As it is Pride month, and as I happen to be living in Greece at the moment, I have come across an incredibly embarrassing article shared on facebook by middle aged non-gayhating people. It was the article of a little known and fairly unimportant elderly gay “celebrity” who was in short apologizing for being gay, condemning pride events, advising all gays to be as quiet as possible in case god forbid they disturb anyone with their gayness and declared how he is not proud for being gay and people shouldn’t be proud for being gay, but only for being a good parent or a good person in short anything heteronormative that can be related to. After reading this I, myself not being a gay man, felt nothing but shame. Shame for a person who had voiced such shameless opinions instead of using his little fame to educate and speak out for those who can’t. And for any such person.
There is nothing wrong in the world with being Proud for being homosexual, transgender, queer, whatever anyone identifies as. There is everything wrong with not being Proud. Even if there are people who use Pride events to their own advantage, to get money, whatever, even if you hate the acts booked, whatever, and no matter how crap a specific Pride event might be, this kind of event makes sense and is important.
I will go ahead and list a few reasons why a LGBTQ person is proud and should be proud and why anyone with a little bit of brains regardless gender and orientation should also be proud of them.
First of all, being openly gay (or lesbian or trans or anything related) is political. Your orientation is not a choice, but living according to who you are and not staying in the closet is a choice and it is a choice someone made and can be proud of. Being gay does not define a whole person, and not 2 gay people are alike, but being outed comes with certain problems attached that are common to most (such as bullying, discrimination, intolerance, feelings of frustration or isolation at times, less career opportunities) and a person prepared to deal with this should be proud of deciding to be themselves rather than to pretend to avoid “situations”. People have been murdered simply for being gay, even recently, even in civilized countries, so excuse those who wanna feel proud for standing to who they are!
Pride month is also Pride month to obviously commemorate the Stonewall Uprising, which I sadly discovered so many people outside the LGBTQ community are not familiar with at all, even though it is a historical moment and a milestone for civil rights movements. I’m not gonna go into this, read, watch, learn, the internet is full of resources.
When so few years ago homosexuality was still considered a disease being “proud” also reflects on being proud for the struggles people went through, for their fights and efforts towards claiming what was rightfully theirs, namely the right to exist, the right to be accepted as a “normal” individual rather than a sick freak who had to be treated and cured with electroshocks and other interesting methods including lobotomy. Homosexuality was removed from the list of mental disorders only in 1987 and it didn’t just happen, there were people who made it happen.
Shut the fuck up and allow LGBTQ people to be proud of the rights they have fought for and still continue to fight for and after they finally have acquired all the same human and civil rights as everyone else - which is long from happening in most countries in the world, while there are still countries where homosexuality is punishable by law, sometimes even with death - allow them to still be celebrating this.
Finally, the LGBTQ community can just be proud for even being here. When HIV and AIDS nearly wiped out their population, with figures as high as 50% of the people affected in certain areas, this bordered genocide. And yet they can be proud for bringing it to awareness, for demanding action to be taken, for sticking together and actually taking care of each other when nobody else gave a shit. If a group has survived centuries of hate and witch hunts that include death penalty, banishment, castration, burning at the stake, demonization, more death penalty and executions, life imprisonment, the fucking holocaust, the AIDS epidemic, and are still standing and still here, you bet they have every right to be “proud” as much as they want to without having to ask for your permission.
I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons why anyone feels proud of where they are today and what they have dealt with as individuals, but one thing is for sure: nobody is proud of people who have the chance to educate and refuse to do so by trying to benefit nobody else but themselves. Nobody is proud of people who continue to further the “I don’t care what anyone is doing in their bedroom, as long as they do not provoke”, because i do not think that straight cis heteronormative couples are regarded as shocking-revolting-provoking by holding hands, by kissing in public, by hugging, by dressing any way that suits them, by existing. So what is the outrage when LGBTQ people do? How is that such a shock and a trauma to innocent children’s eyes? How is it that you are not ashamed of yourself for enhancing and promoting such views and the corresponding behaviours.
When you are asked to speak and are given the chance to educate, make people see, allow people to understand and do not simply opt out for whatever personal reasons. But instead take the chance to yes do speak in public but only to broadcast your own “modesty”, apologize and beg for the acceptance of those who would not mind you and others like you being stoned to death then I do understand why you are not proud. In their own comfort (that others have died for), who would feel any sense of Pride for harming others for personal gain? Who would feel proud for knowingly harming people and people’s rights? Nobody.
So, getting your weekly fame and hetero praise, it’s OK, don’t be proud. Nobody else is proud of you either.
It would be kinder though, if you don’t wanna help, to kindly shut the fuck up and mind your own business.
And people who share bullshit, please don’t share bullshit, try to educate yourselves and try to think for yourselves, which is nearly impossible, I know how fast that tempting cute share button is and that tomorrow you don’t remember what you shared yesterday. But just try. Don’t rely on assholes to educate you, that google search button is cute and tempting to. Instead of freaking out over a gay man’s ass on a Pride video from Toronto, like you haven’t got an ass of your own, look things up. Wonder why this is important to some people and use your keyboard for something else rather than reproducing trash.
(The article is not aimed at specific persons at all, it is aimed at specific groups of people that I believe to exist in most Western societies and that cause me some mild to severe discomfort in my stomach.)