proud of the pride? | thoughts on the gay pride week

I live on THE Castro. In San Francisco. This year’s Pride parade was mature, peaceful, fun and beautiful. And big- actually, the biggest. More than 200 floats  made their way down Market Street, and for the 42nd time in history the city put its LGBT foot forward and celebrated love- of any kind.

Meanwhile, thousand took to the streets in Sidney, tens of thousands in Mexico City and almost half a million in Amsterdam, making the last week in June a world-wide movement to celebrate and reinforce the hard-earned right to equality.

In Romania- where same-sex relationships were deemed illegal until as recently as 2001- the parade was made of 200 people. Amongst them, officials from a few foreign embassies sincerely supporting the movement and bravely taking a stance- apart from the community, these foreigners were the only supporters. Around the parade, over 300 security officers, a few biased televisions (aaaahh, if you could only see the news titles and how tainted they were) and tens of members of a youth group called The New Right, chanting hate messages and clutching rocks.Death to the ass lovers. I watched the video posted by a friend on Facebook, and my skin began crawling with rage- for a variety of reasons.

First, the stuff I was witnessing– the video was, I’m telling you, appalling. Broad daylight, in the middle of a modern E.U. capital, rocks in hand: death to the ass lovers. With nobody getting particularly concerned about the 1000 ways this was wrong. Really?!? When interviewed, The New Right was very vocal and proud to take a stance against the rainbow scum of society- some talked about God, some spoke of family values, ALL mentioned a pure nation free of deviants- their discourse sounded vaguely familiar and invoked (at least in my head) memories of incendiary speeches from dark times when everything ended with Heil Hitler. Alarming, to say the least. The police was slightly amused, slightly annoyed to be forced to protect some people who, in their opinion, were looking for trouble to begin with- and I almost feel that, if left to their own, the security guards would have instigated a fight between the extremists and the rainbow-wearers, for the fun of watching it. Beer in hand.

Then, the comments. A few Neanderthals found it appropriate to pollute the video (and the position my friend was taking) with their crappy, hate-filled, self- indulgent thoughts- and I lost it. Wish I could translate everything that went down- but not only was I called an airheaded idiot ruined by my gullibility for western ideas, but I was also told to keep my mouth shut, since leaving the country apparently stripped me of any right to have an opinion. Now, these poor jackals barking at my tree did absolutely nothing to my tree/ego/position/sensibilities- if anything, they focused my arguments so that at some point, under my civilized tirade, they had to quiet down and think about how the gays are not parading for the right to fuck (each other), but the right to not be fucked with (by the society). Yay for me. But the whole exchange and the fact that it was public and shamelessly discriminatory (on their part) got me thinking. These are young, hardworking, highly educated people who are well informed and have access to mass communication. Not only are they immovable in their concepts, but they’re very aggressive in taking hold (and comfort) in whatever the majority thinks right. That, and the fact that they were so quick to renounce me made me sad-sad-sad- because it’s hard to keep loving (and helping) a country that doesn’t love you back. Anyway. I advised all my friends who think like me to find a Neanderthal of their own and make it their mission to bombard them with information, pressure and love until they crack. Maybe that’s how the change will come, if it does. One Neanderthal at a time.

Lastly, the gays. Come on, people, you are strong, you are smart, and you are courageous- is this lame parade all you can do?!? Watching the video(s), I got a really bad taste in my mouth- a weak bunch of drunk, excited, not-seriously-prepared people wearing half-ass’d costumes and letting out onomatopoeia does not a march make! How the fuck do you plan to change laws and get the haters to take you seriously if you, yourselves, do not?! I mean, yes, any publicity is good publicity and visibility is better than living in the shadows. But if prominence, acceptance and making equality a civil right is what you’re after, then you better rally up, smarten up and speak up because what you’re doing now is not cutting it. Shrilling, giggling, yelling uncontrollably at cameras, making a mockery of what a human rights manifestation should be, not doing your homework and taking to the streets just so you can put it in everyone’s faces once a year is not enough- if anything, it taints your image even further. So shape up, because you’re dealing with people who would maim you and stick your balls and dick up your own ass if they could- so you need to be organized. You need to be focused. You need to be ar-ti-cu-late.

If not, all the work us, your friends, are doing on Neanderthals in your name is water down the drain.

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