View Full Version : What does PRIDE mean to you?
06-09-2006, 02:25 PM
I've been talking to some senior activists in Atlanta and we did a forum after Actor's Express production of "The Last Sunday in June" by Jonathan Tolins.
The gentlemen reminded us that gay pride started out as a MARCH for equal rights, not a parade. Alas, now it's just another circuit party. We forget that it was a daring thing to do not so long ago.
So that's what I thought I'd start this thread for...to share with one another what Pride means to us...all party or all politics, or something else?
For me, it's a mixed bag...I can remember my first Pride parades when it just seemed so incredibly liberating to see all those gay people! :weee: Now, I usually skip the parade and some years ignore the entire event. It's become a commercial extravaganza.
I have heard right wing christians condemn it because pride is listed as one of the 7 deadly sins...of course I disagree with that, but with all the drugs, flesh, & over the top narcissism, with trinkets for $4.99 & up, it has gotten to be too much!
Whaddya ya'll think?
06-09-2006, 03:48 PM
Ten years ago going to the Pride Parade was AMAZING! It was validating to me, personally, just that there were so many queer people there, and so many dang rainbow decorations. That was in New York City.
Went to the Pride event here in April and though I managed to enjoy the day and ran into numerous friends (yay!) I hafta say it was disappointing. It was very commercial, in fact, you had to pay admission just to walk around and look at booths (like the HRC booth, or booths selling junk). It was NOT worth the price of admission.
Additionally, I was a magnet that day for creeps with come-ons. Me, the married girl, while my single guy friend stood there and watched all 3 incidents happen.:rolleyes: Two of them men?!?!??!?! :confused: (including one who practically jumped me while unzipping his pants and murmuring "I'm a flaming faggot"):confused: and a woman approached me with incredibly lewd come-ons, touched me uninvited, I had to walk away and in one case tell someone to f*** off. It was WEIRD.
I would greatly prefer to have EITHER a street festival with shopping and fun stuff, OR some kind of gay rights march and rally, but not an attempt to mix the two and throw in excuses for every crazy person to crawl out of the woodwork and sexualize total strangers. :rolleyes:
06-09-2006, 04:05 PM
First time I went to Pride was before I came out. Two of my gay male friends took me, and it was definitely an eye-opener. I didn't particularly find it offensive, just fun, a bit shocking, but still filled with a loving spirit of inclusion for everyone.
I skipped it for a few years (I'm not big on huge crowds of people on hot Atlanta afternoons), and then went last year. The Indigo Girls played on Friday night, which was a major draw, and then my partner and I went on Sunday to look at the booths and walk around a bit.
For me, it's not pride as in a sinful kind of pridefulness. It is pride in the sense that we are claiming ourselves to be who we are, to cast away the shame society and religion places upon us.
I read the other thread about pride parades and such, and could never formulate a very good answer. I guess I just would prefer that the parade be family friendly, integrate everyone who wants to participate, and not be too overtly sexual. That's just the way I would be more comfortable with it, but I understand others have different tastes.
What was really great last year (after we passed the bible-thumpers outside the park, who had bloody pictures of Jesus, yelling at us that we were sinners, etc. :( ), was just being able to walk hand in hand with my partner, without having to check first to make sure no one could see us, without having to make sure we were in a "safe" area to be partners together, enjoying an afternoon. The freedom of that was amazing and pure and wonderful.
06-09-2006, 04:38 PM
It's become a commercial extravaganza.
It was very commercial, in fact, you had to pay admission just to walk around and look at booths (like the HRC booth, or booths selling junk). It was NOT worth the price of admission.
HHhhmmm, sounds like acceptance to me.;) Welcome to the REAL world.
...just being able to walk hand in hand with my partner, without having to check first to make sure no one could see us, without having to make sure we were in a "safe" area to be partners together, enjoying an afternoon. The freedom of that was amazing and pure and wonderful.
...thats what its supposed to be all about...Gay Pride, or "The Day You Can Express Affection In Public With No Worry Of Harassment Day!"
06-09-2006, 08:40 PM
But, if we are talking pride here, in terms of what it means as far as a feeling rather than a name of a specific celebration, I acknowledge my own gay pride in different ways than at the parade per se. With my child, I don't know if I will ever attend a large city pride event, with or without her. I feel kind of disconnected from what that experience is. For me, Pride is about fighting against the discrimination and intolerance that still exists, by educating persons as often as I can, on my college campus, at child welfare worker trainings, to any groups that will listen, that to not acknowledge LGBTQ identity as valid and meaningful, persons are turning their backs on our youth that are struggling. I also almost always use it as an opportunity to applaud the fact that being lesbian is an integral part of who I am, not the whole of who I am, and maybe not even the most important, but essential nonetheless. So much more than what people do in the bedroom, which many people with vague tolerance minimize our beings to. Pride is what I try to live every day. Peace out all, PS Glad to see you back rev!!!!!!! Vanessa
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