The Heterodox

The Heterodox


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Do We Still Need Pride?

July 12, 2011 , , , , , ,

For every writer, a major requisite of being a literary metier is knowing that you are never off duty. This is why so many of us enjoy whenever we are allowed to slip into the background (as best we can of course) of social situations so as to be able to observe and take note of all the myriad manifestations of human thought and idiosyncrasy. One of my particular favorite venues for this activity is bar patios where in the early afternoon I can sit with a drink and a book and appear to others as completely unaware and indolent of my surroundings. While doing this, I very often hear bits of thought and conversation that I find later on are quite useful when writing on all of the many topics which can induce one to write in the first place.

For example, within the past couple of weeks (after all of the tourists had gone home after the Gay Pride weekend) I kept coming across people commenting on the rather lack luster parade and general degeneracy of the Pride events here in San Francisco. I also noticed that I was coming across these criticisms a lot more than I usually would and not solely emanating from long-time residents and malcontents such as myself. So that is why you find me today posing the following questions: Do we gays and lesbians still need Pride? Does it not seem like these events have become completely politically sterile and instead devoted to a rather crass and banal hedonism? Does Pride help or in fact hinder the continuing quest for our fugitive sociopolitical equipoise?

Now before I can even attempt to offer an answer to these questions, it must be clearly understood that I never seek refuge within a majority on any matter. Yet it finally seems like more and more of my brothers and sisters are finally realizing and coming to terms with how far we still have to go in achieving equal standing within this republic. Think about it. Are we not the last phalanx in society forced to be mendicant for our civil rights? And by specifically oppugning the concept of Gay Pride, it should be rather obvious that these events do nothing for our political travails when we examine the results of such criticism. Less parades and more protest would be a bit of fresh air in the corridors would it not? Of course the greater enemy to these matters remains apathy. I have often criticized my fellow gays for becoming too settled with the meager concessions we have managed to extract from the straight world while at every opportunity selfishly wallowing in paphian delights. By doing this, by ceasing the fight for equal consideration, we egregiously slander all those who have died fighting for our current position in society. We have no right to resign ourselves and to give up the fight for our supposedly guaranteed civil rights as citizens of this republic. You really have to ask yourself, as a political movement, how far have we stagnated by my being able to render such criticisms all the while knowing them to be true?

By continuing this argument I hope to do justice or at the very least not shame the memory of such aureate individuals as Harvey Milk and Vito Russo. I feel confident that they would be appalled by our communities’ utter and complete lack of political activism and over indulgence in sociopathic self-interest at the expense of the former. It would appear that we have completely lost our social cohesion and ability to fight back against the forces of reaction. Our community (if it can be still called that) has never felt so disparate and disconnected while simultaneously our ability to achieve true equality and equal consideration remains in a frustratingly fugacious state. Is it not painfully obvious that it is about time we learn from the history and example of the struggles for equality that African Americans underwent (after enduring centuries of derision and persecution) by having our own March on Washington? This kind of queer insurrection is long over due. And if we can manage to come together as a gay nation and demand our rights at the Federal level and not state by state, then we just might have a chance at our own political manumission as well as a terminus of our third class status. I look every day and everywhere for signs of this advent within our society and culture, but have yet to spot anything. This contingency rather fortunately leaves only one question in mind. Where is our ANGER?

What do you think?

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