Hey everyone, since Pride season was coming up I was wondering what everyone's feelings were on it? Do you participate in the festivities? Any good or bad experiences?
To be honest I've never really felt comfortable when Pride season comes around, maybe it's because I'm still not out to a lot of people and honestly still find it hard to be proud of my identity at times. I only properly attended for the first time last year.
I'm also not the biggest fan of drinking, especially recently. I like to party and drink a handful of times a year but that's about it. Even since my early teens Pride seemed to just revolve around drinking and drugs.
Some say Pride was/is a protest to commemorate Stonewall, and shouldn't be a huge ad campaign for loads of companies where the focus is just to party. I think it's great that there's a public way to express your pride and you should be able to party and celebrate that if you want to. The alcohol companies advertising do make me feel uncomfortable, knowing personally so many friends with substance abuse issues and dependency on alcohol. Last year pharma company Gilead was the main sponsor of my city's local pride, while they were simultaneously in court trying to extend the patent so they could continue charging 400 a month for Prep!! That's pretty ridiculous....
Thanks for your post. I think a lot of people share your mixed feelings about Pride, wherever they may be. It's a complicated affair and means a lot of different things to different people. Yes, for some there's a lot of booze and possibly drugs involved, but for others it's also a chance to stand up and be seen, and celebrate with their community. For others it's still a protest! Here in London Terrence Higgins Trust has used pride to campaign for the introduction of prep on the NHS, other charities use it to campaign against human rights abuses against LGBT people.
Cliche as it may sound, Pride is often what you make it. Like you, I didn't really engage with Pride for a long time, but I'm really glad that I eventually did in my late 20s. I've met some amazing people and there's something really special about being cheered on by the people in your city as your show off your rainbow colours. Admittedly, the co-opting of Pride by big business also makes me uncomfortable sometimes. It seems like there's quite a lot in it for some of the brands it can start to feel quite corporate. However, I've come to my peace with that for the most part by thinking of it this way: big brands taking part can help to normalise queerness for people who follow them.
Anyway, that's my two cents. Let me know if you'd like any links to groups that might give you a more community-focused pride experience, as there are some great ones out there!
Hi Caroline. Yes, I also have misgivings about pride marches and events, and have never been to any, mostly because of health issues. I think it is sad that some people can't enjoy themselves without drink and drugs - to me it is abusing their bodies and speaks to me of a lack of self worth. I am sure Justin is right - it all depends on the group of people you are with and if you can find ones with your moderate values, that would be a good thing for you.
I know from my experience that many of the outrageous acts that appear in these marches can put people off. I think they have the right to be outrageous though, and would defend that. However, they are the ones that get most noticed yet they don't represent the whole demographic. One environmental concern I have is all the waste material that is generated by such events - but I feel that about any kind of festival. Simon.
Post by kirhymeswithpie on Aug 1, 2019 15:44:16 GMT
I think some Prides are too corporate and pink-washed. London Pride being the classic example. But representation is good though, and recognition and being allowed to have that huge march on the streets is good, corporate or not. I get several invites to london pride every year as I'm involved in quite a few charities / organisations. Even my employer tends to have a group going for Pride each year. My take on it is.. I'm unlikely to go as a spectator, as that would be 'supporting' pride, and I'll never donate to PrideinLondon, the charity, in it's current incarnation. But attending the march itself as a member of Switchboard, that is spreading the word, that is publicising the work we do, and we do get a wave of new callers after Pride, so in my mind, that is a form of 'doing good, and so I do do that some years.
Other Prides are less commercialised and more fun. I really loved Brighton Trans Pride, which isn't commercial at all, and I unexpectedly felt really refreshed marching as 'just me'. Not as a member of something not as a representative as something, just me and a few friends, walking, representing, just me. If that makes any sense?
Anyway, whether to attend or not it is up to you. I am glad for the existence of it, and while I do criticise the overcommercialism and pinkwashing - the fact is that London Pride requires a helluva lot of money for security, stage setup, portaloos, post-march cleeaning and etc, and they got to pay for it somehow.. so.. *shrugs*. Just do what you want to do, what will make you happy - no need to take a stand one way or the other (if you don't want to, or are undecided), just do you