Gay Pride?

All of what I’m about to write is purely from my own perspective; I can’t speak on anyone else’s behalf, and I wouldn’t try to. No matter what ‘group’ we’re in (and we’re all part of any number of groups, there is no one group that completely defines up), we’re all individuals within that group. The group in question for this entry is the ‘gay’ group, but that is by no means an exhaustive description.

There’s this belief in the existence of ‘gay pride’. Parades are held in the name of gay pride. People wave rainbow-coloured flags to show their pride. I always just accepted that that meant “proud to be gay”.

In light of recent events, though, I have to wonder about that. I was sitting here tonight, beading a dongle for my bag, and I picked up a rainbow-coloured bead to head the row of beads and show my ‘gay pride’. That got me to wondering … what exactly am I proud of?

Am I proud of the fact that I’m attracted to women? No, I really don’t think so. I really don’t see a need to advertise my same-gender attraction, and attraction to a particular gender is not brag-worthy, it just is. Some people are attracted to the same sex, some to the opposite sex, and some to neither sex (it’s true; there are some people that are just not interested in pursuing a relationship of any kind, they’re happy to be single and they have no sex drive to speak of. And that is fine, that’s who they are).

So what am I proud of?

Well, my ‘gay pride’ lies in the courage it took to stand up and be myself in the face of much opposition. Being gay is not a popular thing, there is a whole world full of people who will pursue, condemn, hurt, and even kill people just for being gay. It takes guts to be yourself in the face of that. I take pride in the fact that I was able to come out to my parents in the end. I take pride in the fact that they have accepted me as I am, and have placed no conditions on that acceptance.

For me, at least, gay pride means being proud of the courage to stand up and stop living a lie. Gay pride is about being honest with yourself, and honest with others. And demonstrations of gay pride, even a simple bead dongle, show other people that they can be true to themselves as well. It extends beyond being gay; showing pride for the courage to be openly gay means that others can find courage to come out about the secrets they’ve been hiding. Maybe it gives them courage to stand up to their peers who pressure them to take drugs they don’t want. Maybe it gives them courage to say no, I won’t drive like an idiot, I want to be safe. Maybe it gives them courage to say yes, I will wait until I’m married before I have sex.

Gay pride is about so much more than who we’re attracted to. Gay pride is about personal integrity. At least, that’s what it means to me.

So I’ll go back to making that dongle now, and I shall wear it with pride!

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2 thoughts on “Gay Pride?

  1. Origionally, Gay pride was in responce to a riot. It was our rally. We are proud of who we are and we shouldn’t have to hide it because you don’t like it. It was our civil rights. (I am a gay woman, also). But that was then. I don’t think most of my generation or younger even have a clue of the struggles that we went through. Now, its just a big festival. And honestly it makes me sad that we have come to that. Some families,like mine, are still in the equality fight. But we are the ones that tend to AVOID the whole pride hoopla. Many of us thinnk some of it hurts, not helps. And what the HECK does “Happy Pride” mean. It sounds stupid, really. And It has no meaning anymore. “:I’m proud of being gay and not going to publicly hide, made sence. that doesn’t.

    And you’ve nailed it. What it means to you is what it means to most of us. Its about our personal integrity and being true to who we are, even if others don’t like it. =)

    If you are interested in the american struggle and how it started, I can sent you the name of a few good films. just let me know.

    • KittyChile says:

      I’m curious about the history, definitely! 🙂

      FWIW, it’s not only in America that there’s a struggle (although it’s definitely more prominent there, or so the media tells us, anyway). I remember when I was a kid that a boy got badly bullied in my class because he wore a pink shirt, which meant he was a ‘fag’. Nothing like what is shown on the news, he wasn’t killed or beaten or anything, just ostracised. When I was 17 and my best friend came out, guys on his sports team found out and said “eww, I used to shower with that guy!” As though being gay meant that you perve on everyone of the same sex.

      Ultimately, the key is getting people to understand that gay people are just like straight people, we’re just attracted to our own gender. We can still remain monogamous, we can still raise well-adjusted children, we can still work hard, and most of us have no interest in flaunting our sexuality. The trouble is that people see these gay pride parades, see these men and women dressed like tarts and flaunting sex, and they think that’s what being gay means. And hence the prejudice is fed. So I do agree with you that the parades can do more harm than good. It’s far better, in my opinion, to just go about our lives, fight injustices as they occur, and show people that we’re human, just like them.

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