Gut Rumbles

June 18, 2004

gay pride

Why is anyone "proud" of being gay?

I don't care what anyone does in consenting circumstances, and Bejus knows I've done enough wild-catting to make me a poor judge of other people's behavior, but I don't get the point of "gay pride." I can understand wimmen who like other wimmen, because I like wimmen, too. But GUYS? Who prefer a hairy ass and a set of balls over someone like Cindy Crawford?

I don't get it.

I have to admit that I would have a lot more money and a lot less grief today if I were gay. A Quest For Pussy has been my downfall in life. Anybody who EVER tells you that "I never paid for it" is a goddam liar. NOTHING in life is free, and pussy is ALWAYS expensive, sooner or later.

Still, I don't march in parades proclaiming my heterosexuality. I'm hard-wired for what I like and I don't take any "pride" in that fact. It's just the way I'm built. Why would anyone built differently take "pride" in consorting with members of the same sex? It's not as if they had to work really hard at being gay. It's just in the wiring.

To me, it's all like eating broccoli. Either you like it, or you don't. But there's no reason to be proud either way.


My beef with the whole "Gay Pride" thing is that these ay Pride Parades have men dancing in leather thongs, spiked collars, and things that would get you blown away with a shotgun if you tried wearing them to a job itnerview. And somehow, this is how they express the concept of "pride."

Pride is the opposite of shame, not the utter absence of it.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on June 18, 2004 10:04 AM

I don't get it either. I remember several years ago my family and I decided to visit a local city park to enjoy the scenery and let the kids play.
Unbeknownst to us there also happened to be a Gay Pride celebration going on. While the kids were off playing, My wife and I heard some noise and looked over to our right to see three flaming gay guy's wearing ballerina tutu's with full makeup and wigs on prancing and skipping through the park holding hands.
Let me tell you my kids really had confused looks on their faces after seeing that.

Posted by: RC on June 18, 2004 10:19 AM

Hi, Rob. I'm a gay man, and I agree with you that there's nothing to be especially proud about in being gay, or in being straight for that matter. I don't think there's anything to be especially ashamed of in either condition either, and that's where you'll find the point.

I think gay pride celebrations originated as a combination of political act and group therapy for a generation that had been taught there was something to be ashamed of in being gay, and that it was something that needed to be kept hidden. Getting over that sense of shame and refusing to hide any longer was a vital step in the process of claiming full membership in American society, as well as in helping to break down the hostility towards gays in that society, ideally. For some of these people it really meant a lot to just stand up and publicly proclaim themselves, and some of them had endured such hostility and pain that just surviving really was something to be proud of.

Of course, American society has changed, and is not nearly as hostile towards gays as it once was. The younger generation that's throwing these parties now has no experience of the harrassment their elders endured, and certainly they don't have the same sort of emotional scars or have the same need for healing. But gay pride celebrations have become institutionalized by now, and will continue by sheer momentum. What pains me, though, is some folks who, in trying to outdo each other in outrageousness of costume or behavior, are actually stirring up more hostility than they're breaking down. That's stupid.

Posted by: Steve Teeter on June 18, 2004 10:22 AM

As a musician for a lot of my life, I've met many interesting people who lived alternative lifestyles. My daughter is gay. I like the gay bars in Key West.

But I am affronted by some of the "IN YOUR FACE" attitude of some gay people. Do whatever you want to do. I'm fine with that. Just don't insist that carnival-freak behavior should be tolerated by people who don't want to see that shit.

I believe that I'm saying just what Steve said.

Posted by: Acidman on June 18, 2004 10:41 AM

IMO, you need to do something to take pride in it. Rebuild a car, raise a child, cure hunger, bungee jump and live. You can take pride in those acts.

How can you be proud of something in which you had no input? Gay pride, black pride, aryan nation pride.... I just don't get it.

Posted by: The Other Mike S. on June 18, 2004 10:49 AM

Other Mike: What I was trying to say was that there truly was a time when, if you were gay and that came out (sic), American society did it's level best to crush you. Imprisonment, loss of job, loss of social standing, estrangement from family, unemployability, and the occasional outright lynching were all in store for someone who was revealed as gay.

Imagine this: Remember the nationwide shock and outrage when Mathew Shepard was murdered? A few decades back, his family might well have covered up the whole incident for fear of their late son's awful dark secret being revealed. It might not have even made the local papers. Believe me, it happened.

To have survived all that, bloodied but unbowed, and to have even had the courage to fight back, that was something to be proud of, and I honor those men and women for their courage. But me?? Puh-lease. I haven't endured suffering and oppression, I haven't had to live in fear. My family, friends, boss, co-workers, they all know I'm gay and don't give a damn. It takes exactly zero courage for me to speak up, here or anywhere else, and proclaim myself a gay man, and therefore I have no cause to pat myself on the back for doing it. That's why I don't take gay pride celebrations very seriously. To me, it's just another festival weekend on the calendar, and not a terribly important one.

Posted by: Steve Teeter on June 18, 2004 11:48 AM

I agree with Steve. The gay pride movement got it start because it's nothing to be ashamed of. Sure, it isn't anything to go around trumpeting to people on a regular basis, either, but there's certainly no reason for it to make you less of a person.

The problem is that time has passed, people have gotten more accepting, and people who haven't had to go through the kinds of things that started the movement are trying to get away with more and more that should be behind closed doors. Do I care if a straight couple likes to dress in leather and spikes and do dirty, painful things to each other after they get home from work to unwind? Not a whit. I feel the same way about same sex couples, and this includes my many, many friends of all preferences who do a wide range of things to each other privately. I just don't want to hear about it (from any of my friends, I mean, and I'm in a position where hearing about it isn't really being public about it, either), from them or anyone else.

So then you get some of these yahoos who do the dumbest things at pride parades, and like Steve said, it's breaking down and harming more than it's building up. I think the whole thing would have a greater effect (or rather, more of the desired effect) if people would march, hang out together, have their demonstrations, and prove that they can be gay, out of the closet, and not shove their sexuality or their personal whatevers into people's faces.

Yeah, I know that sounds contradictory to having a parade, but which one is less likely to disgust you? Some fairly normal looking guy holding a sign that says "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!" or the guys in wigs, make-up, and ballarina tutus holding the same sign?

Posted by: Veryalda Relisys on June 18, 2004 01:32 PM

I, too, have a lesbian daughter; I love her dearly, but I really don't want to hear every detail of her sex life. I wouldn't want to hear every detail of her sex life if she were straight, either! Maybe gay 'pride' is just the opposite of gay 'disgrace'?

Posted by: Michele on June 18, 2004 02:36 PM

Gay Pride isn't about "fair and equal treatment" under the law; it's about entitlement.

Just think of all the goodies liberal gays can wrangle out of the gummint! Gay scholarships, "hate speech" protection laws (it's already a crime to condemn homosexuality in Canada) and plenty of gummint money thrown at AIDS, a primarily gay male-spread disease (it is, so deal with it).

Even through there's no such thing as "rights" for groups or classes of people, our criminal government does anything it can to expand its unjust power.

With apologies to Voltaire: "If gays didn't exist, it'd be necessry for a gummint program to invent them."

Contrary to anticipated accusations, this writer believes there's nothing wrong with being a homosexual, but those gays seeking extra-legal rights are as bad as other liberal parasites.

Posted by: Fahrenheit 451 on June 18, 2004 11:00 PM

"Extra-legal rights." Mm, which? Would you name some, please? You've already mentioned "hate speech" laws, which I agree are either bad policy or redundant. (If someone physically attacks someone else, we've always been able to cite motive in prosecuting him.) And I've already said over on Misha's blog that gay pride celebrations are fine, but if you want to throw a party you should pay for it yourself, not dump it on the taxpayers.

But when I hear people say that gay pride is not about equal treatment, but about getting special privileges, I always want to know, what privileges? Please, can you tell me?

Posted by: Steve Teeter on June 19, 2004 09:18 AM

I'm not one to miss a good comment pile-on...

one thing, among many, that I don't understand about gay pride parades is why they always degenerate into some kind of ill-conceived freak-show.

I snorted when Santorum said that homosexuality was a slippery slope into pedophilia and bestiality. Now, if he'd said it leads to wearing feather boas and leather pants without butts in them, not many people could've argued with him.

So what you're left with is not some demonstration that the bad stereotypes about gays are hogwash; they seem to be saying not only that the stereotypes are all correct, they're actually something to be proud of. All in all, extremely bad P.R.

Posted by: Rube on June 20, 2004 10:55 AM

If God didn't mean for us to juggle, tennis balls wouldn't come three
to a can.
Credit Report

Posted by: Credit Report on November 21, 2004 04:12 AM
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