Diatribe: The Business Of Gay Pride Can Be Quite Distasteful.
A friend of mine finds herself in a peculiar situation this week. She and her family have worked, tirelessly, for many years to raise funds on behalf of the LGBT community and many various charities in their community and across the country. Having participated in and organized fundraising events for such a long time, they’ve become very effective leaders and have built many productive relationships with various sponsors and donors. This year, after paying the required participation fees, etc., her organization is being turned away from the local Pride Parade because one of their sponsors is a competitor of another, major, parade sponsor. Furthermore, they were expected to refuse a donated truck/trailer/driver and rent from a designated vendor who would give them a discount.
I find the business of gay pride to be quite distasteful.
Perhaps “pride” events should be done away with completely. As much as gatherings of this nature proved beneficial to the LGBT community in decades past (for many this was a rare opportunity to even SEE another gay person), “gay pride” events may have long since grown to do more harm than good. In a society where LGBT citizens strive for inclusion, hasn’t it become increasingly unproductive for the community to continue to segregate itself for any reason … even “pride”? Instead of “gay marriage” shouldn’t there simply be “marriage” … instead of “gay bars” just “bars”? Hasn’t internet and a world-wide economy negated the need for gay-themed vendors to gather on one Saturday each June to sell their wares to shirtless drunks who feel that there is safety in numbers? Isn’t there an “app” for that?
Did the President of the United States really need to set aside a month to celebrate the alienation of a group of people who long to be included?
Historically, media coverage of “pride” events appears to have focused primarily on the fringe attendees of these events (men in dresses or women with short hair riding motorcycles) as well as the sexual nature of the only corporations willing to sponsor the events (condom and lubricant manufacturers, gay nightclubs, etc.). It appears that the public has grown to anticipate a Mardi Gras atmosphere at every event and those who don’t understand and/or oppose homosexuality continue to see an opportunity to protest and politicize the gatherings which only fuels and encourages ongoing hostility.
It has always been a belief in the business community that gay people have more disposable income. As the nation slowly begins to accept and embrace their LGBT family, friends and neighbors, it appears that they’re becoming increasingly interested in their gay dollars as well.
“Slap a rainbow flag on it and the gays will buy it” seems to have become a legitimate marketing strategy. I’d like to think they’re smarter than that.
My friend’s situation is just one more example of how “pride” events have morphed from celebrations to business opportunities … gatherings of potential customers … money-making opportunities. I’m sure that she’ll address the conflict directly, intelligently and in a way that will make her children proud … and THAT is a pride to celebrate.
Imagine how many young lives might be changed if the time and money spent on streamers and balloons during the month of June was invested in youth shelters and educational programs.
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