point – the rather tenuous association of pride parades to Martin
Luther King’s freedom marches of the 1960s aside – struck a chord
with me as he was supporting what I’ve been saying for years (see
truth is there is no pride
in pride parades. There’s a hyper-sexualized air, certainly.
There’s outrageousness, absolutely. There’s rampant
commercialism, yes. But pride? … hardly.
own version of the annual gawkfest was a week ago. Millions attended
as always – and came to watch the spectacle despite rain and
Toronto’s now two week old garbage strike.
parade reinforces stereotypes and –isms that do exist within our
community and inflates them so that the external viewer assumes they
are the entire
community. What the parade lacks, pride aside, is the one thing
humans need to be seen as equal in the eyes of a majority: respect.
what to do?
the parade? Doubtful, it’s an institution and the rampant
commercialism is needed to help fund a city that is broke. And
besides, the cadre of –isms that currently have a strangle-hold on
organizing the parade would be agog at the thought of cancelling the
once-a-year public celebration of their fetishes. We’d have
choruses of ‘it’s my right’ and umpteen filings to challenge
Section Fifteen of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
real solution lies within. It lies with the silent majority of
“post-gay” gays out there who know the harm the parade is doing
to the movement but remain silent. The solution lies with us
infiltrating the cadre of gay activists that currently own the parade
and who continue to put on a spectacle completely unrepresentative of
a year out from the next spectacle. Now’s the time to get on board
and champion a parade with the pride and respect we deserve.