Monday, May 31, 2021

Music Monday: It's Pride Again

Happy almost Pride Month, my fellow Alphabet Mafia members! Yes, it’s that time of year again when everything gets a rainbow and everyone is gay – sorta kinda still not really. While the pandemic cancelled all of our plans last year, this year the annual celebration of LGBTQ pride appears back on, again sorta kinda. And so of course returns the debate about what Pride should be about in the first place. Is it Rainbow Capitalism while dancing on the Deutsche bank float? Should it leave out the kink to be more mainstream and family friendly? Do we let uniformed cops march?

For me, and I think a lot of other folks under the Big Gay Umbrella, it’s personal. I can tell you in the 20+ years I’ve been celebrating Pride, I have seen it change and evolve greatly. Two of the biggest changes have been corporations slapping rainbows on everything and straight people showing up in droves.

Now we’ve talked about corporate pride before, and what it means to LGBTQ equality. While I appreciate the embrace of queer people and the realization that supporting us is profitable, never forget that corporations aren’t your friend. They only care about money, and accepting queer people is just good business these days. And that’s that. You can still enjoy and appreciate it, just know its roots are in dollars and not equality.

As for straight people showing up at Pride, well, that’s also complicated. Over the years I’ve noted many (many, many, many many) more straight folks using Pride as another reason to party. Like, you’ve already appropriated St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo and SantaCon. Can’t we have this one thing? While I always encourage straight allies to openly support LGBTQ causes (particularly with their voices and their dollars), perhaps less taking up physical space at Pride would be nice. I really don’t need to look over and see straight couples making out in the middle of the Dyke March. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just read the room straight people. Read the room.

While I tend to be a crowd adverse person (especially since the pandemic, hello low-key agoraphobia), I have always loved looking out during Pride and seeing the absolute sea of LGBTQ people. Many of us have searched so long and so hard to find our chosen families, to see ourselves en masse matters. And I love to see it all, from the go-go dancers in short-shorts to the BDSM crowd in their leather and the lady who always wears tassels and propellers her boobs the entire march. And the families. And the political activists. And the gays just trying to hook up. And the lesbian couples who U-Hauled too fast. And the newbies. And the elders. Yes to all of that.

Because that’s the glory of Pride, at least for me. Yes, it absolutely started as a riot. Yes, it should always be political. Yes, it should continue to be a statement of beauty and diversity of LGBTQ existence. The truth is our work is far from over. The Equality Act is stalled in the Senate. Trans rights are being assaulted every single day in state legislatures across this country. Yet we can fight and dance and sip cocktails and demand out civil rights all at the same time because we contain multitudes.

The thing about being LGBTQ in America is that we emphatically aren’t all the same. And that’s the point. But the vast majority of us likely have all been told (by people we love, strangers, and/or society) that we don’t matter. That we are somehow bad or wrong or weird or undeserving. Pride should always continue to be a repudiation of that. Be yourself. Be proud of yourself. Because still so much of society would rather we simply not. This year celebrate how you want because that’s what Pride should be about.

And, if the straights really want to help, maybe they can pony up the cash for those disgusting $50 cocktails for all their queer friends. Now that’s allyship I can get behind. (And, you know, calling your Senators and telling them to pass the Equality Act already.) Happy (almost pride) Monday, kittens.


Carmen San Diego said...

Let’s continue overtly advocating tolerance and diversity. Happy Pride DS

Osiris said...

No issue with corporations supporting the LGBT movement. Would we rather they ignore us? I don't know why many in the community want to ditch capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Yes DS yes! SPOT. ON. Although I’m Scottish and in Scotland so don’t actually have a senator but the rest still stands. Corporate tokenism in particular gets on my tits.

*stands up* *applauds*

Oh and to the person above - F capitalism - get it in the sea