Yesterday was Gay Pride Parade day across many cities in the U.S., and I got to wondering.
I remember attending a few Pride parades in San Francisco. Back in the day, Pride parades were mainly men wearing only chaps, tiny speedo’s, drag, burlesque-wear, or nothing at all. People would come from the surrounding cities to catch the spectacle (or a few naked people).
To middle America, it seemed an in-your-face showcase of the perceived deviance and perversion that always made them reluctant to accept gays in the first place. Which got me thinking…
If the purposes of the Pride parades included gaining acceptance and letting people know gays were just like everyone else, it seemed like they could have done a much better marketing job.
It never struck me as the best idea to rub their sexuality in everyone’s face (so to speak). Perhaps, they could have led with the premise that being gay is about loving members of the same gender. But judging by their appearance at the parades, many homosexual men would have you believe being gay is really about leather and sex.
I’m not suggesting that’s what being a gay man is. I’m suggesting that’s how it would come across to the very people you wanted to consider homosexuality as normal as heterosexuality.
But that was then, and this is now, right? The parades are much different.
Sure, there’s a smattering of men who want to show off their insatiable need for sex (which, as a concept, may be redundant). But the Pride parades are now mostly corporations falling all over themselves to convince the gay community that they’re money is welcome and straight people falling all over themselves to let everyone know they’re not big meanies.
The way companies sponsor the events, get their employees to attend, and try to be as conspicuous as possible with their floats, signage, and participation, you’d think the gay population made up a majority of the population instead of the 3.8% Gallup reported in 2015. And societal pressures are such that people are excited to do everything they can to show they’re not just tolerant, but excited to welcome everyone (unless you’re Sarah Sanders).
As usual, we’ve overreacted to the activists and bent over backwards to show how tolerant and accepting we all are of homosexuality. It seems like every television show or movie has to make a point of having a gay relationship. Many products and services are deliberate about having images of gay couples as customers. Pride parades are attended by more straight people than gay people.
Kinda makes me wonder, since we’ve obviously overcorrected for a demographic that represents not quite 4% of the population, are Pride parades necessary anymore? Culturally, I think it’s fair to observe we go out of our way to make homosexuality more normal and acceptable than Christianity. (Are Christian Pride parades in our future? It seems they’re farther away from socially acceptable than homosexuality.)
If homosexuality is considered the norm, than it seems we no longer need the parade. Perhaps we could just have Love parades, or something for everyone…