Funny/smart guy Michael Henry takes a look at a longstanding conflict in the LGBTQ community: should Pride attendees reflect ALL that makes up our community or should it be a sanitized version for suburban sensibilities?
Henry is chatting with his friends Julian and Pip, discussing their fashion plans for separate Pride events as Michael mentions his leather harness is oiled and his “pup gear” all ready for New Jersey Pride.
When Julian drops an under-appreciative “ewww,” Michael informs him not to come for New Jersey, the birthplace of Gloria Gaynor.
“Ok, I don’t care about that or whoever that is…” declares Julian as Pip and Michael rightfully clutch their pearls.
“…I just don’t think we should have kink at Pride,” says Julian finishing his thought.
“The call is coming from inside the house.”
Julian’s take is that just because someone attends a Pride event, that doesn’t mean he “consents” to seeing someone’s “hairy a** flapping out of your leather pup costume.”
Ok, so the ‘hairy, flappy’ part was a bit unnecessary, but…
He’s of a mind that Pride should be for “everyone” including kids, teens allies…even his grandmother. And they are “not down for raunchy displays of sex acts.”
Umm, wearing pup paws or a leather harness doesn’t constitute a ‘sex act,’ but proceed…
But, as Pip points out, kink was at Pride from the start. “Why should we stop because you’re uncomfortable?”
And there’s a point to be made here. In the 1970s, Pride parades were about sexual expression, stepping out of the shadows and not being ashamed of who we are. In the 1980s, amid the AIDS epidemic, it was about activism. And in the 1990s, it was about showing we are ‘equal to’ and just as deserving of marriage rights and families.
As Michael puts it, “Pride wasn’t always rainbow and butterflies and Citibank butt-plugs.”
“It was a civil rights movement when people risked it all so we could have these rainbows and butterflies,” adds Pip followed by Michael underscoring, “…and Citibank butt plugs.”
It’s worth noting that practically every Pride organization across the country makes accommodations for people of all ages to attend some aspect of the annual celebrations.
Good points are made here, so hit the play button to hear both sides of an argument that’s long been simmering about how we represent at Pride.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.