Monday, June 16, 2008

The Politics of Pride: I have gone to Boston Pride for over two decades. This time it seemed like something was missing. Perhaps it is the fact that rights for homosexuals in Massachusetts have progressed so much that the fervor has gone out of Pride. I continue though, as in other years, to think the carnival-like atmosphere is tactically unwise. The visuals are often so gross and so, in my opinion, obscene, there are times I had to look away. I believe the profanity of Pride often goes overboard. Women with naked tops covered only by tattoos or pasties and men whose covering leaves nothing to the imagination are vulgar. Worse, it is politically inexpedient. Of course, I am an ardent believer in our First Amendment. I am not in any way advocating censorship. I would, though, unlikely as it may be, love to see some self restraint.

Groups that support gay right such as certain churches, Jewish groups, businesses, PFLAG, hospitals, nurses, doctors and others like them help dramatically. The overt anomic sex display, I believe, does not. We all know right wing extremists and religious fundamentalists come to various Prides and photograph only the bizarre, show it to their groups and say see this is what your children will be exposed to if you let them have their way or let the Democratic party rule. They instill fear. It serves their purpose but does not serve ours.

The lewd part of Pride is not representative of most and it does not, I think, help compatriots in other states secure what should rightfully be the benefits of everyone. It does quite the opposite. Pride has turned into, in many cases, a cheap carnival. Men from leather bars on floats with graphic movements and outlines of things many would rather not see turn a lot of potential allies off. The right to free expression is important but when that free expression impinges on the ability of a minority group to gain important survival rights and benefits from the much needed mainstream I can only hope political expediency takes precedent.