Sunday, July 3, 2011

"Pervert" Pride

I was out of town last weekend during the Pride festivities. I was actually in a small city in the mid-west and took in the events there. It was completely different than what goes on here in NY. The people were much different and the overall tone of the parade and related activities was not at all what I’m used to.

I’m not much for parades and festivals in general, but I have watched the Pride parade here in NY before. I never really got into it and really didn’t see the appeal. After going to the parade in the city I was visiting last weekend I can’t get over the amount of gratuitous sexuality displaced here in NY. The other city was much more tame. In fact, I didn’t even see a police presence. There were no obscenities, no nudity, and not even any barricades along the parade route. People treated each with respect and many of the groups marching and showing support in the parade were not even explicitly “gay” groups. After the parade was over, I walked back through the parade route a few hours later and was amazed to see that the streets were spotless. I couldn’t even tell that just a few hours earlier the street was lined with thousands of people as a parade went through.

What goes on here in NY is disgusting. Why is it that the Pride parade is the only cultural or ethnic pride parade that routinely displays gratuitous nudity and sexual acts? It’s absolutely shameful that New Yorkers feel a need to behave that way. What I saw while visiting the mid-western city really shows that the LGBT community can be respected and accepted in society for who they are and they can show the same respect back to their city during the celebrations. There were many families at those events too, including countless straight families who were not concerned about what images their children might be exposed to at the festival. There was nothing obscene or inappropriate and certainly no lewd or sexual acts displayed in public. I remarked to everyone how amazing I was to see a community come together for a peaceful and tasteful event. It’s terrible that doesn’t happen here in NY.

The people marching in the NY parade as well as those along the parade route are often wearing very little clothing, if any; are heavily intoxicated; and frequently engage in criminal activity. The NY parade is perverse and anything but family-friendly. The mid-western city’s parade was clearly more a celebration of acceptance and inclusion for LGBT members of the community, while the NY parade is a tasteless display of all the sexual stereotypes the LGBT community should reject. Don’t worry though, I’m not moving out of NY. The savage and disrespectful behavior of people in this city just gets to me sometimes. It’s stereotypical displays of gratuitous sexuality like what goes on in the parade here that makes it so hard for young gay people to accept who they are and to come out.