Yup, more thoughts about Pride month.
I share many of his thoughts, but I still attend Pride events.
5 Reasons Why I Don’t Celebrate Pride
I’m a gay Black man who used to enjoy the June festivities. But guess what, my Pride is not a Christmas tree.
By Aundaray Guess
June is Pride month. It’s a time for the LGBTQ community to enjoy their turn in the national spotlight. Also this year, the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riot that is credited with helping launch the modern gay rights movement. As the nation show off its pride colors, I sit alone as I have a secret: I don’t like Pride month.
Before I’m asked to turn in my gay card, let me explain. While growing up, I never embraced Pride because of my own insecurities of accepting my sexuality. I would view from afar those who were comfortable to express themselves in public and live in their truth, as I hid in my tiny closet. As I got older and embraced who I am, my feelings of Pride started to shift as I was now able to align the pride I have for myself with the June happenings. I was now in a space to say out loud that I was a gay black man and didn’t care how anyone else felt about it.
He goes on to list the reasons why he doesn’t attend Pride, his first reason is,
Pride has lost its cause.
The original prides had context as it brought together people to rally for our cause. Like the riots of Stonewall, Pride was our time for the world to not only pay attention but also to make some changes. Sadly, it seemed that once gay marriage was approved, the gay community lost its steam or way. And also, to be frank, those whose interests were met with the passing of gay marriage found no need to stay in the fight to help others. There is still so much in the LGBTQ community that needs to be addressed, from trans rights to AIDS funding to global cases of countries not only denying the rights of gays but also killing their LGBT members.
Pride was the celebration of overthrowing the yoke of oppression now it seems like many people seem to think of it as the Fourth of July, or Labor Day and I time for partying.
The attacks on us are still happening around the country, in some states they are trying to get around marriage equality. In Tennessee they are trying to pass a bill to create a marriage for straight people only. But as he says many gays and lesbians thought that once marriage equality was passed the battle was over.
Love Makes a Family closed their doors once marriage was achieved, they didn’t want to close but the donations that kept it alive dried up and they had no choice but to close their doors.
Pride is too corporate.
Pride and its marches have turned into a very long corporate commercial. In essence, corporations have bought out Pride and placed themselves in the front, literally. In NYC, this has been a contentious issue that from it has created an off-shoot Pride in which corporations are not invited. At the same time, it also divides the community. Instead of coming together as a strong unit, we’ve fallen into different camps. We have to stop allowing our Prides to be monetized and instead bring the community the Pride is meant for, back to the front.
I also realize the need for corporate sponsor, we need them for the Trans Health and Law conference to offset the costs, instead of holding the price of the conference to twenty dollars it would be a lot more without the sponsors. Pride events need the sponsors for insurance, police protection, rental of the park, clean-up, advertising… and on and on. However. Is a massive Pride really needed? And does the Pride need a to be named after the sponsor? Do we really need a week of bar hoping?
And then we have…
Pride is not senior- or special-needs friendly.
Like other aspects of the LGBTQ community, gay elders are invisible as you find little to no inclusions for them either to be involved or invited.
One town in Connecticut holds a parade… do they have a senior float or trolley? The pioneers of the LGBTQ+ movement are getting old and many of them cannot walk any distance, so are disabled and need help in getting around. Are they being forced out by not having any transportation for them?
Also what about the kids?
Now we have our children attending Pride celebrations, are they kid friendly? Before True Colors folded they used to set up a play area for the children, now…?
We’re suddenly visible.
It’s interesting that in the month of June, everyone now sees us. From the media that run numerous stories of our lives to companies that sell rainbow gear, they see nothing but sales.
They see dollars in our community.
I remember once at a LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce they were talking about demographics of our community… DINKS, Double Income, No Kids.
But those demographics are skewed by gays and marriage is also changed them. Now we have children. On the Tenth Anniversary of marriage equality celebration there were a lot of ten year old's running around.
Lets reclaim Pride from the corporations!
I am now encouraged in seeing a lot of local Prides being held around the state, many of them organized by a group of families with LGBTQ children or by churches and not by large LGBTQ+ organizations with corporate sponsors. My nephew’s family organized one in their town and in my town one was organized by the high school GSA.