Friday, June 17, 2011

30 Years of Pride-Have We Really Come That Far?

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.



  1. I see where you're coming from Joe, but like any fight there will always be the ones who want the good time and the ones that want to make change for the better and still have a good time:-). As much as we moan about how the teens today don't get it, I honestly believe there a lot out there that get it. Just like every generation shakes their heads at the last, we have made it this far so something is working:-) Everyone be safe!!

  2. Well, there are a lot of things to say here... First, Stonewall and Pride brought the advent of injecting sexuality into the Gay Movement. It had long been left out. If you want to find out more, and you should, research the ongoing debate in our communities between the homosexuals and the homophiles. There is nothing wrong with sexuality or expressing it and that is the premise of the homosexuals. The homophiles are VERY conservative!!!!! They want to infuse relationships with emotion and want to get married. The problem is that marriage is a dying institution with less than 50% of Americans being married. Why are the younger generations spending so much time, energy, and money on a smoke screen for the conservatives? If we all get married, we are aspiring to the heterosexual/homophile paradigm, not any sort of homosexual paradigm. I want to be a homosexual. I don't want to be conservative. Ascribing some Gays as "good" and some as "bad" is a very simple dichotomy. Life is more complicated than that and whose standards of "good" and "bad" are we using to dehumanize our fellow community members. As far the the community goes, it is not just GLBT anymore! It is GLBTQQIAA! We must keep expanding our umbrella. The Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Queers, Questioning, Intersexed, Asexuals, and Allies all deserve to be acknowledged. No one wants to be further marginalized and we should not be shortening the name for convenience or any other reason. I like the notion of you keeping a blog and I think you should do more research on the history and issues of the communities to write a better informed blog.