Feminism | Posted by Steph on 01/2/2010
Why I Don’t Like Pride
But Steph, you may say: you’re trans, and sort of a lesbian – queer as hell! You should love pride!
And yes, I should. But I don’t. There are a few reasons, all compelling.
1) Transphobia. Full stop. Pride organizations worldwide ignore trans people and their individual struggles, choosing instead to focus on the needs of the (cis) white middle class men(and it is overwhelmingly gay men, and not lesbians)Source 1Source 2. Groups like the HRC and EGALE Canada have tried to distance themselves from trans communities(source), in order to make themselves more palatable to their intended heterosexual audiences. Which brings me to
It seems that a lot of the goals of the modern pride movement are concerned with fitting in and being just like straight culture. Rather than making sure gay men and lesbians (sorry, everyone else who’s queer! Your rights don’t count) are safe, the fight is for marriage. For every celebrity who comes out, there are twenty ‘nobodies’ who live in fear. What good is it if a gay couple in Washington can eat at one of Obama’s state dinners when a couple elsewhere can’t be safe in a chain restaurant? What good is saying ‘we’re just like you, but gay!’ when we’re not? Instead of repealing DADT, we should be getting queer youth off the streets and providing trans people who are forced into sex work with alternatives. Instead of fighting for the right to marry, we should be marching in the streets for better non-discrimination policies, for the ability – no, the right to be ourselves without fear. The goals of the modern pride movement are out of place with the needs of queers everywhere who don’t fit the cis, white, middle class exclusively homosexual white picket fence marriage mold. And, truth be told, that’s most of us.
Pride is, now, big business. Corporate advertising, logos, everything. This has the major drawback that pride organizations have made the shift to tamer, “safer” agendas and goals rather than upset their commercial partners. We’ve gone from “out of the closets, into the streets” to ‘out of the closets, to make room for these fabulous(limp wrist) hand towels, generously provided to us by our sponsors!’
Turning what was once a strong and powerful statement of difference and solidarity into a harmless little parade to show on TV is just the way to turn us from individuals into little labels, to put us in tiny boxes. Because when Pride can be journalized up in a thirty second filler spot on the local news, why bother? When politics fall by the wayside for blaring techno, who benefits(besides techno fans, obviously)? Does the queer community as a whole benefit? No. Do marginalized groups(bisexuals/pansexuals, trans-identified and gender variant individuals, as well as pretty much everyone else who isn’t the aforementioned cis white middle class gay man)? Hell no.
So that’s why I’m not a big fan of Pride. Your guys’ thoughts? (even if you’re not queer, or don’t identify as such – i’m still interested in hearing what you guys have to say)
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