Aug. 19th, 2016

Pride

Aug. 19th, 2016 07:32 pm
What are you proud of? Are you proud of your sexual orientation or your gender identity?

My mother used to say that the notion of gay pride was just plain wrong-headed. She thought it was like being proud of having blue eyes or red hair - something you were born with but basically had no say over. And frankly I think she had a point. Doesn't it make more sense to be proud of something you've actually achieved through hard work, self-discipline and perseverance, all while staying true to your core values and ideals? The GLBTQ activists are constantly reminding us that being gay or transgendered is NOT a choice. If it's just destiny, then how is it something to be proud of?

The best explanation I can offer is that those in the community want to make it known that they're not ASHAMED of who they are or whom they're attracted to. And then, exaggerating somewhat for the sake of emphasis, they say they're actually PROUD of these aspects of themselves. I certainly agree that it's legitimate for them to be proud of having stood up for and struggled for, and in many cases won the battle for basic human rights and anti-discrimination laws, and for having fought the battles in the courts of public opinion, whether in their own country or on the international front. And I hasten to add that the struggle is not yet over, although some significant battles have been won.

Do events like pride marches actually make a difference?

Yes, in that they're very visible. Yes, in that some high-profile people often take part: our Prime Minister, our Premier, various other politicians and entertainers, regardless of whether they themselves are gay or gender-variant. But for those who are still in the closet, or who have emerged from the closet but don't particularly want to draw attention to themselves, who just want to blend in and go about their day-to-day activities free of constant staring and regular or occasional harassment of themselves and their families... well, I'd say not so much. Things are changing, at least in our part of the world, but changes in social and personal attitudes can take a generation or two. And the changes aren't really linear; I don't even think the pendulum analogy is all that accurate.

I think the main thing is to foster free and open debate and discussion and exchange of ideas, moving beyond the bland and often the politically correct as well. Can this be done with respect and integrity and without censorship or will the indignant accusations of cultural misappropriation and harassment and libel and slander be constantly rearing their ugly heads? The thought police, I think, are still very much with us.

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