This weekend marks Dublin's gay pride and it's well into its older years having started out in the early 80's when several members of the gay community started it up and since then it has grown into a phenomenal success. Pride itself has its origins in the gay rights movement starting in the summer of '69 when police forced members of the LGBT community to disband from gay bars in New York in the Greenwich area, one of these bars , the Stonewall Inn, later became one of the flashpoints. Fast forward forty odd years later and now Dublin is holding its pride but who does it represent?
My fellow members of the LGBT community have taken it upon themselves to throw one hell of a party and what a party it is. This is one thing that can be done brilliantly is have a party but marching for rights? The world is a whole lot different than it was forty years ago we must admit. As per the Barons discussion with myself in the gay rights threads, his lesbian friends and I and others in the gay community cringe at the thoughts of glitter and Kylie representing us as is proclaimed by a wide section of the LGBT community. From skinny lads beat into jeans to bears pretending to be butch and everything in between, Pride has become synonomous with silliness as much as it has become to represent gay rights. Pride , it could be argued sets us back in society. The gay community seeks so much acceptance yet a march that seeks to only appeal to a minority and not the majority will never do that. Creating a bad impression of people like myself and others whom are quite happy to admit are gay but for whom being gay is only one of many aspects of our life. Straight people do not have straight pride do they?
I propose gay pride bring itself bang up to date and seek to change its attitude and mature itself. Gay marriage will not be achieved by waving glow sticks and endless amounts of Kylie are not going to bring us equal inheritance rights. By all means have the marches, I have joined you all in the past but this is a plea, take a look at the bigger picture. Become a part of active political and social life. Money spent on the parade could be used to fund a hostel for young LGBT people fleeing life from torture or persecution, it could be used to get more LGBT reps into the Dail, it could be used to open the gay switchboard for longer. Every pride I find myself repairing damage from the image portrayed which while fun makes life that little bit harder for me. Pride they say is about embracing our inner gay and being secure to do so but is it not stemming from an insecurity that we must show we are here and queer? Why not throw a concert and invite everyone from civic leaders to community organisations? We can gain acceptance more so through engagement on a more mature level.