Comment: In the fight for equality, Pride is starting to do more harm than good
If you were out one night, let’s say you were at the dancing, and a drunken heterosexual came up to you, stotting around, slurring his words and, in amongst this drunken kerfuffle, proceeded to conjure up some ‘witty’ remark enquiring as to where your rainbow flag was.
Straight away you’d consider his comment homophobic; he’s making a remark that’s based purely on a gay stereotype – something you whole heartedly think is wrong. Yet, if you twirl your fluttering eyelids towards any Pride march, what will you find? Float after float drenched in rainbows of the stereotype you so boldly claim to oppose – I smell hypocrisy, don’t you?
So, why do homosexuals wrap this stereotypical rainbow flag around them, then flail and flounder around like Tinkerbell with her arse on fire whenever someone uses it as a weapon of homophobia? If you want the stereotype to be weeded out, then stop embracing it. I’m not condoning homophobia, not in any way, shape or form, but you can’t claim the torches of hate are being lit when you’re the one that’s providing wood for the fire.
And that’s what Pride does; it fuels the flames of hate. Today, Pride is little more than a giant excuse for corporate marketing and a bit of drunken fun. The march claims to ‘celebrate’ its participants’ sexuality, but it’s to its community’s own detriment.
Gay Pride was originally initiated with the aim of taking a bold, positive stance against the discrimination and violence towards the LGBT community; hoping to help build community and celebrate sexual diversity and promote equal rights. They were carried out to help eliminate the belief that being gay was a mental illness, that these ‘people’ were inflicted. They challenged state authority and faced hatred – they stood for something. Now half the participants are so drunk, or wearing such outrageous heels, they can barely stand.
Who cares? I do. You’re not being bold, you’re not making a stance and you’re certainly not making a statement – at least not one that’s helping us gain the respect and equality we deserve.
Perhaps you think I’m being too serious, that Pride is just ‘fun’. Well, you know what? Equality is reached through hard work and dedication, not staggering around the streets in a drunken haze whilst dressed in drag. And Pride does a lot more damage to the LGBT community than people care to realise.
When children are mocked and bullied at school for their sexuality, what hateful remarks are they subjected to? When I was at school, it was remarks like “bums against the wall, boys” or moronic digs and questions from my adolescent piers about “If I liked to wear dresses or make-up” or they’d flick the wrist at me; I even got pushed around. What’s my point? These remarks, these calls that teenage homosexuals are bombarded and plagued with, are heavily incorporated into every Pride march and then plastered all over websites, magazines and the TV for the world to see. It’s a parade full of six-foot tall queens, cross-dressing middle-aged men – and guess what, I’m not stereotyping here. That’s what a lot of the members of the procession dress like. It’s little more than a counterproductive, drag-queen pageant these days than it is a political statement. Yet, people still say it’s harmless fun. Around 40 percent of homosexual teenagers suffer from depression and 30 percent of all teen suicides are due to issues related to their sexuality, most notably being subjected to bullying because of it – tell me now Pride’s just harmless fun?
Right now, all over the world, the LGBT community is battling for the right to get married and the reason so many people are still opposed to it is because of the lingering stereotypes that haunt the LGBT community. It’s sad, but a lot of folk do still cling to the idea that homosexuals are hedonistic, sex-crazed deviants and it’s that myth that’s holding us back; a myth that is only made less fictitious by today’s Pride marches. Why don’t you just get a marker pen and scribble ‘AIDS’ on your index finger and chase folk around, whilst maniacally trying to prod them with it? Both are just as ridiculous as each other.
You want equality? You want to be treated with respect and given the same human rights as everyone else? Then fight for it. You don’t need one yearly march to let the world know you’re proud of who you are. You also don’t need to let yourself be defined by sexual orientation. You want some fun, an excuse to get drunk or dress in drag? Then do it, who am I to stop you – just don’t wave it in people’s faces. The world is already waging a hateful war; don’t give it any more ammunition.
Topher Gen is a journalism student based in Glasgow. He tweets from @TopherGen.
The views expressed in Comment pieces do not represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. You can read Nicolas Chinardet’s response to this article defending Pride here.