so forward about it?

Another underlying issue I see at "Pride" is the idea of repression. Maybe those who make their sexuality the focus of their lives are doing so because of sexual repression that they might have experienced. Because of our heteronormative culture I can see easily where this mentality might be coming from, yet is it healthy? Are we going from one extreme - no homosexual expression at all - to the other extreme - we are gay and we are super super proud of it. Where is the healthy balance?

I realize that there is alot of different opinions when it comes to events like "Pride", and I would be interested in hearing some other opinions. These words that I have typed are just the surface scratchings of my thoughts on this,I hope to write more in a few days. Till then I ask my readers to help me understand maybe a different perspective or thought about "Pride" that I may not have considered. So please comment, and we can get a dialog going.

4 comments:

  1. Why do we have Pride to begin with? WOW! I think the idea whether to have or celebrate the notion of Pride comes from our past. Pride events are different as the places in which they are celebrated. The corporate sponsorship which backed the last Pride event I attended in SF was anything to be proud of. On the other hand for many it is the the first time and and place one can be themselves around people like ourselves. There is a sense of pride that we are not outcast but members of a much larger community. Would I like them to be about more than they seem? Yes, but I would never want the party to end for those who follow. At least not yet. Not until we are really free. Celebrate but protest, too.

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  2. It's likely because it makes the LGBT community feel united and many don't want to lose our culture. We fear loss of the culture that has been so deeply rooted behind the political movements.

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  3. Thanks for the input, both of your have given me some stuff to think about. Expect to have a more detailed post on Pride in the very near future!!

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  4. Actually, I think this is a false contrast, "Why do homosexuals need a pride parade when heterosexuals don't?"

    Heterosexuals Do need a pride parade! Pride is a celebration of sexuality. Why shouldn't this be celebrated? Sexuality is a great thing! Additionally, the LGBT community has, I think, a generally much more accepting and healthier view of sexuality. While there are sexually repressed and sex-negative people in the LGBT community, they definitely make up a much smaller portion than sexually repressed heterosexuals do in the heterosexual world. This explains the absence of a straight pride parade, but it does not mean that there should not be one.

    The closest thing to straight pride is Mardi Gras?

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