Little Kiwi and Bauhaus

Little Kiwi and Bauhaus
A Boy and His Dog

Monday, 19 July 2010

Pride 2010 - NYC and Toronto

Ok, so I had my first Pride in New York Fuckin' City! It awesome. Marched in the parade with my friends and activists who are "Queer Rising", and was blessed to be joined by a young straight buddy of mine who just kicks fucking ass while being impossibly gorgeous. Oh, how I love him for so many reasons.
It was fun. But Toronto Pride, I must confess, takes the cake. It truly is the best Pride celebration in the world. So inclusive, so diverse, so awesome. PFLAG was the honoured group in Toronto this year, so we led the parade. Joining us was Brian Burke, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey franchise, and the US Olympic team. His son, Brendan, Came Out in 2009 - becoming a visible and inspiring advocate as a gay man in the sports field. Tragically, Brendan was killed in an accident in February 2010. Before his death, Brendan had been in touch with my mother, and was planning on marching with his father and us in the Pride Parade - fulfilling a promise they'd made to each other. This year, wearing Brendan's jersey, Brian Burke marched in the parade to honour his son. It was tremendously moving.

To Mr. Burke, to the families we represent when we march in the parade - we are ALL family. We are one. We carry each other through the hard times, and we celebrate the joys together.

Pride Forever.


level75RDM said...

I came to this blog post from your Queerty reply on Originally, I was going to reply there, but I just couldn't figure out how to tailor this to your ongoing discussion with GTT, neonegro, etc. But it felt relevant nonetheless.

If people truly weren't interested in Pride, as they claim, they'd have simply opted out of commenting because, hey, it's got nothing to do with them, right? Instead, it didn't take long at all for people to complain that Pride doesn't represent them and that it's an embarrassment for gay people.

Actually, the notion that it's an embarrassment is ironic given what "pride" (the word, not the celebration) actually is- an antonym for "shame." And that should really be the takeaway of Pride- to live as you are without having to be arbitrarily shamed for it.

I didn't bring up the gay geek convention, FlameCon, for no reason. One doesn't even have to be gay to exemplify the concept of pride. In fact, many of my straight friends are, ironically, role models for me to live as an openly gay man. They're productive, career-oriented, ambitious people who live respectable lives as teachers, social workers, from blue collar plumbers to white collar lawyers, husbands and wives...


...and in their free time, some of them LARP as James Bond characters, attend Legend of Zelda concerts dressed up as Link, openly love musical theater (how gay!), meet at bars to play video games. I wish people could meet this petite Muslim girl I know who flies into nerd rages at the mention of superhero comics. They indulge in their passions, no matter how odd outsiders may find it, and will own up to the denigration of "losers" with...well...pride. It's inspiring to watch others live without apology.

At one time, such flagrant displays repulsed me. Because I didn't want to be associated with fat slob nerds (this was my adolescent bias talking). But I finally took the plunge and got to know some of them, ironically around the time I was coming to terms with the fact I'm gay.

Now it's incredibly easy to apply that same world view to those things traditionally associated with gayness. I don't see a drag queen and think "Ugh, mainstream people are going to think gays are so weird." I see a drag queen and think, "That guy is wearing a ridiculous dress and tacky wig without an ounce a shame. That's so Lame, the dial has gone all the way around to Frickin' Awesome."

I guess, what I'm getting at is that to reduce the concept of Pride to gogoboys and leather harnesses sadly takes it at surface value. And that it's even sadder that gays would embarrassed to exemplify these traits when, the truth is, the traits are universally admirable. Ironically, for all the huffing and puffing about being acceptable for straight people, my straight friends are unanimously accepting of gays in the circle because, after all, it's all about people celebrating each others' ability to be who they are without apology.

And even though, in the past, I have avoided Pride because I thought it simply wasn't for me, this year, I'm going because I want to be true to those values. More than that, I think it's more necessary than ever to recognize that the gay rights movement is traditionally considered to have begun with riots. These days, people fail to acknowledge that riots get people talking about issues, regardless of whether or not we think violent protest is excessive. Nobody has ever been recognized as an equal because they politely asked for it.

Little Kiwi said...


Happy Pride!

level75RDM said...

Well, I went and there was little more indecent than anything else I would see at any other NYC street fair. Ok, there was one topless woman walking around, which I thought was a little inconsiderate considering there were children around. A lot of children, actually. More than you'd think from the way people like to talk about Pride.

Stuck around for the parade for about two hours. In that two hour time, there was exactly one float with shirtless men dancig; it was for a bar in the parade. The rest of it was mostly non-profit organizations wearing monochromatic uniforms and waving flags. Disgusting and scandalous, that!

Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus

Little Kiwi Loves Bauhaus
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