Homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgenders will be painting NYC a myriad of colors next Sunday, June 28th, as the city makes way for its annual gay pride celebration. The theme statement written on nycpride.org reads, “yesterday’s struggle is today’s heritage”.
Edie Windsor, Harry Belafonte and Earl Fowlkes will be leading the March down Fifth Avenue. Nycpride.org goes on to say, Heritage of Pride works toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law. We do this by producing LGBT Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate and celebrate our diverse community.
Edie Windsor’s fight against DOMA began when she was slapped with $360,000 in federal estate taxes upon the death of her partner of 44 years, Thea Speyer. She’s worked to bring her case all the way to the Supreme Court. Justices heard the case in March of this year and a decision from the Court is expected in late June.
Harry Belafonte, well-known for his musical talents, is a longtime advocate for civil rights and universal equality. We honor him as a Marshal for his fervent dedication to the LGBT community and the global struggle for peace and equity.
Earl Fowlkes serves as the President/CEO of the Center for Black Equity. Earl works tirelessly on the front lines of progress, seeing through the Center’s mission: to fight for health, social and economic equity in the Black LGBT community.
But what exactly is our heritage of pride? What does this mean?
Even this pithy statement is so politically it tugs at your gag reflex. To me, like the decline of hip hop, gays have lost their saltines, they are no longer the salt of the earth–or read, no longer the rouges of the times.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s there was something to be fought for, gay’s possessed themselves and their dignity. Decades ago, the committees assembled to organize the first gay pride did so in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. The riots, set off in NYC Greenwich village, ignited a countrywide revolt against disenfranchisement of LGBT individuals.
Today’s parades in NYC have no substantial meaning or anything worthwhile to say about homosexuality: it represents a day to get drunk and act unyielding in the streets, while blaming it all on the alcohol. The message behind it is lost. What exactly are they celebrating? Gay’s in the city are, more than ever, on the attack from hate filled vigilantes ( straight men who feel they have lost much to the message of acceptance for gays). HIV/AIDS is still raging in the community, and many have retired to thinking that it may never go away, therefore assuming no need to use condoms–which, in turn helps exacerbate the epidemic even further. And, let’s not even touch the topic of pornography: which, is intently and successfully employing young men to have bareback sex for the viewers pleasure. (There is no moral condemnation coming from this corner on the topic; but, it is something that should be highlighted and examined thoroughly)
Back in the day, to use the phrase, to be gay meant something–it sent a strong message to the straight community to say one was gay. Their use of the word gay represented a new unapologetic defiance—as an antonym for straight (“respectable sexual behaviour”), it encompassed a range of non-normative sexualities and gender expressions, including transgender street prostitutes, and sought ultimately to free the bisexual potential in everyone, rendering obsolete the categories of homosexual and heterosexual.
However, gays have completely disowned this inheritance. Many guys today use terms such as “acting straight”, when seeking out another male, in turn feeding into heterosexism. Many have disinherited the struggle, as opposed to what nycpride.org might suggest. Today, many gays act as if its a badge of honor to take on the role of the straight-laced, puritanical, christian, male: striving for a man and children to build a “happy home”. What happened to the raw desire?–the “unapologetic” thirst for something more in life than a man-wife, a child, a three car garage, and white-picket fences? Apparently, it’s only suitable for the gay porn industry now. The, now cancelled show, The New Normal is a perfect example. The show itself had potential–if only it didn’t stress the need to show America that gay men could “act straight” too! (Don’t think that because there was one effeminate character, that there wasn’t a push to show the similarities between gay men and straight couples; the constant advocating for marriage and mentioning of the proper way to raise children probably ran their vertigo induced audience off the cliff). Hence the shows cancellation.
In the early days of the gay movement, gay men and women sought to own their own destiny–they didn’t try to mimic the heterosexual.According to Gay Lib writer Toby Marotta, “their Gay political outlooks were not homophile but liberationist”. .”Out, loud and proud,” they engaged in colourful street theatre. . The GLF’s “A Gay Manifesto” set out the aims for the fledgling gay liberation movement, and influential intellectual Paul Goodman published “The Politics of Being Queer”.
Now, today, they possess a desire for the obscene and ill-fitting: marriage. Marriage equality was bought and sold to the community as a great distraction from more important issues (such as fair tax systems for couples in a domestic partnership; fair tax systems for individuals/singles; employment discrimination etc.). These are issues that really matter–issues that wrestle with your pocket-book. Marriage equality has no value, besides, perhaps, sentimental value. In the real world, the marriage between two men or two women is of little concern–the marriage of two heterosexuals is of no concern!
Gays have lost their heritage.
Gay pride goers are accustomed to witnessing the diversity of the community.The question lurking is, how diverse?
Maybe, years and decades ago the community nurtured a diverse community; but, all I see are automatons today. They walk down 7th, 8th, 9th ave looking like clones of each other; not just because they shop at the same designer clothing stores; but that they suffer from a dearth of intrinsic creativity. Creativity today means stealing styles and artistic expressions from the past and reimagining them; this isn’t art: this is copyright infringement.
Then: Everything, can’t be blamed on the gay population, however, some of this ratchet copy-cat behavior is a result of the city as a whole. New York City, the birth place of hip hop and everything razor-sharp–pre 1999. Now the streets have been cleansed, and with it, the personality of the city. The city of individuals is now becoming a city, of safe dwelling, yuppie, family values folks. You can’t even sit in the park anymore and have a deep discussion about politics–utilizing good curse words in the meantime–without some mother and her boyfriend cringing and thrusting their babies back into the stroller, striding aways in anger. What happened to the single city? When did Kids R Us take over the city?
The same type of watering down has occurred to the gay community. NYC gay parade is not about homosexuality, meaning, in the inherited sense. New age gays have not owned the fact that they have disinherited their heritage: resistance. Pride parades today have no substance. The reason behind this is that gays have no REAL fight left in them, so they put up smoke screens: marriage equality.