Gay "Pride" Parades?

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    Oct 03, 2008 9:24 AM GMT
    Something has been bothering me for sometime about the gay community: Pride Parades.

    I have never been to one... living in Maine there is only one that I know of... but I have seen pictures and clips of these "pride" parades. I'm sure the majority aren't like this, but why do so many guys wear almost nothing and dance around provocatively?

    Shouldn't these parades be about showing the world we are proud to be out and gay and not ashamed of it? What does the Christian Right think of our community when the see drag queens wearing bondage gear... or see a bunch of twinks wearing "male-enhancing" briefs while giggling their asses and "packages" in front of other twinks?

    People in the Christian Right use these parades to justify their belief that all gays are sex-crazed ill folks. Don't care? Then don't whine when social conservative are elected to congress, the supreme court and/or the oval office. I don't care what the Christian Right thinks... but I do care how they vote.

    Furthermore, what about children who are taken to these events? I'd never want my kid to see some of the stuff that goes on during these parades. I'm sure it is only a small group of indiviuals that do this--though the numbers must vary from city to city.

    Proud that your gay? Good for you-- me too. Wanna Dress like a slut and dance provocativly--awesome... I'll go watch! But do it in a club or a bar where the public can't see.

    People tend to judge groups and only see the bad. What will a normal person remember at these parades... PFLAG marching for equality--mothers and fathers and children of gays-- or the drag queens and twinks wearing nothing but thongs?

    Call me conservative (please don't <---insult lol), but I think parades are a chance to show the world what our community really is... loving indiviuals who want the same rights as str8s. Adding provocative messages only hurts that cause in my opinion.
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    Oct 03, 2008 10:15 AM GMT
    cjcscuba1984 saidPeople tend to judge groups and only see the bad. What will a normal person remember at these parades...


    Firstly, it would seem there not the only one judging and second.. who isn't normal??

    Mate, you need to get over the fact that things you don't like happen, acceptance is not about everyone being happy with everything that happens, its about accepting the fact that someone is different from you and letting them live there life without you judging, berating or belittling them because of there differences!
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    Oct 03, 2008 10:36 AM GMT
    You seem so young to be an apologist.
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    Oct 03, 2008 10:49 AM GMT
    lilTanker said
    cjcscuba1984 saidPeople tend to judge groups and only see the bad. What will a normal person remember at these parades...


    Firstly, it would seem there not the only one judging and second.. who isn't normal??

    Mate, you need to get over the fact that things you don't like happen, acceptance is not about everyone being happy with everything that happens, its about accepting the fact that someone is different from you and letting them live there life without you judging, berating or belittling them because of there differences!


    First off, when I used the word normal- I meant like an "everday" person... Joe Shmoo standing on the street. I am not saying that gays aren't normal lol or str8s aren't normal. Perhaps I should have not included that word since I gave you the wrong impression.

    Second, i am not judging those people. If I were than I would have writen that "they are going to Hell" or "they are bad people." I am just impling that there is a time and a place for stuff like that and I believe it is not on public streets.

    I also understand that there will always be this of which bother me. You need not have to tell me that since everytime I watch Fox News I get bothered. I just believe that there are certain social standards everyone should live up to out of respect for others.

    Do str8 people have parades and dance like that in skimpy clothing?

    Same with nudity on beaches. Is it okay for me to walk on a regular beach nude? Not with little kids around. Is it okay for me to walk on a nude beach nude? Sure! It is a seperate beach just for that.

    Again, I have no problem with people dressing like that at parades... but do it in a club/bar... not out in public where kids and the Christian Right can see.
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    Oct 03, 2008 10:50 AM GMT
    McGay saidYou seem so young to be an apologist.


    Age has nothing to do with this.
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    Oct 03, 2008 10:53 AM GMT
    Ok, you seem too smart to be an apologist, yet, here we are.
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    Oct 03, 2008 11:06 AM GMT
    McGay saidOk, you seem too smart to be an apologist, yet, here we are.


    Apologist... hmmm I'm hoping you don't mean Christian Apologist (<--ultimate bash lol)

    We just have differences in everyday human decency... which is cool. i am not trying to "stand on a soap box" and demoralize anyone. I have made no ad hominem attacks towards anyone. I just want people to realize that their actions in public places can influence the Christian Right quite negatively (don't believe me? look on the net.)

    Maybe I should have kept this subject to myself and/or delete this thread...
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    Oct 03, 2008 11:08 AM GMT

    I agree somehow with cjcscuba1984 , we should play the poor deprived small community ..which reflects somehow the truth in daily life ..
    but in the other hand , it's a chance for most people to be crazy .. and this is the real "them" , and reflects the truth ... pride parades are not just to whine about our taken legal rights .. but also to show people "here we are !! we excist , and that's how !" ..

    though , I think the naked scenes are exaggerated .. I think you shoud be in a pride parad first then so you can judge it better..
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    Oct 03, 2008 11:12 AM GMT
    you need to go to a hetro mardi gras, watch what happens there and the amount of flesh you get too see!
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    Oct 03, 2008 11:23 AM GMT
    lilTanker saidyou need to go to a hetro mardi gras, watch what happens there and the amount of flesh you get too see!


    hmmmm yuck... but i get ur point
  • IdkMyBffJill

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    Oct 03, 2008 11:36 AM GMT
    I have to agree with cjcscuba. For many people their only mental image of "gay people" are the images they see from pride parades - which make for good "food" for the anti-gay groups (go to Americans for Truth, Family Research Council, etc). These groups are using these pictures to make the gay community seem completely unrelatable. The first thing they teach you in any persuasion/influence/lobbying training class is that you have to be "relatable" -- our community has failed miserably in this department. No wonder most americans don't support the gay community. The average american cannot relate to a bunch of guys in leather harnesses fondling eachother in the middle of the street. . .

    I'm totally not saying we shouldn't get together & have fun (ie. straight Mardi Gras) but we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard since this is such a huge "mental image" we are providing to the public.
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    Oct 03, 2008 11:41 AM GMT
    Learn your gay history and google to read about what Gay Pride represents. Also, there are other clips vidoes showing the gamet of the gay community.

    IF it wasnt for the bull dykes, drag queens, fairy boys, we would not be were we are today. If they had not fought back at stonewall we would not be free to live our lives as we do today.
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    Oct 03, 2008 12:05 PM GMT
    The people that want to keep us from having full and equal rights are the same people that think the state should control our sexuality. The same people that want to make sodomy illegal again. The people that want marriage codified in the constitution. The people that want to tell a woman she can't choose.

    To quote Gore Vidal "Sex is politics".

    The pride parade has as much to do with being gay as it does with liberating sexuality from the government. If god and government stayed out of each other and our bedrooms, there wouldn't be a problem.

    But maybe you are right, maybe our sexualities should be mute. Maybe we should not celebrate what is natural in public and keep it to the back rooms of seedy video stores in gay ghettos.

    Invisibility is the new black.
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    Oct 03, 2008 12:30 PM GMT
    Well if you had come to Cleveland Pride, you would have found stalls from Universities, Athletic groups, Activist and Lobbyist orgnizations. You would have seen many children, families, old and young people. You would have seen a few leather people and drag queens, but perhaps you would have been surprised at how natural everyone appeared.

    Do not judge the notion of Pride on how the media presents Pride. And moreover, if you don't like it what are you doing to change it?

    This question seems to come up recurringly.
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    Oct 03, 2008 1:16 PM GMT

    hey cjcscuba1984,

    You make some astute points and conversely, so do those that disagree with you. Though Mardi Gras is definitely out there and comparable to what you see at pride parades, it's not celebrated in many cities, which is unlike gay pride parades.

    While neither of us believe in 'hiding under a leaf' there's merit in observations about how the less tolerant perceive gays. Many straight people go to the parades, both out of curiosity and for entertainment, let's face it - we're entertaining!

    In a bizarre twist, we found out that some straight people are rather put off by gays that aren't easily visible. I (Doug) was told once that straight people like to be able to tell if someone's gay. Less threatening? Perhaps, depending on in what sense they feel threatened.

    We've searched the 'net and found many instances of gay hatred by special interest groups, some of which are astonishing-ly large.

    We've also searched out info about the pride parade origins, but will have to say that the first group, who are the ones that should be reading about gay pride, don't!

    So the trick, we think, is to have more very visible representation than just the parades, which show only an extreme view, as anyone would expect - the parades being a cross section of many gay walks of life.

    It fits beautifully this way: A parade full of regular guys and gals dressed in nothing other than regular street wear and simply walking down the street won't attract a whole lot of attention. A pride parade full of colourful and way-out stuff will attracts scads of people, who, watching the parade, suddenly see scores of groups like PFLAG and civic leaders, police etc. and see that gays aren't restricted to the flamboyant.

    Did you know many parents take their kids to Mardi Gras?

    I think the media is largely to blame for this canard. They only report what will sell, and sensationalism is the name of the game. They misrepresent the gay population by making us into a very two-dimensional group.
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    Oct 03, 2008 2:28 PM GMT
    cjcscuba1984 said
    Call me conservative (please don't <---insult lol), but I think parades are a chance to show the world what our community really is... loving indiviuals who want the same rights as str8s. Adding provocative messages only hurts that cause in my opinion.


    I agree. And I've not only been in Pride parades, I've led them. Including the first one ever done in a Midwestern town that some feared would become a scene of violent clashes with homophobes. We'd already had shots fired into our one gay club. We did OK, just some sidewalk protesters.

    I strongly support Pride parades for many of the reasons already given here. They're the ultimate out-of-the-closet statement for many of us, give hope & courage to the entire community, recognize our individual & collective achievements, and help open that closet door a little bit for many others, telling those inside "It's OK to come out now."

    No doubt these reasons are first among our enemies' real motives for wanting them limited or stopped. But they focus on the raunchy, Mardi Gras-like elements as their chief and public reason for opposing them, and we play right into their hands.

    And I really do question whether a parade float from a gay strip club, with bulging bikini bois gyrating their way down Main Street, is really what Pride is all about. What I see is a business commercially exploiting the event under the guise of gay Pride. If I wanna see bare male asses in glitter thongs (as I frequently do), I know where to go, without a risque float to remind me in broad daylight.

    One might as well have a July Fourth parade down Main Street, USA, in which the local straight strip club enters a float with female pole dancers on it. After all, they're celebrating their independence, too, right? To express themselves by provocatively dancing nearly naked in public?

    And if that kind of sex display has little to do with a community parade, then what is the relevance of nearly naked gay guys, other than they're nice to look at. So's a dick; should we pull those out, too? And I won't even go into the sexist aspects, since it's almost always about the boys, rarely the girls.

    I think we need to have the common sense to realize when a situation is being exploited, whether commercially, or because a small minority wants to be exhibitionists at the expense of gay credibility with the voting public.

    In contrast is the Minneapolis Twin Cities Pride, claimed to be the third largest in the US after SF & NYC. which I saw & participated in for several years. And of the roughly 140 separate march units, the one that always gets the most crowd applause is the PFLAG parents marching with their young children, many of the kids in strollers.

    BTW, the biggest corporate entry has been Target's, with well over a hundred of their red-shirted employees marching down Hennepin Avenue, a wonderful sight. Target also has had the largest pavilion for the Pride Fest afterwards, and they give away the best freebies. Go Target!

    The parade isn't without a few bikini bois, but that's really the exception. Instead it's community groups, church groups, police, fire & EMT units, gay bands, politicians, etc. It's that Main Street, USA parade gone glitter, for it's just as sparkly & gay fabulous as the raunchy parades that show more flesh than fashion, more sex than sense.

    That's the kind of Pride Parade I can truly be proud of, and that I'm proud to show to the rest of America. And that I think will bring us support rather than scorn, and pay dividends at the election polls, not the dance poles.
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    Oct 03, 2008 3:06 PM GMT
    sfinboston saidLearn your gay history and google to read about what Gay Pride represents. Also, there are other clips vidoes showing the gamet of the gay community.

    IF it wasnt for the bull dykes, drag queens, fairy boys, we would not be were we are today. If they had not fought back at stonewall we would not be free to live our lives as we do today.


    BAM!!! Thank you!!!

    My only question is why does the media always tend to interview the naked cracked out Queen on roller-skates????
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    Oct 03, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    a1972guy said
    My only question is why does the media always tend to interview the naked cracked out Queen on roller-skates????


    LOL!!! Because she shows up. The news media has always needed attention-getting headlines to sell newspapers, or today to get TV ratings points or online web site hits.

    Attention getters therefore get media attention. Which of course is what the naked roller-skater wanted in the first place: attention. Nothing to do with gay pride or issues, just pure selfish attention.

    Case in point: I took part in several AIDS walks this year, and at the Miami one a man showed up riding a beat-up ancient Schwinn bicycle. He wasn't registered, had raised no money for AIDS, and bicycles aren't allowed among the walkers, yet he invaded our event anyway.

    But his gimmick was that he had a big, colorful, live parrot on his shoulder the whole time, squawking away. And the media loved it, camera people trying to snap his pic. His bike got in the way of the walkers, causing people to break their pace, and I'm still not sure why the walk's controllers couldn't remove him.

    So here we are, walking to raise money for AIDS, having paid our required fee for a closed event, and the media attention is on this guy who's making a mockery of our efforts.

    Blame the guy? Blame the media? Blame the organizers for not enforcing the procedures our fees had paid for? I view your naked roller skater in much the same way.
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    Oct 03, 2008 3:40 PM GMT
    So from what some of you have said... gay pride is about a sexual liberation from god and government? And that by being sexual in public we no longer have to have sex in the back rooms of seedy video stores? And because bull dykes and fairy boys and drag queens fought for equal rights we should tolerate their provocative dancing in thongs and bondage gear?

    Well throw me a black hat and call me a Puritin! lol

    A wise man I admire once told me, "I wouldn't want to see two gay men [making out] in public. Just like I do not want to see a man and a women [making out] in public."

    I realize that the majoriety are decent... but like I said... people don't care about the majoriety--they care about the vocal minority
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    Oct 03, 2008 3:43 PM GMT
    The most empowering thing I have ever seen was two men who kissed in public, and not one person around them noticing. Love is a beautiful thing.
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    Oct 03, 2008 3:46 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidThe most empowering thing I have ever seen was two men who kissed in public, and not one person around them noticing. Love is a beautiful thing.


    Yes... Kissing is fine... but making out and touching each other all over is what I meant. There is a time and a place for the ... not in public-that's what he was saying (the man i admire)
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    Oct 03, 2008 3:50 PM GMT
    I support the originator of this topic.
    Fighting for your rights and protesting is important, but the way I see it most parades today are not about that at all.

    I'm not a big fan of exhibitionist, commercial reality tv crowded by uninhibited attention seekers, and somehow, some aspects of the pride parades remind me of just this.
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    Oct 03, 2008 3:57 PM GMT
    I wish only that the whole thing was even more decadent and in their faces.
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    Oct 03, 2008 4:02 PM GMT
    cjcscuba1984 saidPeople tend to judge groups and only see the bad. What will a normal person remember at these parades... PFLAG marching for equality--mothers and fathers and children of gays-- or the drag queens and twinks wearing nothing but thongs?

    I can only speak for the 10 or so parades I've seen or marched in while in Atlanta, but PFLAG and other similar advocacy groups by far get the most applause--more than the dancing water polo team, etc.

    But your point is widespread and why a lot of the mainstream gays don't attend. Most recently (and I don't know if it's been settled in court yet) some San Diego fire fighters (I presume straight) were forced to be in their pride parade and claimed sexual harassment for doing so. That's not the best press.
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    Oct 03, 2008 4:04 PM GMT
    I really think this all comes down to the rainbow flag. Chosen by the gays as a symbol of diversity.

    For me gay pride parades are about celebrating our diversity. Our diversity from the mainstream and our diversity within our community. That's why there are so many floats. Floats of bikini boys, and floats of PFLAG members. Marchers in drag and marchers for Marriage equality. People who are preaching polyamorism, and same-sex couples who have been together for 30+ years.

    The beauty I find about being gay is that you can choose to do whatever you want. If you want to throw on a wig and blast the Judy Garland Carnegie Hall album from a boom box as you lip-sync walking down the street in a fabulous parade, you can! Straight people don't really have or feel like they have the same type of freedom.

    The reason that the media chooses to show the naked or risque sides of the parade is because IT'S GOOD TV. If someone sees people in regular clothes just marching down the street, they're going to change the channel. If they see a drag queen riding piggy-back on a muscle stud, they're going to stop clicking the remote. This gives the program showing that footage more viewers, higher ratings, and makes them more appealing to advertisers. $$$

    Frankly there are a lot of sub-groups or events in the gay community in which I don't want to participate. But it makes me happy to see so many diverse groups represented in our parade so that those who do want to seek those groups out can and have a means of support to do so.

    That's what makes me proud about our parades.

    ~Alex