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Monday, February 11, 2013

Pride


Certain groups need to get a handle on what pride means.

Being proud of one's achievements is great and healthy. Some could even use a dose of self-confidence and realize that they are successful people in many ways, and that the traits that make them different are not things to be ashamed of--diversity is chill.

However, it makes very little sense to be proud of something you had no control over, e.g. things that you were born with. This includes, but is not limited to, what country you were born in, how much money your parents had, and your sexual orientation. No one chooses or "achieves" any of these things, so why the hell would it makes sense to be proud of them?

I am not proud to be an American. I am happy and lucky to be an American, although not all the time, obviously. Those of you who think you hate this country need to try living on some other ones before you make your judgement. In reality, we are a super fucked up country with tons of problems, but that doesn't mean we aren't one of the better ones in the world.

I grew up fairly well-off, but I find it laughable when I meet first generation rich kids who feel so superior to middle and lower class people. If you're under the age of 22, you did not earn any of the shit you have. Congrats to your parents, but you have nothing to be proud of, except maybe your parents--but they apparently raised a dumb, selfish kid so never mind. How can you not understand that your parents or grandparents were poor and probably leveraged some system or help so that you could now have a fucking iPad?

And now "proud" non heterosexuals. You can't have it both ways. Homosexuality is either a choice or it isn't. By framing it as something to be 'proud of' you're make it seem like you chose it or achieved it. Being gay is not an accomplishment, and it depresses me that you feel that you need to make your entire life about that facet of your person.

That being said, I do understand the whole pride movement. Some loud people were arguably necessary to rattle some cages and get the attention of society as people either didn't think homosexuality existed, thought it was a mental disorder, or irrationally feared it. It's easy for us as young people to take for granted the rights that we have today, incomplete as they may be, that were fought for by people over the past decades. Pride for having won gay rights makes sense, because it's something that was achieved; pride in simply being non hetero does not.

I sit here writing anonymously about the way things should be rather than actually taking personal action. But we all play our parts, and the process towards acceptance, not just tolerance, is just that: a process. The final step in the process is that of integration.

Wave after wave of immigrants have gone through this process in this country. Blacks, Irish, Italians, Mexicans: they began at the bottom of the totem pole, looked down on by all, but once integrated have been accepted and allowed to assume any post in society that they have earned. It was a big deal to elect a Irish Catholic like JFK, and then of course there's Obama, but there is a myriad of other examples, too.

This is happening with non heteros, but we're being held back by extremists that still feel it necessary to dance around naked with fireworks coming out of their butts to show how 'proud' they are of something they were born with. I'm not saying go away or change, I'm just saying quiet down a little. It's like having a class full of smart and interesting kids, but there is one student that is constantly raising their hand and answering every question, so the other kids are content to just sit there.

So pipe down Sebastian. And you other kids: grow some balls and raise your hand.

Class dismissed.


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9 comments:

  1. hey man, saw this from another blog. i completely agree, i think it shouldn't be called a gay pride parade. just call it a drag queen pride parade because that's what it basically is. not all gay people are like that. it's so presumptive of them to lump everyone together. maybe these people are really 'born this way' and have always been a woman trapped in a man's body, but so many times instead of a LGBT parade it feels like it's just a T parade.

    but honestly, the more i think about it, the struggles that these people have gone through are so much worse than the ones that i (and maybe you) went through. for one i never really did get called a faggot or a sissy in middle/high school. even now that i'm out to many of my friends, i honestly think one reason why they're quite accepting is because i'm not too "faggy." maybe many of these flamboyant people are faking it though. i don't really know. but i know that they bear the brunt of all gay-bashing a lot more than i ever had (which is close to zero). so maybe that's why they need a pride parade for that. i just wished that it wasn't so alienating to the less flamboyant kind.

    that being said, there should definitely be more of a campaign like the 'it gets better' one though, in a sense that people need to know that it's 'okay to be gay.' i for one spent so many years feeling so guilty and ashamed of being gay, which isn't healthy.

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  2. Great blog, great topic. I recently found you and am now a follower. Thanks for sharing.

    In a recent discussion with a fellow gay blogger, I said something like, "this shouldn't be a big deal. People are different and it really shouldn't matter." I still believe that, even more than ever. You can read my story so I won't repeat it, but leave it that I am not out either. So, maybe I have no or little room to talk and complain.

    But I know this. Twenty five or so years ago, I looked at what I thought being gay was, and said, 'that life is not for me, I am not that person.' I was wrong then to believe that those in the PRIDE parades are representative of all gays. [Just like the Marine in the TV Spot is not representative of all Marines.] Stupid me for believing that.

    I could go on, but will leave you with this. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts and hope you continue. I put up your link on my blog...hope you don't mind.

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  3. I've never been much into "gay pride", but I understand where it comes from.

    In places like San Francisco or Los Angeles or NYC, there's a handy middle ground between shame and pride - but the LGBTQ persons in those areas are privileged by that fact in ways that most LGBTQ people aren't. For most of the US and the world, that isn't the case: simply acknowledging an other-than-cis-sexuality is seen as activism and, in far too many cases, places one at risk of violence.

    Also, the set of "things you have control over" is really, really limited. Given the massive effect that genetics, environment, and social conditioning have on individuals, there is very little that any individual can say, without doubt, they controlled absolutely. So, under that notion, there's almost nothing that one can be "proud" of.

    Again, emotionally, I agree with you - I don't "feel" like being gay is something I have pride in. Intellectually, though, I know that's a choice many people don't get, and the waters get really muddy really fast.

    (Cool blog, btw. Going to keep an eye on it.)

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  4. Go spend time in a foreign country where you a racial minority and maybe you'll have a better understanding about what pride is rather than passing judgment on it because it doesn't fit into your worldview of "appropriate" gay behavior. Gosh, two posts in and I'm already convinced of your internalized homophobia.

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  5. Yes, because writing a personal blog about homosexual feelings and posting pictures of half naked guys is a clear sign of homophobia. *rolls eyes*

    Also if you had actually read the blog, instead of just making assumptions followed by hilariously off-target comments, you'd have noticed that the author said that his thought when he realized he was gay was that it was "kind of cool."


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  6. Wow - what a narrow view you have. Perhaps you and your readers are well under 30 and have absolutely zero concept of what it was like to be gay in 1970, or 1965, or 1955.

    While I agree that for the most part gay pride parades are the worst way to exhibit who we are, for most of us elder gays, the mere fact that we can stand up and announce that we are proud to be gay is a novel expression most of us would never have dreamed possible in 1970 or earlier.

    We were taught at every turn, including by our parents, that being gay was the most terrible thing that we could be, often that being dead was a far better option. For years we were told that we were making a bad choice, and we were baffled because no matter how hard we tried, we simply couldn't choose anything else.

    Were you around in the early 80's? Hundreds of thousands of my generation are simply vanished from the face of the earth by a disease that today is possible to control by taking a fucking pill. We couldn't even get the government to acknowledge there was a problem for years. Hell, for 20 years we were afraid to unzip because of AIDS, some of us still are.

    Yes, old people have sex.

    It took a bunch of screaming drag queens to get us on the map (Stonewall) and while I acknowledge that you have every right to choose to not like some of the personalities out there, you have zero right to comment on gay pride, you obviously grew up in a much more accepting world that many of us older guys made for you. The reason you don't need to march in those parades is because we did it for you.

    Just as you say that young rich kids should be more grateful to their parents - you should look at every gay person over 50 and thank them for the world of acceptance you live in now.

    You don't have to date a sissy boy, but you simply must learn to accept that he has as much right to exist as you do, and his life is probably far harder than yours. At least he has the nerve to show his face and be open about it.

    The best part of being gay is something you haven't yet learned. We don't have to follow the rules of heterosexual society about the kind of person we are. It's OK to be a sissy, it's OK to be a drag queen, it's OK to be a muscle bound gym rat, we don't need to get married to prove we love one another and have a family and we don't need anyone's approval to be us.

    It's not OK to judge someone else for who they are, simply because we disagree with their choice of "fashion" or the way they act at the gym.

    You write well, now lets see if you can find a way to actually contribute to our community and make it better for others like you - in your own way, someone different than others, struggling to find your own path.

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    Replies
    1. wow. good points. it's good that you put things into perspective for us younger ones, gonna use some of your points in my blog

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    2. I couldn't agree more with everything you said.
      I am part of the younger generation, but I completely understand where you're coming from.

      I am not a "stereotypically gay guy", but that doesn't mean I get to disrespect others and look down on them just because of what they like to wear, or what they enjoy doing, nobody has the right to do that, especially if you have no idea what those people have been through or are going through.

      Of course, I expect the same of others, they shouldn't try fitting me into a box of what a gay guy is supposed to be, that is offensive and unnecessary. Gay pride parades aren't really my thing , I don't agree with them all that much either, but I understand the reason why some people believe it's necessary..I mean, look at all they are doing/have done with this and there is still people who won't back down on making LGBT people feel less human than the rest.

      I know how tough this has been for me, and I can only imagine how much tougher it is for those who can't hide who they are. For femenine guys and drag queens..it's at plain sight for everybody to see, and they have the balls to face it head-on, they did and look how far LGBT people have come.

      Honestly, this was GREAT, kudos to you man you really hit the nail on the head.

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    3. I'm just glad I live in Canada... Rights for all since whenever! But I do see what you mean. Even though I didn't have to fight for my rights (nor did those who came before me), I did fight for my peace of mind and the bloody noses of my childhood bullies.
      I guess I'm just saying good luck.
      I'm going to share this blog. It's just too cool.
      Have a nice gay pride if you want or don't if you don't want to. It's just a thought.

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