inb4 OMG YOU’RE SO HOMOPHOBIC.
No, I support gay rights too but I just feel that they’re approaching this the wrong way. Instead of making the actual homophobes and close-minded see their point, they’re parading themselves around as something else completely and pushing their demographic further away.
While incredibly blunt and abrasive, I have to agree, and I think this photo-set presents a good example of why I typically dislike Pride parades. While I acknowledge the mountain of good that Pride events do support, what the general public sees are the over-the-top displays and often culturally insensitive displays that reinforce stereotypes among those they are trying to persuade to their cause; they are trying to force acceptance by further defining themselves as “other” through increasingly uncomfortable displays while demanding to be accepted and treated as everyone else. They do not ask for equality, they ask for a special level of tolerance - almost deference. And anyone - and I do mean anyone, such as people like me, a gay man who does not necessarily tote the party line - who dissents from this or tries to raise criticism along the lines of practicing more of the lifestyle which we as a minority group are demanding acceptance into is viciously declared a bigot, homophobic, narrow minded, unreasonable, brainwashed, and out of touch (I have been called all of these things for simply suggesting in passing conversation I do not like the more lude and vulgar displays of the parades, which in any other context would be considered completely indecent). On that note, I am consistently appalled at the rampant disrespect and hate spewed forth upon religious groups - particularly Catholics and Christians - at many of the larger events. I understand that many people have been hurt by the more conservative stances and actions of these institutions, but let’s not descend to their level. Fight hate with love. As we say in the South, kill them with kindness. It is a lot easier for oppressors to legitimize intensifying their own hateful rhetoric when their opponent engages in the same - but when faced with kindness and love, they have no choice but to re-evaluate their position, or have their true colors revealed to all.
Of course there are many positive aspects of the parades, and there were ugly aspects of the initial Civil Rights Movement in the ’60s. However, I think it is a poignant lesson to learn from our predecessors to always maintain the dignity which the majority in power refuses to acknowledge. By confronting them not with their worst nightmares but with a defiant dignity, a normalcy that opposes all of their preconceived notions and fears about gay men and women, the cause for equality will be strengthened and given more credence.
There is a place for everything - the intense displays of the gay-pride parades, particularly the more colorful and artistic ones, should be presented in arts and culture fairs. But as far as representing a minority group and acting as the visible face of the fight for LGBT Equality, I think it is inappropriate.
And that is my first unpopular opinion on Tumblr. I’m sorry for any offense to anyone.