When I have broached this subject, admittedly with some caution, I have been roundly shouted down and opposed. Accused of being a cynical contrarian merely for questioning this credulous orthodoxy, although by definition, most orthodoxies are in their nature credulous. The idea of binning gay pride seems antithetical to being a part of the LGBT movement, however, as a gay man this is exactly what I want the LGBT community to do.
Gay pride is at its most successful and needed when it operates in a country which isn’t LGBT friendly. When gay pride is used in a country like the United Kingdom, where equal rights are in full swing, it loses its effect and or moreover it becomes a party claiming to support equal rights when in reality it’s merely a fun albeit expensive day out. Parties are great even the blatant consumerist parties that gay pride now often is as I have personally experienced in Nottingham. However when many people defend the purpose of pride they often claim a kind of political reason and the truth is the political element has been eroded away to the point where it doesn’t really exist.
Gay Pride in this country has lost its original purpose. Yes it is supposed to be a parade and a celebration of LGBT people and LGBT culture at the height of celebratory mood openness and acceptance; this is a potent mix of a great occasion. However it also did have a political edge to it as did the foundations of the pride parade. This edge from what I have witnessed has all but disappeared and now seemingly the only people with ‘issues’ with pride from a homophobic perspective are old dusty religious values which have little credence in the modern world and amongst younger people in our generation.
I am even tempted to argue that the ‘need’ for a pride parade in this country is more to do with the status some people in the gay rights movement want us as a movement to adopt. Authors like Julie Burchill have bemoaned the consumerist capitalist family orientated monogamous theme in which the gay rights movement has turned to Instead craving a counter culture movement which hasn’t blossomed as they hoped. However this is just high minded politics and in reality has nothing to do with lgbtq rights.
I don’t feel the time and effort organising gay pride is relative to what people get out of it. As the Labour party are focusing on homophobic bullying in schools this today is one of the foremost problems facing today’s LGBT community. This is a problem which has longed plagued our school system and our society and it hasn’t been unknown, as the singer Will Young pointed the issue out on Question time in 2012. Not only is homophobic abuse in schools a problem but so is the lack of parallel progress of Transgender rights with LGB rights or what about the lack of recognition that sexuality often isn’t completely ‘fixed’ and it certainly isn’t as simple as many in modern day Britain act as it is.
My arguments against pride as you have read are numerous and I am sure many of you will counter the points I have endeavoured to make. My final point is that true equality cannot be achieved until sexuality is seen as something as important as the colour of one’s skin. As long as gay pride exists we are marking ourselves out as ‘the other’, ironically reinforcing a heteronormative culture which so often people rail against. The day where people don’t need to come out because minority sexualities aren’t an issue, where pride parades aren’t needed because who you wish to fuck isn’t seen as something to be proud of and where different types of love are just there not to be celebrated or demeaned is the day equality is achieved.
By Sam Mace, Senior Writer for Daily Political View.