Each June I’m reminded of two things: 1) that I should’ve started hitting the gym in February to prepare for beach season, and 2) how much I despise Pride.
So you can fully appreciate the gravity of what I’m saying here, it’s worth explaining that I don’t just dislike Pride. Rather, I hate it with a passion that has ignited an eternal flame of disdain that burns deep down inside my soul. Yep, it’s that serious.
You probably think I’m a real bastard for saying that – one of those self-loathing homos afraid to accept his sexuality. That couldn’t be further from the truth, actually. This column in an LGBT publication should discourage those judgments, as should my admittance that I enjoy every minute of being me and being gay.
So why do I hate Pride so much? Simple: I have self-respect.
Now, am I suggesting that everyone who participates in Pride lacks a certain level of personal dignity and integrity? Not at all. I’m more open-minded than that. But, in my humble opinion, a vast number of people who flit up and down the streets in the name of diversity and equality for all are – to be blunt – deviants that are out of touch with reality.
Perhaps you’ve surmised that my contempt for this so-called celebration stems from its emphasis on sex. At every Pride parade I’ve ever attended there have been burly men in a$$less chaps, dildos flying through the air, and, on occasion, a special appearance by some dude’s dick. Also at every Pride parade I’ve ever attended, there have been children. And that’s where I draw the line.
Of course, some of you will defend the very-adult Pride antics by suggesting that parents shouldn’t bring kids to the parade, but I disagree. A parade, in its most innocent sense, is designed for children to enjoy. Furthermore, the overall message of Pride is one to which children should be exposed: to be proud of who you are, to love your fellow human, and to appreciate the exceptional qualities that make each of us different. I don’t think anyone will deny that that’s ultimately what Pride is about.
If that is indeed the message we claim we want to send then – and I don’t think I’m incorrect in stating that – how did we get so off track? And why do we have to turn everything good that’s associated with the LGBT community into a spectacle befitting Sodom and Gomorrah?
Think I’m exaggerating or making these claims for dramatic effect? I wish I was. Sadly, our community has a long-held reputation for degrading otherwise-benign affairs.
Take the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” for instance. When the policy officially ended, LGBT cadets at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., an American military academy, hosted the Queer Prom and Condom Olympics.
I can get past the Queer Prom (although the irony of creating an event that discriminates against others after the abolition of a discriminating policy isn’t lost on me), but the Condom Olympics were out-of-place, unnecessary, and, quite frankly, offensive.
Events in the Olympics included a Rubber Relay Race, wherein participants filled up male and female condoms to run water from one bucket to another; Pop the Prophylactic, a game that involves blowing up an external condom and rubbing lube on it until it bursts; and Condom Creations, where participants compete in creating something unique from various types of condoms. (Clearly Vermont was experiencing a balloon shortage immediately following the DADT repeal. How else can this ridiculousness be explained?)
Alas, this is what the LGBT community does far too often. We turn a perfectly G-rated event or celebration and shove it further down the alphabet until we’ve alienated most of our allies.
But for what purpose?
Did the Norwich cadets think they would gain more peer acceptance by turning what was essentially a common field day into a sexualized and, for some, demoralizing series of distasteful games? And do the Pride revelers who whip their junk out in public and bare their asses atop parade floats think that this is the way to show the world that we’re “just like everybody else”?
It’s not, and that’s why I don’t want to associate myself with Pride. You see, I have self-respect and the pedigree to know that it’s not acceptable to parade around in public with sex toys and a visible boner. I’m no prude, mind you. I like to get down and dirty as much as the next person – just not in the city streets on a sunny June afternoon.
Furthermore, one of the most popular comebacks when anybody has a negative word to say about the LGBT community is to ask, “Why do you care about what happens behind closed doors?”
To that I say touché. Let’s keep it that way.
*Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist whose work has been published by CNN.com, The Advocate, Frontiers in L.A., reFRESH magazine, and Edge.com, among many others. Follow his nonsense on Twitter @mikeyrox.