Sunday, June 3, 2007

Pride and Prejudice

The Gay Pride Parade just took place outside my window and I have to say I'm a little prejudiced.

Not against gays as people. I can't tell them apart from other people. I know some same-sex roommates who are not gay, and some married couples where one of them is. I know some guys who seem light in the loafers who are heavy hitters, and some women who could grow mustaches but have 7 kids (me, for one.) It's just not a topic of discussion in my social encounters. When I have found out someone I know is gay, I have wondered about the difficulties that must present, but it hasn't affected my feelings and interaction with that person. And, for the record, I would be put off by anyone who made their sexual activities the center of their conversations with me. I really don't care what takes place in people's bedrooms or wherever.

I'm prejudiced against the gay movement that takes exorbitant pride in how they do it. OK, so many of us have done it, but we don't have a parade about it. I'm all for the 1st amendment, and anyone can express themselves in their own way, but that means I can, too. If this parade had been about how gay people contribute in their jobs, are good citizens, make a positive difference in the community (all of which I believe), and that they should not be hated or discriminated against by general society because of their sex lives, (which I also believe) that would be parade material.

That wasn't what this parade was about. Let me tell you just some of what I saw going down the street in front of my house on this Sunday morning.

  1. A float (I will be using this term loosely, since they were mostly the back of trucks) advertising the Farmers Market. There were giant balloon type vegetables. Guys clad only in speedos were holding the cucumbers just below their waists and strutting around with gyrating motions, to loud provocative music. Come on, is this a source of pride? Half the population has...cucumbers.
  2. A float called Fort Dicks, decorated with camouflage and netting, featuring guys wearing just speedos, army hats and boots, using fake guns in the same cucumber fashion.
  3. A float celebrating cross dressing with various fashions worn in outlandish ways. (Think Kramer wearing the technicolor dream coat, arriving at the pink Cadillac with his walking stick and giant fedora.)
  4. A group of same-sex parents pushing strollers, with signs on the strollers saying Two mommies are better than one or There are no abusive men in our home! A couple of dad couples also had kids, but they weren't abusing women with their signs. Thankfully these dads and moms were fully clothed.
  5. A group of women oiled up in bikini tops and grass skirts and called Slippery Slopes, advertising their burlesque club.
Most of the other parade participants were just walking with banners or flags, and you couldn't tell if they were gay or straight. Those are the people that can have pride. Not that they are hiding in the closet, or not telling, but that they weren't flaunting sexual preference as if it makes them uniquely qualified for discrimination.

I'm not gay and I don't pretend to understand that lifestyle. I do fall into a few categories where I am a minority, that make me different and stir up unjustified prejudice. I have written some letters to the editor, and whined and complained to others about the unfairness of being judged or discriminated against, and I don't like it. But it seems to me that if people demonstrate the ways they contribute to society, regardless of their lifestyle, and take pride in the good that only they can do, there will be much less prejudice.


Stie said...

I totally agree...I don't care if someone is gay, straight, black, white...WHATEVER. I don't want to talk about what they're doing in the bedroom. And I certainly don't want to have a Heterosexual Pride Parade in which I prance around in my negligee. NOBODY wants to see that.

rp said...

It is unfortunate that the most vocal contingent of any particular group can also be the most crass, outlandish, or flat out counter productive. Tis not limited to the gay community. I live in New York City, where all manner of groups parade or demonstrate. Not all Irish are drunks, but that is what is highlighted; Not all Puerto Ricans are loud and violent; Not all gays are so flamboyant; Not all feminists hate men. But that is the group that seems to show up to represent. That there is no balancing view on display is what helps to keep the prejudice alive, and that is the shame of it.

mama jo said...

it is too bad that we can't all just be what we want to be...and to let others do the same...i'm fine with that, what about the rest of you?

Kay Dennison said...

I have to agree with you, Marty! That parade was in poor taste at best! I have a few gay friends & somehow I can't see them participating in such an event. They are my friends because they are good people and we don't discuss my or their provlivities.

I'm frankly tired of all the emphasis on sex in our society. I think it's created more problems that it's solved.

Bridget said...

yeah, that parade sounds awful. Fortunately they are a minority even among the gay community. I have a brother-in-law who is gay and he would NEVER participate in one of those parades.