So I know I'm about a week late but I wanted to share my thoughts on this year's LA Pride and just my overall feelings on the LGBT Community as a whole. I also want to propose the questions: Have we really come far? Are we continuing to move forward? Are we at a standstill? Are we moving backwards? Are the youth of the community ready/willing to continue the work that our elders have done?
First, how many of us really go to Pride to show the community that we are proud and to support the progress we have made? How many of us go just to drink, oogle half naked men and women and have tons of casual sex?
I went to Pride with a group of my friends. All good guys. All under the age of thirty. It seemed that they wanted to show their pride by bar hopping and getting drunk. Now, don't get my wrong, there's nothing wrong with having a good time and partying it up, I myself had a couple drinks and enjoyed dancing at the club after the parade, and I did enjoy the eye candy of both the men and women BUT that was not the only reason I went. One of the members of my party didn't even seem to understand why we really have Pride. Even my own boyfriend is not a Pride fan; he thinks it makes us look like a joke with all the people getting drunk and humping in the streets. While there's nothing wrong with having a good time don't let it be the only reason to go to Pride. Go because you are truly PROUD of who you are and all that we have accomplished. Go because we can be free to be who we are and don't have to live in fear or in the shadows like we are lepers or outcasts.
I am worried that the youth of our community are not ready to take the torch that the elders are passing onto us. Are we really ready for the commitment to continue moving forward and fighting for our rights? Are our youth ready to continue to fight for marriage equality and to find cures for AIDS? With so many young people into bareback and feeling that being positive is not such a big deal will AIDS really continue to decline in the community or will it rise again? Even though many people can live healthy lives with HIV and AIDS, we still have to remember that it can be deadly. We still need to be cautious. Use protection. Get tested. Know your status and your partner's status.
I don't want people reading this to think I'm bashing Pride. It was really enjoyable. I thought the parade was great and it was wonderful to see so many different groups of people marching and representing. I was especially proud to see the bisexuals marching in the parade, being one myself. I believe that we are often overlooked in the community and are looked at as the minority, much like Trans people. I hope that in next year's parade we have even more bi people marching; who knows maybe I'll be one of them. I also hope that we can gain some more respect within the community and that people come to realize that not all bisexuals are gay people who are afraid to come out or "pick a side."
In closing this blog, I really hope that we as a community will continue to rise and show everyone that we are just like everyone else. That we do deserve basic human rights and that we aren't evil or scary or against God. Just like every other group in the world, straight, black, white, Asian, Spanish, there are good LGBT people and bad LGBT people. I truly believe that if we want to continue moving forward and not be seen as a joke that our elders must embrace our youth. We must try to close the gap. Our elders should be preparing us to finish the job they started.