Among the things we feel strongly about is what is LGBT Pride and how should we, how do we express it during pride events.
A meme circulated that showed two photos in juxtaposition - the top photo was a 1970s LGBT march with people in street clothes, holding hands and carrying placards, the bottom photo was two very young men on a float in speedos grinding against each other. The top photo was captioned "this is pride", the bottom photo was captioned "this is bullshit."
People then spent the better portion of the week virtually yelling at each other through the Internet, denigrating one another, and calling each other names. We were angry.
I'd like to suggest a few things:
Seriously, the Millennials are right -- "you do you." Be proud, celebrate pride, be you. If you want to go and wear cargo shorts and a polo shirt and hold your boyfriend's or girlfriend's hand, do that. If you want to wear a speedo and grind against another consenting speedo wearer, do that. Pride is all of us -- LGBTQIA, all of us -- vanilla, monogamous, open, polyamorous, asexual, kink, LBDSM. Pride is single moms, single dads, divorced parents, lesbian moms, gay dads, singles, couples, polyamory, adults, people with children, politicians, religious, religious communities, LGBTQIA affirming churches, office holders, elected officials, professionally employed people, Jackie "O" impersonators, The Kinsey Sixes, Varla Jean, Coco, drag performers, school teachers, Dykes on Bikes, people in fetish gear, and yes, people in tiny bathing suits consensually grinding into each other. Go. Be yourself. Observe pride as you wish. Or, don't go and be happy with that choice. You being you is okay. Someone else being him or herself is okay.
"When Pride becomes more inclusive, like love, it becomes more powerful." Pride is all of us, so you being there and being yourself expresses the diversity that is pride. Not going is okay too, but the more inclusive and diverse pride is the more powerful it is and the more it represents the diversity of the LGBTQI experience.
People have discussed adults at LGBTQIA festivals and pride parades being too overtly sexual -- well beyond people in speedos grinding into each other or people in fetish gear or even people showing a lot of skin and tipping over more into actual sex in public venues where it really is not appropriate. However, public bacchanal that tips over from people being sexy and participating in revelry to inappropriate public sexual activity is not unique to LGBTQIA pride, any adult festivities can and often do tip over with some adult participants going a bit too far in public. This happens with Saint Patrick's Day, this happens with Mardi Gras, this happens with New Years, this happens with the Fourth of July. Sometimes when some adults are enjoying themselves, especially when altered by alcohol or drugs, they fail to exercise better judgement and engage in activities not appropriate for the setting. This is not unique to pride events for gender, sexual and romantic minorities.
Love one another. Accept one another. Celebrate diversity. Embrace that we are all different.
Happy Pride, All!
Text authored by Peter Eldritch (Peter Jirak)
First posted to Facebook on June 24, 2016