So a few days ago, I posted a link to this article in the LA Weekly about Los Angeles Gay Pride. And despite my reposting last week, I’ve often wondered about the relevancy of Gay Pride events in this day and age.
If you’re younger, or in a community/city/country where you may not get to see a lot of out gay people, or you’re new to the gay scene, I think it’s an event worth going to. It is truly an eye opening experience to be surrounded by openly gay men and women, and feel no sense of shame in any way.
That said, in a world where there are more and more out gay people and more gay rights battles being won, there could become a day where Pride events essentially become obsolete. And to me personally, at this point in my life, I don’t really see much point in going to them anymore. Of course there are fights still to be fought. But half the point of Pride was to create visibility. Well, I think I can argue that the gay community is gaining a lot more visibility in the mainstream. Gay characters are all over TV, film, magazines, sports, etc. Year round. It’s getting to be a non-event… as it should be. But it also means that the mission of Pride is gradually coming to a close. Every day is pride day. It’s accomplished it’s goals (or will have in the near future). Is it really becoming just a caricature of itself? Do we really still need to mention “Dykes on Bikes” every year–which, while initially empowering long ago, is now a borderline offensive and derogatory term? (At least, it is to me.)
For me personally, I’ve never felt terribly at home at Pride. The first time I went, it was a great learning experience. As was going to gay clubs. But as I started to find my footing and confidence, I was realizing the entire bar, club, and circuit scene was not for me. I’m more of a loner type. I’d much rather see a movie, play a board game, or discuss politics at a party than wear a bathing suit, swim in foam, and be around a whole lot of wasted and high people. But boy, if a gay man doesn’t go to a club or bar, where’s he to find others like him?
I assure you many quieter, introspective, non-club kid gays do exist. And nowadays, unless you have a great circle of friends already, online seems to be your best best. I was surprised by how many non-“scene” gays are really out there.
I know this comes not a week after I just reposted my Fetish Pride entry. And I do think the gay kink community still has a place, and is needed. And depending on where you live, a Gay Pride event may in fact still be a very necessary and needed event. I do know there’s still a lot of discrimination out there. But at this point in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, it’s almost like any other circuit party. With a little bit of activism on the side.