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September 11, 2013 3:02 PM   Subscribe

The 30th annual Dallas Pride parade and festival, which will take place this weekend, has come under some controversy since the organizers announced the need for the event to be family-friendly and said nudity and lewd behavior will no longer be tolerated.

The Dallas Pride organizers claim that the warming came not from them, but from law enforcement. Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, which puts on the parade, called the controversy “much ado about nothing” but said one of the new requirements this year is that establishments with floats featuring dancers have been asked for them to wear swimsuits instead of underwear.

New York's Folsom Street East Festival, a leather fetish celebration patterned on San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair was cancelled this year citing "construction" reasons, although many speculate the real reason stemmed from complaints from local residents who were unable to access their residences without walking through the fair.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (160 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Isn't this an echo of the hand-wringing that accompanied the Supreme Court's rulings on DOMA and the state-level movement to legalize same-sex marriage? I.e., that with legalization would come normalization?
posted by anewnadir at 3:15 PM on September 11, 2013


Isn't this an echo of the hand-wringing that accompanied the Supreme Court's rulings on DOMA and the state-level movement to legalize same-sex marriage? I.e., that with legalization would come normalization?

Except that those normalization concerns/hopes are generally linked to the gay community "self-normalizing," not cops dictating it. If the demands are indeed coming from law enforcement, this isn't the normalization of queerness, it's just another chapter in the very long book titled "Authorities tell gay people to stop being so damn gay where everyone can see."
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:19 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I.e., that with legalization would come normalization?

Dancers in underwear and thongs (and less) are certainly outliers from the norm, as Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke can no doubt attest.
posted by blucevalo at 3:22 PM on September 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


"Authorities tell gay people to stop being so damn gay where everyone can see."

It's worse than that. It's gay men telling gay men: stop being gay like that, and start being gay like me, or you can't play in my sandbox.

When you've got gay men attacking gay men by essentially paraphrasing Helen Lovejoy ("Won't somebody please think of the children?!"), well, then, we're kinda fucked.
posted by MoxieProxy at 3:27 PM on September 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


On one hand, cops do have a duty to enforce public indecency laws.

On the other hand, I don't think people in underwear or even pasties are "indecent." Teaching kids about healthy, consenting expressions of sexuality and sexual desire among adults seems like a good thing. God forbid we portray a sense of open, honest fun when it comes to human bodies and sexual behavior.

(on preview I was gonna make a similar point to blucevalo - we can show the music video to the #1 song of the summer on Good Morning America, where even the censored version features men reacting to women strutting around in the underwear, but dudes in their underwear is a BRIDGE TOO FAR!)
posted by muddgirl at 3:31 PM on September 11, 2013 [21 favorites]


Swimsuits rather than underwear is such a comic request, given the variation in both, that you have to wonder whether someone thought for a while about how to make the request as absurd as possible.
posted by phearlez at 3:35 PM on September 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


Bare dongs and boobs at a public event don't do a lot to further an agenda of acceptance .
posted by buzzman at 3:38 PM on September 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


isn't texas one of the states that it's legal for women to go around topless?
who is deciding the decency? cops with tape measures?
are the same sorts of warnings being made for the oaklawn halloween block party?
posted by nadawi at 3:39 PM on September 11, 2013


Obligatory Onion article.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:41 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I accept bare dongs, and I accept boobs, too.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:41 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bare dongs and boobs at a public event don't do a lot to further an agenda of acceptance .

does that have to be the only agenda, every time lgbt people get together?
posted by MoxieProxy at 3:41 PM on September 11, 2013 [13 favorites]


Bare dongs and boobs at a public event don't do a lot to further an agenda of acceptance

Fuck 'em if they can't take it. It's long past time to bury that old puritan bullshit.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:41 PM on September 11, 2013 [18 favorites]


Bare dongs and boobs at a public event don't do a lot to further an agenda of acceptance .

I think a lot of us would argue that Pride is never about acceptance. It's a celebration.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:41 PM on September 11, 2013 [29 favorites]


oh and if 16 year old me could just give a little thank you for the dallas queer community who helped save my life while i was suffering through high school and a mormon family.
posted by nadawi at 3:43 PM on September 11, 2013 [18 favorites]


BTDT, its a blast; love a fresh air bath anytime. But it does not sell acceptance. LGBTF forever :) .
posted by buzzman at 3:45 PM on September 11, 2013


I march in the pride parade here and haven't really ever seen anything that was even R-rated. I thought that they'd all gone pretty corporate and "family friendly" .
posted by octothorpe at 3:46 PM on September 11, 2013


Wait, when did they rename it the Gay Acceptance Parade?
posted by muddgirl at 3:48 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


When you've got gay men attacking gay men by essentially paraphrasing Helen Lovejoy ("Won't somebody please think of the children?!"), well, then, we're kinda fucked.

The Dallas situation sounds like prudish bullshit, granted, especially given all the sex and violence that parents show their kids via television and Internet.

But on the other hand, people basically fucking out in the streets ala FSF is probably an extreme in the other direction that is useful to avoid.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


uhm, yeah.
posted by thewalrus at 3:54 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, they'll let them have a Pride march, but only if they're properly Ashamed? :/
posted by kyrademon at 4:08 PM on September 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


The strange thing is that I've been to Dallas Pride, and found it quite tame compared to how people from other cities describe pride parades. My sister and her girlfriend brought her small daughter last year, and the attendees doted on her. This may be some kind of signaling mechanism to the straight community, because it already seemed like a relatively family friendly affair before this edict.
posted by Selena777 at 4:10 PM on September 11, 2013


So… everybody read the links, right? Anewnadir's question is addressed in the text: A guy formerly of GetEqual TX! is behind the kerfuffle (the earlier version of the story still had him affiliated with GetEqual) and he's very much complaining that this is about a removal of the queer from pride.

But the Tavern Guild organizer says a couple of things: First off, that these have always been the rules, but they're just going to be enforced this year. He compares this to similar shifts on glass bottles and fencing. The other thing he mentions is that (paraphrased) this was prompted by a dude in wet tighty-whiteys getting a hard-on. That they already have minors there means that if one of them saw it, in Texas that would be a felony. No one wants that.
posted by klangklangston at 4:11 PM on September 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


Meanwhile, Coney Island's Mermaid Parade is a family event.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:15 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the detective in the 2nd link (who's gay) seems pretty reasonable about it all:

Jeremy Liebbe, a detective sergeant at Dallas Independent School District, will oversee 95 officers from DPD and DISD as co-commander of security for the parade and festival. Liebbe, who’s gay, said any floats in violation of indecency standards will be warned in the lineup on Wycliff Avenue prior to the parade. If they fail to comply before reaching the parade route, they will be removed from the parade and individuals may be charged with class-B misdemeanor indecent exposure. But Liebbe added: “If there’s an erection and a child is present that could see it, it is a felony, and we don’t want to see that happen.”

“My goal at all of these events is to have zero enforcement action taken,” Liebbe said. “But there are some people over the years who’ve tried to push that line to see just how far we could go.” Liebbe said no officers will be assigned to look for indecency violations in the crowd, and he compared the warning to the ban on glass bottles at Pride or a decision a few years ago to fence in the park during the festival due to alcohol-related problems.

“We’ve seen a trend,” Liebbe said. “We’ve had some issues in the past that have been brought to our attention, and our goal is to take a preventative measure. These are rules and laws that have already been in place. This is just the first year we have done an overt preventative reminder on this particular issue.

posted by mediareport at 4:16 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just don't see this as a big deal at all, from either side. There are broader complaints to be made about the shift in Pride cultures (though I'm not really going to make 'em, because I'd just be parroting other folks who were actually there through all of it), but there's been tension at all the Pride's I've been to between folks who want to get shitty and party and families who want to celebrate their pride too, including having children along with them.

Finally, I'll say that much as folks claim the mantle of the original Stonewall Riots, the parades that celebrated that the next year were about politics and organizing, not sex. It's a bit of a stretch to compare having to wear Speedos to protesting against police violence.
posted by klangklangston at 4:16 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I did read the links, klangklangston. How is "No one in the parade can wear underwear, only bathing suits" (link definitely NSFW) a logical solution to "A dude got a hard-on last year"?
posted by muddgirl at 4:17 PM on September 11, 2013


a detective sergeant at Dallas Independent School District

This is the most fucked up thing in this thread.
posted by biffa at 4:26 PM on September 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


These are rules and laws that have already been in place. This is just the first year we have done an overt preventative reminder on this particular issue.”

Thanks for bolding that, it really helped my reading comprehension.

So, these are rules that have ALWAYS existed, but NEVER been enforced.

So, no one should be upset, because they aren't NEW rules, just rules that have never been enforced. So, not new, just newly enforced.

Yes, yes, thanks for bolding that.
posted by MoxieProxy at 4:26 PM on September 11, 2013


“If there’s an erection and a child is present that could see it, it is a felony"

Every guy in junior high just started sweating.
posted by inigo2 at 4:29 PM on September 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


"I did read the links, klangklangston. How is "No one in the parade can wear underwear, only bathing suits" (link definitely NSFW) a logical solution to "A dude got a hard-on last year"?"

Because it's more of a legal fig leaf than a big deal? And I'd imagine that some of those micro suits might fall afoul of the law.
posted by klangklangston at 4:34 PM on September 11, 2013


When a Redneck protests acceptance of the LGBT community citing archaic and ignorant stereotypes inferring extremely overt sexuality, promiscuity, and perversion as his/her rationale, the community is outraged...yet he or she need only point to one of these sorts of parades to have his/her position validated. Personally, I love them...they're visually spectacular and I enjoy the atmosphere...but in terms of defying stereotypes and promoting understanding, inclusion, and equality within the broader community, they're completely counterproductive.
posted by Nibiru at 4:45 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


But Liebbe added: “If there’s an erection and a child is present that could see it, it is a felony, and we don’t want to see that happen.

Surely the law means an exposed, unclothed erection, yes? Or does the law really say if I'm walking down the street, happen to pop a boner, and a child sees it, *bam* I'm a felon?
posted by xedrik at 5:11 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is one of the issues (the other being corporate sponsorship) that led Austin's Pride festivities to split into the corporate-sponsored, family-friendly, look-at-all-the-rainbows Pride festival and the anti-corporate pro-sexuality Queerbomb. While I know which one I, personally, prefer, I think there's space for both. And it's certainly pleasant to see a lot of the big local corporations, churches, and organizations going to the trouble of sending floats.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:16 PM on September 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


I can see why many people would have a problem with negotiating the Folsom Street Fair to get home, but if you follow that line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, then those events would have to go completely extinct, or be pushed out of the city entirely.

And yo, I am positive more scandalous stuff than a semi-occluded boner happens at Mardi Gras.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:17 PM on September 11, 2013


Metafilter: a semi-occluded boner
posted by The Whelk at 5:23 PM on September 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


Surely the law means an exposed, unclothed erection, yes? Or does the law really say if I'm walking down the street, happen to pop a boner, and a child sees it, *bam* I'm a felon?

Seriously?


No, seriously?


You can't differentiate between a fully-clothed, "average Joe" walking down the street with an, "unplanned" erection and some guy simulating sex or making sexually overt gestures with an erection in wet and virtually transparent underwear up on a float parading down the middle of a crowded street?
posted by Nibiru at 5:24 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah "unplanned" erections never happen amirite

Be right back I have to update my boner schedule
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:25 PM on September 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


Remember unplanned erections again!
posted by The Whelk at 5:27 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I so miss Splash Weekends back in ATX; Hippie Hollow, 4th street and all. Hangin' it all out at a state park, 100% legal, and *no* imperial entanglements.

Unplanned erections forever!
posted by buzzman at 5:27 PM on September 11, 2013


And btw, people have been concern-trolling about the raunchiness of Pride festivals and how it will affect people's perceptions of the "gay community" since forever. The funny thing about that is that I know a lot of straight people who were won over by Pride for precisely that reason. It's not like straight people are some kind of Puritanical monolith - even the much-dreaded Whole-Foods-eating stroller-pushers. Like gay people, lots of straight people also like sex, and like that Pride celebrates it in somewhat different ways than e.g., Spring Break @ [fill in the blank].
posted by en forme de poire at 5:28 PM on September 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


You can't differentiate between a fully-clothed, "average Joe" walking down the street with an, "unplanned" erection and some guy simulating sex or making sexually overt gestures with an erection in wet and virtually transparent underwear up on a float parading down the middle of a crowded street?

My fuzzy memory of Texas law suggests that this is, in fact, the difference - "lascivious intent" distinguishing legal nudity from illegal. (But I don't live in Dallas, and it's possible that it's a local statute thing. Austin is pretty cool with people being free and untethered.)
posted by restless_nomad at 5:28 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I believe "turgidity" is one of the legal descriptors that ?draws the line / covers the bulge? between purposeful and the ooops! hormonal 'erection'.
posted by buzzman at 5:30 PM on September 11, 2013


When a Redneck protests acceptance of the LGBT community citing archaic and ignorant stereotypes inferring extremely overt sexuality, promiscuity, and perversion as his/her rationale, the community is outraged...yet he or she need only point to one of these sorts of parades to have his/her position validated.

Exactly. And, personally, the Thong Pride Parades certain folks want to "preserve" makes me feel more embarrassed and ashamed to be queer than absolutely anything else. I'm not kidding even a little. And any time anyone expresses this opinion, they're shouted down as self-hating traitors to queerdom or whatever. To wit:

It's worse than that. It's gay men telling gay men: stop being gay like that, and start being gay like me, or you can't play in my sandbox.

When you've got gay men attacking gay men by essentially paraphrasing Helen Lovejoy ("Won't somebody please think of the children?!"), well, then, we're kinda fucked.


Please understand that you just committed the exact same crime you are accusing others of. Alienating gay families is no way to win any Who's More Inclusive contests.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:32 PM on September 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah "unplanned" erections never happen amirite

My point was context. And if you're simulating sex or making sexual gestures in wet underwear within a sexually charged atmosphere, you could probably throw any resulting arousal in the, "planned", "deliberate", "or should be reasonably anticipated" category....as, of course, opposed to just walking down the street.
posted by Nibiru at 5:32 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I imagine a lot more things are having to be enforced that weren't in previous years. Pride in Phx was excited to bring in 1,000 when I first started going a few decades ago. This past event's total attendance was around 30,000.
posted by _paegan_ at 5:33 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Remember unplanned erections again!"

NEVER FORGET

eagle_tear.jpg
posted by klangklangston at 5:36 PM on September 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'll get in trouble for saying this, but what the hell: if people aren't allowed to run around nude in Dallas the rest of the year, why is being gay an excuse? I mean, that just seems ah, typical for for public events and the law and stuff like that no matter what they are.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:43 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am almost as sick of the "Pride is bad for acceptance" argument as I am as "WHAT ABOUT STRAIGHT PRIDE".

This always feels like specifically policing queer sexuality to me, or maybe just being afraid of seeing real people in a sexualized context in public: you see straight people in their skivvies on billboards and television and shit constantly and no one bats an eye at it, but once it's actual people with flaws in a queer context straight people flip their shit.

It's like they think growing up with airbrushed images of mostly-naked people side-by-side with a culture that shames the naked body and fails to promote healthy ideas about sexuality is some great idea that will totally help the children, instead of making everybody insecure and ashamed and bad at sexual expression, safety and consent.
posted by NoraReed at 5:55 PM on September 11, 2013 [17 favorites]


Nibiru, considering that public urination is enough to /get you charged with a sex crime in many if not all US states, I do not have a lot of faith in the ability of the law to take "context" into account.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:55 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Pride is not primarily about acceptance - at least not in the sense of appeasement and fitting into established norms. It's about, well, pride. It's setting aside one day to say "this is who I am, maybe not all the time, but sometimes, and if I want to get my freak on that's okay, and no one is going to abuse me for it today because we are all standing together." For some people, that means wearing nice clothes and walking with the family groups. For some people it means wearing leather straps and dancing to Eurovision songs, or any of a thousand different possibilities. The queer community is much larger than just the two parent families living in the suburbs - not that there is anything at all wrong with those people or that life. Pride is for the whole community, and most of all for those who, day to day, still feel that they have to hide. Excluding them seems very wrong.
posted by Nothing at 6:04 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


jenfullmoon - there is a halloween party every year that is known for a pretty similar amount of skin but isn't queer focused and ii can't find evidence that they're being given similar warnings. it seems more like being gay is the reason for a change of enforcement, not that being gay is an excuse for more lax guidelines.
posted by nadawi at 6:09 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


A weird phenomenon I've seen at Vancouver Pride: I'm much, much more likely to see a thong dancer on a corporate float than anywhere else. TD Bank stands out in my mind as notably tasteless example. I get the sense that corporate execs who are desperate to pander reach out for the most stereotypical image of Pride they can think of. The bright side is that they are feeling the need to pander.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:18 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man TD Bank never sends thong dancers to my local branch.

I feel left out.

They have lollipops at the teller desk tho.

Oh and dog treats.
posted by The Whelk at 6:26 PM on September 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


Heh. I was just having a discussion about this with a lesbian mother who took her child to Seattle's pride parade this year. There is a local group called something like, "The Dog Pound" that are some very fit gentlemen that have "trainers" who are basically butch gays in mustaches minding the "dogs" who are men with tails... that... inserted.... through unconventional means. Needless to say the 3 1/2 year old was.... confused. It was very eye opening to see a gay person who has spent their life advocating for acceptance have a very WASP-y moment about sexuality. She is conflicted.

Another good example is the Solstice Parade. The highlight of which is the naked bike ride down Stone Ave ending in Gasworks Park. Most of the participants are clearly showing their wild side and fully body painted in beautiful colors. There are, however, a certain number of men with no paint and backpacks that have a rather lascivious smile while biking past women and children. It is upsetting to see....
posted by lattiboy at 6:34 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


A few interesting things in this thread. One is that I agree with Blazecock Pileon 100% without reservation, which is not actually as unusual as one might think, but still. Right on the money. Klangklangston, too, but that's even less unusual for me. Another is that there's an opportunity for a really good, nuanced discussion about the post, but instead we're talking about the logistics and social/legal contingencies implicated by the issue of unplanned boners. Nice.
posted by The World Famous at 6:35 PM on September 11, 2013


I should add that the aforementioned "Dog Pound" is in between Microsoft's contingent of hundreds of well dressed people and a school marching band. I get this is super complicated, but calling the cops and others involved homophobic is not really applicable.
posted by lattiboy at 6:39 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


"the organizers announced the need for the event to be family-friendly and said nudity and lewd behavior will no longer be tolerated."

You heard 'dem married folk... STOP BEING GAY!


Oh. I see. So, being nude and lewd is being gay? I was of the belief members of the LGBT community were just like my, "heteronormative" self...you know, essentially every-day people with jobs, children, families, friends, dreams, bills, etc...yes, I get nude and lewd at times, but my sexuality doesn't define me.

By the way, what year is this?
posted by Nibiru at 6:59 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the implication is that gay people and gay sexuality are, in our culture, default lewd, while identical straight sexuality is acceptable for public spaces (think about nearly-naked women selling cologne or PETA on billboards). That's why the charge made in the original article was not homophobia, but rather heteronormativity.

I get nude and lewd at times, but my sexuality doesn't define me.

You don't think this is true for everyone at Pride parades, too? Even the men of "The Dog Pound" are every-day people with jobs, children, families, friends, dreams, bills, etc.
posted by muddgirl at 7:11 PM on September 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's not homophobic to think that there should be a day-time family friendly Pride, and a night-time anything-goes Pride. Pride isn't the Folsom Street Fair; Pride is all ages before a certain time, and Folsom is adults-only at all times. People at Folsom don't want kids there, people at Pride do - my city even runs a Family Pride with activities for toddlers and little kids.

also, just because you're queer/queer friendly doesn't mean you can't be a big prude. Some of us are religious, some of us are just private about that sort of stuff.

That doesn't mean we can't celebrate our identity, even some risqué parts of the culture. It just means being sensible about it. I was loving a pole dancing demonstration I saw this year - the man was so elegant, so powerful on the pole. But when he started humping the ground, it made me super uncomfortable because there was a 9 year old kid in front of me also watching. He could easily have done a PG version before 9pm, and an R-rated one later at night. I, for one, don't want to see the R-rated version when kids are around -- and I want kids at Pride because that's how we raise a generation of happy queer people and allies.

It's not about being more acceptable to heterosexuals - it's about being a place that is welcoming to all queer people and allies, including their kids at times when kids are around.
posted by jb at 7:14 PM on September 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


Even the men of "The Dog Pound" are every-day people with jobs, children, families, friends, dreams, bills, etc.

Crawling down the street nude with a leash and a tail stuck in their ass. Or did I misunderstand the description?

I think the implication is that gay people and gay sexuality are, in our culture, default lewd, while identical straight sexuality is acceptable for public spaces (think about nearly-naked women selling cologne or PETA on billboards). That's why the charge made in the original article was not homophobia, but rather heteronormativity.

I would take your point about cologne ads and whatnot, but I've been to pride parades and I'd say the closer equivalent is Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
posted by The World Famous at 7:17 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Crawling down the street nude with a leash and a tail stuck in their ass. Or did I misunderstand the description?

...I don't think you did? Kinky people also have normal lives; normal people sometimes have kinky lives.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:24 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think sexy public behavior is fine at Pride - even (gasp) during the day. I think half-naked prancing in bathing suits or underwear is fine at Pride, too. I think the free and open celebration of sexuality in its many forms - including outrageous genderplay, near-nudity and, yeah, now open same-sex parenting - has been a vital core of queer community history for half a century. It's not just ok, it's an essential element to show off at Pride.

I just don't see how the new policy of enforcing public nudity laws at gay events is necessarily going to eliminate any of those things.
posted by mediareport at 7:29 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the implication is that gay people and gay sexuality are, in our culture, default lewd, while identical straight sexuality is acceptable for public spaces (think about nearly-naked women selling cologne or PETA on billboards). That's why the charge made in the original article was not homophobia, but rather heteronormativity.

Oh, come on now. There is a vast difference between a billboard featuring a scantily clad woman (or man) or provocatively dressed woman selling perfume and a display of simulated sex or overtly sexual gestures and an erect penis in wet and virtually transparent underwear in the middle of a crowded street. A heterosexual/heteronormative individual or couple exhibiting that sort of behaviour too would be publicly condemned.
posted by Nibiru at 7:34 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh. I see. So, being nude and lewd is being gay?

For some people. It's also straight, for some people.

I was of the belief members of the LGBT community were just like my, "heteronormative" self...you know, essentially every-day people with jobs, children, families, friends, dreams, bills, etc...yes, I get nude and lewd at times, but my sexuality doesn't define me.

Do you really think that gay people who march in pride parades don't have jobs, children, families, dreams, bills?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:36 PM on September 11, 2013


...I don't think you did? Kinky people also have normal lives; normal people sometimes have kinky lives.

We're talking about what people are doing in a parade, though, aren't we? I thought the "Dog Pound" was described as being something in the Seattle pride parade, "between Microsoft's contingent of hundreds of well dressed people and a school marching band." Again, I may have misunderstood lattiboy's description, but reading it again it still seems to be describing a parade in Seattle, though on closer reading, maybe the "dogs" with the tails stuck in their asses are walking on their feet in front of the school marching band, as opposed to crawling.
posted by The World Famous at 7:41 PM on September 11, 2013


There is a vast difference between a billboard featuring a scantily clad woman (or man) or provocatively dressed woman selling perfume and a display of simulated sex or overtly sexual gestures and an erect penis in wet and virtually transparent underwear in the middle of a crowded street.

Really. Consider these overtly sexual, but clearly hetero ads, both seen on billboards. Is there a difference there?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:43 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


We're talking about what people are doing in a parade, though, aren't we?

Well, yes, but they're still normal people with normal lives, mostly. (There may be some professional performers/artists/actors and the parade is just another performance; maybe this group is one of them. But in general, from what I've seen, Pride floats are populated with enthusiastic amateurs.)

I'm just confused, at this point. I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:47 PM on September 11, 2013


Consider these overtly sexual, but clearly hetero ads, both seen on billboards. Is there a difference there?

That remains a good, solid point: the double standard with gay events, the inherently more transgressive nature of portrayals of gay sexuality, the *whoosh* over the heads of straights as they consistently fail to recognize the heavily sexualized nature of their own portrayals...

I really hate that some folks seem to think we all have to choose sides here - i.e., you either support suburbo-normative mainstream gay presentations of self or you support fucking in the streets. There's so much room for nuance and common ground, and a "don't show your dick in the street" compromise doesn't, to me, fundamentally betray any core queer values.

(It definitely betrays core naturist values, but that's another issue.)
posted by mediareport at 7:58 PM on September 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


I didn't mean to de-humanize "The Dog Pound" in my earlier post. Hell, it seems like they are having a pretty awesome time. If I was in better shape and gay, it might just be my calling.

I think it's perfectly valid to talk about if that kind of scenery is something the majority of attendees at what is often billed as a "family parade" and attended by a 100,000 people are cool with. Again, these guys were literally between a corporate showing and a school marching band.

I'm conflicted as I really love the overt sexuality on display at Pride. I'm a hobbyist photographer and it's by far my favorite event of the year. It's wild and crazy and colorful.
posted by lattiboy at 7:59 PM on September 11, 2013


i'm with Selena777 - pride in dallas just isn't really that far out there (one weird story about one dude in a pair of white underwear notwithstanding - also, the breathless repeated mentions of that one story are bordering on wtf) - here's a slideshow from last year. we have some man-kinis (which really might be swimwear), some women in pasties, some drag, seemingly corporate sponsored tighty whiteys, and lots and lots of people just milling about. this is not an outrageous display of sexuality or skin, even for dallas - as i've mentioned, there are other festivities that are similar or even more out there. the difference is that this is explicitly gay.

also, i think it's fine to say, "i want pride celebrations to continue to open up so they can serve all queer interests - some family stuff, some old school stuff, some that mixes it up" but, i do get a little frustrated when the argument is "hillbillies will never accept us/it's proving them right!" because, you know, fuck that. that is saying you have to be the right kind of minority to earn equal rights and that you should define your life and actions by the demands of bigots.
posted by nadawi at 8:00 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh - and the pole dancing with humping the ground - i've seen that act for the last 3 or 4 years show up on america's got talent - sometimes a guy, sometimes a woman - always an awesome display of talent and physique and basically always including a pole or floor hump. it might make you uncomfortable for a 9 year old to see it, but it's accepted as prime time entertainment (on a show that conservatives watch more than liberals) - unless it's in a pride parade, apparently.
posted by nadawi at 8:03 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


"the difference is that this is explicitly gay. "

From dealing with police before, I'd bet that the difference is that there were complaints last year, even if it was over something pretty isolated.
posted by klangklangston at 8:09 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


well, this is the same state where the national guard refused to process paperwork for same sex benefits. could it be that the complaints are based upon the queerness and maybe the police could consider that along with the other celebrations held in their city with similar nudity and frivolity?
posted by nadawi at 8:10 PM on September 11, 2013


It really sucks that this is being billed as a conflict between people who hate gays and people who are cool.

MiniCorb has attended Pride here in NYC - at least, one of them. There were, as I recall, different events for daytime and nighttime. Daytime had booths, flyers, and people just kind of being happy about themselves. There were condoms everywhere, sure, but not next to pictures of penises or anything like that - just little baskets everywhere you looked. There were other kids there - and as I recall, stuff just for them as well. Stickers and balloon animals and things, for children of straight parents and children of gay parents, and everyone and everything was fine. There was one sexually explicit booth, but it had a little tent around it.

Then at night, all the singles lived it up.

Is it really bodyshaming or gayshaming to ask that people not put sexually explicit stuff on the streets during the day, when children are supposedly welcome? Yeah, there's Miley Cyrus and all, but most parents don't actually show that stuff to their kids either.
posted by corb at 8:25 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


You had me until that last subordinate clause, corb. "Sexually explicit stuff" suffuses the mainstream culture, but for some odd reason it seems to be more strictly regulated when it comes from queer folks.

I'd *really* *really* like to see some half-naked Dallas queers doing nothing on their float but recreating the most embarrassing parts of that cable-ready Miley Cyrus performance - foam fingers up their crotch, simulated analingus, the works. That'd be a court case for the ages.
posted by mediareport at 8:34 PM on September 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, there's Miley Cyrus and all, but most parents don't actually show that stuff to their kids either.

Miley Cyrus' primary demographic is kids.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:35 PM on September 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


Janet Jackson's Super Bowl stunt might serve as a better comparison, in part because there's a significant difference—in legal terms, anyway—between what's shown on a cable TV channel versus what happens in a public space. Jackson and Timberlake drew heat because they were on a broadcast network.
posted by cribcage at 8:45 PM on September 11, 2013


i do get a little frustrated when the argument is "hillbillies will never accept us/it's proving them right!" because, you know, fuck that. that is saying you have to be the right kind of minority to earn equal rights and that you should define your life and actions by the demands of bigots.

No, it's not. It's saying, you know what, if someone's marching in a sanctioned LGBT parade, like it or not, they're a representative of all LGBT people, and a lot of us would appreciate it if we were represented with at least a shred of dignity.

'Cause the thing is, a lot of us spend a lot of our lives around bigots. That's just the world we live in. And it's plenty bad enough without the annual reminder that we're all just a bunch of glittery asses.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:53 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Sexually explicit stuff" suffuses the mainstream culture, but for some odd reason it seems to be more strictly regulated when it comes from queer folks.

This is probably true, but what I'm trying to say is, some of us hate it everywhere. Some of us go through life fighting that shit too. I hate when I go to buy clothes for my kid and there's "Juicy" shit that's supposed to go on her ten year old chest or ass. I hate it when teen pop stars feel they have to do crazy bullshit sexualized stuff to be taken seriously as a real star. That mainstream sexuality culture is bullshit.
posted by corb at 9:02 PM on September 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


So, are LGBT people justified in thinking that every straight person is a sex-obsessed pervert after they see their "representatives" cavorting on the beach at Spring Break or on the streets at Mardi Gras?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:21 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, are LGBT people justified in thinking that every straight person is a sex-obsessed pervert after they see their "representatives" cavorting on the beach at Spring Break or on the streets at Mardi Gras?

Do Mardi Gras and spring break bill themselves as Straight Pride?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:28 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pride is in an unusual spot in that it has two separate audiences - and maybe always had two. One is the queer community itself - it's a powerful and valuable demonstration that none of us is alone, there are lots of people like us, and we are not ashamed to come together and celebrate what makes us alike. (Which is, by definition, our sexuality.)

But it's also aimed at the wider world. "We're here, we're queer, get over it" was never something we had to tell ourselves. That message is for everyone outside the community. And the strategy for reaching that audience has shifted, and it's much more "look how normal and pleasant and accepted we are" than "we are weird and raunchy and you can't make us go away." There are certainly disagreements within the community whether that's the right message, but definitely seems to be the mainstream message at a lot of these things.

But the first audience, the one that already knows we're all real people who buy clothes and have bank accounts, still wants to be able to celebrate our sexuality with each other. I don't think that's a bad thing, I just don't think the two purposes align very much any more.

And that's why I like what Austin did. Queerbomb (which has a sidebar commenting on this Dallas issue) is intended solely for that first audience, and it's great. But I watched the Pride parade this year, too, and that's also fun and something that serves a worthwhile purpose. I think maybe splitting them out would work better for everyone, whether it's under the aegis of one organization that just compartmentalizes (which didn't work, here, as I recall) or two separate ones with clear mandates.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:40 PM on September 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


No, it's not. It's saying, you know what, if someone's marching in a sanctioned LGBT parade, like it or not, they're a representative of all LGBT people, and a lot of us would appreciate it if we were represented with at least a shred of dignity.

Dignity by whose definition?
posted by mollymayhem at 9:40 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why, in a LBTQF definition; a Queens would work well in many instances.
posted by buzzman at 10:30 PM on September 11, 2013


No, it's not. It's saying, you know what, if someone's marching in a sanctioned LGBT parade, like it or not, they're a representative of all LGBT people, and a lot of us would appreciate it if we were represented with at least a shred of dignity.

Well, like it or not, these other people performing in ways that offend your sense of dignity are actually a real part of LGBT life, too. Part of the point of Pride is that it displays a wide spectrum of LGBT life - super-buttoned-up suit and tie folks, activists, Gay Men's Choristers, gay-friendly churchgoers, dykes on bikes, and yes, circuit boys, drag kings/queens, people advertising sleazy bars, etc. If you feel like people like you are underrepresented, you're free to march under essentially whatever banner you please.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:49 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do you really think that gay people who march in pride parades don't have jobs, children, families, dreams, bills?

We can wax lyrical about Utopian ideology until the cows come home, but in the real world it's a little difficult for many people to relate to such explicit and overt public displays of sexuality. If I were to march down the middle of a main street wearing leather and chains...only pausing briefly to gyrate against each fire hydrant I encounter with a strap-on, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to both be labelled very negatively and witness people dragging their children away in horror and disgust. Whether such reactions are right or wrong is irrelevant - it's the reality of living within this society.
posted by Nibiru at 10:54 PM on September 11, 2013


As it turns out, context matters a lot. For instance, if you were to do that in the Castro in SF I suspect people would probably just laugh at you. If you were to do it in Russia you would probably be deported. If you flashed your breasts in a coffee shop you might get a citation for lewdness but if you flashed your breasts at Mardi Gras you might get some cheers and some beads thrown at you. You can't just transpose the setting and expect that the same social rules will still hold.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:01 PM on September 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


You can't just transpose the setting and expect that the same social rules will still hold.

Overly simplistic. Yes, social norms/rules are bent under certain circumstances - but we're discussing extremely overt public displays of sexuality, and during a critical point in our social evolution - marriage equality and greater acceptance of members of the LGBT community having and raising children. Personally, I tend to be outcome focused - and I don't believe smacking people over the head with, "I'm right and you're wrong, you bunch of fucking prudes" signs is going to get the job done (acceptance and inclusion).
posted by Nibiru at 11:22 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


What about what I wrote, specifically, is overly simplistic? At Mardi Gras it is socially acceptable to take your top off in a public street; laws about public nudity and sexual behavior remain on the books, of course, but they appear to be less strictly enforced. Likewise, Pride has historically been an event that is more sexually charged and permissive relative to "normal" society.

Anyway, about marriage equality, while I appreciate your support and concern, we've been having Pride parades with a strongly sexual element for the past couple decades, contemporaneously with fighting for marriage equality and nondiscrimination acts. Also, as many other people have pointed out already in the thread, while activists march in Pride, Pride is a celebration, not a political program for acceptance and inclusion. That's what we have activist organizations for.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:40 PM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Alternate thread title: say goodbye to these (briefs)!
posted by en forme de poire at 11:41 PM on September 11, 2013


I can see both sides of it. And at least two sides of each side's sides.

I still think the ideal solution in any community coming to this crossroads is to have a Day Parade and a Night Parade.
posted by batmonkey at 12:09 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Miley Cyrus' primary demographic is kids."

Uh, not really. People who grew up with Hannah Montana are graduating college right now.
posted by klangklangston at 12:16 AM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


"could it be that the complaints are based upon the queerness and maybe the police could consider that along with the other celebrations held in their city with similar nudity and frivolity?"

I don't know Dallas well enough to know whether there are other events of comparable nudity and frivolity.
posted by klangklangston at 12:18 AM on September 12, 2013


The Dallas event is heavily advertised as modeled on New Orleans' pattern, but local bylaws forbid nudity, semi-nudity and the possession of open containers of alcohol. The Dallas Police Department does not have a reputation for subtlety, and in past years it has drawn negative publicity for its intolerance at this event -- which is, after all, a City affair -- and the numbers in which it has deployed uniformed officers. The police helicopter clattering above the parade route was also seen as something of a damper. Beads are still flung from floats, but the traditional exchange involved in their transfer is more likely to result in a citation than an award from the sponsors.
posted by klangklangston at 12:19 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's useful info, klang.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:33 AM on September 12, 2013


I don't have kids--can someone explain to me how a child, presumably accompanied by adults who can field questions and provide a sense of security, is damaged by seeing nudity or even sexy stuff in the context of a parade? I always catch a current of "as a parent, this is not something I want to talk about, it's uncomfortable," rather than "thousands of children are terminally damaged each year by inadvertently seeing uncovered human bodies."
posted by maxwelton at 12:38 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


: "I always catch a current of "as a parent, this is not something I want to talk about, it's uncomfortable," rather than "thousands of children are terminally damaged each year by inadvertently seeing uncovered human bodies.""

I think some parents are more worried that their kids are perverted enough on their own without any third parties giving them additional fodder.
posted by mullingitover at 1:40 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't have kids--can someone explain to me how a child, presumably accompanied by adults who can field questions and provide a sense of security, is damaged by seeing nudity or even sexy stuff in the context of a parade? I always catch a current of "as a parent, this is not something I want to talk about, it's uncomfortable," rather than "thousands of children are terminally damaged each year by inadvertently seeing uncovered human bodies."

Alright, I'm going to try to field this one, as someone who is totally willing to have all the uncomfortable conversations, whether or not my kid wants to hear them ("Mom! I don't want to hear about condoms! I don't want to have sex now!" "Someday that will not be the case! Learn now!")

I don't think kids are irrevocably damaged by seeing nudity. I can field questions about nudity, which will be basic anatomy questions. But I do think kids - especially young kids - are often damaged by seeing a lot of sexual simulation or "sexy activity", in part because they are imitative little monkeys, but have not yet learned context and restraint and what-is-appropriate-when and consent and other things. And I do think that kids are damaged when they begin performing sexually or practicing to perform sexually at a young age. I think they are deprived of the process of childhood, and also more vulnerable to sexual predators - who may not be Stranger Danger, but who may be adults they are close to, or adults when they are young teens. Of course this is okay! I saw it at a parade! Or on TV! With my mom or dad!
posted by corb at 3:36 AM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like the idea of a Day Parade and a Night Parade!

In my (fairly small) community, we schedule our more inclusive stuff that is likely to draw in families during the day and then have lots of adult-only, rock-out-with-your-whatever-out activities in the evening. Works for us. We don't want to discourage families from attending (they count too!), but we don't want to limit anyone's sexual expression either. We also do lots of sex education stuff in the daytime that is open to all ages.

I will add that our community has never really had sex-radical daytime Pride parades, so that's not really a part of our history here. If it were, maybe things would be different.
posted by gohabsgo at 5:12 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


You ever notice how everyone starts thinking "things are too (sexually, whatever) permissive" right before we have a world war or other huge disaster?
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:16 AM on September 12, 2013


You had me until that last subordinate clause, corb. "Sexually explicit stuff" suffuses the mainstream culture, but for some odd reason it seems to be more strictly regulated when it comes from queer folks.

Sexually explicit stuff doesn't suffuse MY culture (mixed gay-straight-bi and mostly about board gaming) - and this isn't just about straight people being squicked out by the queer. Other LGBT people are saying that maybe we can have different times and places for different activities.

Here's John Aravosis from Ameriblog saying similar stuff.

I'm not anti-bathhouse - I've been to bathhouses/sex clubs. But I didn't take any kids, or my mom. For me, the single most important and moving thing at Pride still is the PFLAG delegation - families being proud and loving together.

And none of this refers to drag at all - drag isn't sexually explicit and I don't know why anyone would connect the two. I do feel for the drag artists because our parade always seems to be on a crazy hot day, but all I want to do us fetch them a nice cool mint julep or something.
posted by jb at 5:50 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sexually explicit stuff doesn't suffuse MY culture (mixed gay-straight-bi and mostly about board gaming)

Yes, but your culture is about board gaming.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:58 AM on September 12, 2013


But I do think kids - especially young kids - are often damaged by seeing a lot of sexual simulation or "sexy activity",

And they're going to have had so much more exposure to it from ordinary media than from once-a-year Pride stuff. Unless they're being raised in an Amish family or something.

Also, to whoever said above the thing about people in the parade representing All LGTBQ people - I guess? But there's always more than just the couple floats (in SF, they are corporate floats, like from Altoids) with the nearly naked dancing boys. There are dozens of high school groups and there are cheerleaders and there's Google and the UUs and and and. The gay community contains multitudes, and the parades often reflect this (depending on where you are).

There are a lot of different kinds of families. Many of them don't include minor children. Let's be friendly to them too.
posted by rtha at 6:05 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


about nudity: I really don't care, though I worry about them getting skin cancer. Nudity isn't really sexual. But I know that some of the older people in our synagogue delegation for the parade were bothered by the nudity. (Who's idea was it to marshall the pro-foreskin activists right beside the Jewish groups? talk about awkward). Of course, little kids don't care about nudity - they are all natural nudists.

I actively love the Dykes on Bikes, the Imperial Court (drag), and that one man who always does an over-the-top leather extravaganza (this year with lace!). None of these are even very sexual, let alone explicit.

But we can have a celebration of sexuality which doesn't have to be explicit sex, until maybe a bit later and/or in venues like bars where it's expected. Sexuality isn't just about sex - it's also about love and affection and families and holding hands. Pride is big enough to encompass it all - and like any adult with good judgement, we can have different forms of expression in different times and places.

on preview: board gaming can be sexy. there's that new one out all about sending love letters to a princess! also, what do you think the settlers were doing to entertain themselves on those cold, dark Catan nights?
posted by jb at 6:06 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know Dallas well enough to know whether there are other events of comparable nudity and frivolity.

ok. well, i do, and there are. i always saw more skin at the halloween block party than i did at pride.
posted by nadawi at 6:06 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Halloween is now straight pride.

Bis get to do both. This year, I'm dressing like a sexy squirrel, just like Britta from Community.
posted by jb at 6:09 AM on September 12, 2013 [6 favorites]


This whole conversation feels like the most elaborate "tone argument" ever.

And Dallas Pride getting upset over underwear seems of a piece with Houston Pride trying to ban condoms.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:13 AM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


But we can have a celebration of sexuality which doesn't have to be explicit sex

I'm sure you can, but the concernposting about this is pretty close in content to the concerns social conservatives have in re: promoting "immoral"/"unhealthy" behavior.

It seems like a minor data point in the overall conservative drift of America, is all. Not that I'm condemning anyone for participating in it (they probably can't help it), but I would really like to know why it's happening.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:15 AM on September 12, 2013


Especially before whatever this is leading up to happens.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:16 AM on September 12, 2013


And none of this refers to drag at all - drag isn't sexually explicit and I don't know why anyone would connect the two.

Has anyone? That seems a little weird. The only thing anyone is in danger of in a drag performance is bitter weeping because they are so much better at makeup than you.
posted by corb at 6:19 AM on September 12, 2013


...and I just realized that could be taken badly, so I hasten to clarify that by "they" I mean specifically drag performers, who tend to be preeeeeeeetty.
posted by corb at 6:20 AM on September 12, 2013


some people connect drag to explicit things, because both are outside mainstream sex/gender performance.

but gender performance is totally different from sex. Children actively need to see variety in gender performance. Some of the most policing people I've met re gender have been 6-year-olds.
posted by jb at 6:28 AM on September 12, 2013


Houston Pride trying to ban condoms

Wow, not only did the Houston Pride organizing group try to ban condoms, but they then blamed the city for the change:

That prompted a letter from the health department to Pride Houston, telling Pride Houston that city ordinance does not prohibit the distribution of condoms along the parade route, and if the health department wasn't allowed to distribute condoms, it might not participate in the future.

“Why would the health department invest a great deal of resource and treasure in an event in which we could not fulfill our mission?” Kathy Barton, of Houston’s Health and Human Services Department told the local ABC affiliate.

Pride's vice president canceled an on-camera interview...

posted by mediareport at 6:33 AM on September 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


oh wow, i had only heard part of that houston story. that's fucked up.
posted by nadawi at 6:41 AM on September 12, 2013


That's so wild. Condoms are literally the easiest thing to explain to even a three year old ever. "Sometimes when grown-ups have sex, they like to use things to stop disease. They are giving out those things to make sure people don't have diseases. YAY, NO DISEASES!"
posted by corb at 6:59 AM on September 12, 2013


WTF Houston Pride.

Consider these overtly sexual, but clearly hetero ads, both seen on billboards.

Ugh. I would definitely disallow those way before anything at Dallas Pride.

You ever notice how everyone starts thinking "things are too (sexually, whatever) permissive" right before we have a world war or other huge disaster?

I would really like to know why it's happening.

Especially before whatever this is leading up to happens.

Ideas about sexuality have shifted and caused conflicts since humanity existed.

Or it could all be part of some vast government conspiracy, sure. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.
posted by kmz at 7:03 AM on September 12, 2013


A friend of mine told me this hilarious story a couple days ago when we were at lunch, about the time she explained to her (then-much-younger-than-he-is-now) kid about condoms. They were somewhere at some thing where condoms were being handed out, and he did the "Mommy, what are those for?" And Pam explained about how if a man wants to have sex with someone but doesn't want his partner to get pregnant or catch diseases, would put this condom on his penis and the condom would help prevent those. She asked him if he understood, and he kind of nodded.

"But what you have to know, " Pam said, "Is Cole is a pretty literal kid, and was much more so when he was younger."

So a little while later, he said "I didn't understand anything you said, mom."

Turns out he was trying to figure out how balancing this little square package on a penis was supposed to prevent pregnancy and diseases.
posted by rtha at 7:08 AM on September 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


My experience of history has been that it's easy to point to "that guy" and "those guys" who take it a little bit too far out of the crowd. Somehow, "those guys" become the blanket indictment of radical fairies who do wear speedos with their yards of sparkly pink gossamer and violet body makeup, leatherfolk AND their motorcycles, practically anything to do with safer sex awareness at pride, and fierce dykes who go topless with their scars to remind people that cancer crosses lines of sexual orientation. "That guy" who humps fire hydrants somehow becomes the representative of everyone who's not normal, and the rhetoric creeps to an indictment that participants who are not "straight acting" are hurting the cause.

I'm a little bit frustrated by that. Because not all of us pull off the "straight acting." I couldn't do it as a kid without pegging someone's gaydar, usually resulting in harassment and/or violence. Meeting all of the above at pride was revolutionary to me. The radical fairies are my heroes, and it was a kindly leather bear who talked about being married for life when I first came out, back when same-sex marriage was little more than Republican newspeak for fighting insurance benefits, hospital visitation, and adoption law.

So I'm a bit wary of these arguments. Should we set boundaries? Yes. However the nature of pride is that pride itself is offensive and will be appropriated by anti-gay organizations to demonstrate how freaky we are.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:08 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Or it could all be part of some vast government conspiracy, sure. THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.
Perhaps mass movements share similar characteristics and perhaps they thrive in certain kinds of conditions. Maybe history is a thing.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:12 AM on September 12, 2013


perhaps a conversation about the potentially looming world wars could find a better foothold than in a thread about decency standards at pride?
posted by nadawi at 7:17 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Do Mardi Gras and spring break bill themselves as Straight Pride?

No, for the same reason that March through January aren't billed as "White History Month."

I guess I've just reached "family-friendly" overload. For one thing, the idea that families that don't contain children don't count as families is patently offensive, so the term as it's currently used needs to go away. But, I've also reached "kid-friendly" overload. A friend of mine was recently told to mind his language IN A BAR because there were little kids there. When I was in the ER a few years back, retching up blood from a bad chemo reaction, looking like something out of a Wes Craven movie and thinking, "Well, at least nobody needs to hold my hair back," an angry hospital worker stormed in and said, "Do you think you could do that a little more quietly? There are CHILDREN in the next room!" turned on his heel, and stormed out.

I think it's great if parents want to limit their kids' exposure to sexual imagery. To limit their exposure to heterosexual imagery, they can limit their access to mainstream media. To limit their exposure to homosexual imagery, they can not hang out along the parade route. It's not like it's hiding in a white van around the corner from the toy store, springing out at you unawares.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:43 AM on September 12, 2013 [10 favorites]


I guess I've just reached "family-friendly" overload.

"Family-friendly," to me has been so completely appropriated by the anti-gay right, that I don't trust it. Legal compliance I can understand, but "family-friendly" strikes me as swamp we shouldn't charge into.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:05 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm so conflicted and confused. I like this day/night idea too. But not because of kids, but because I'm a middle-aged-married queer, and I don't care to be reminded, thank you very much. :-P

But gee, sex ain't dirty and we should all refuse to fuck anyone that thinks otherwise. There's always someone trying to politic on a platform of holier-than-thou, and so many shrill, self-righteous twits filled with faith in their own bullshit.

Sex-positive seems vastly more sane and forthright. Lies and bullshit are more harmful to kids than an erection in wet briefs up on a float.
posted by Goofyy at 9:06 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


For one thing, the idea that families that don't contain children don't count as families is patently offensive

Maybe you've encountered that usage. It isn't my understanding of how the term is used in this context. In this context, the point isn't that children are a necessary component of families, but rather that children are a common component of families. Not every family will bring children, but many will.
posted by cribcage at 10:15 AM on September 12, 2013


Do Mardi Gras and spring break bill themselves as Straight Pride?

No, for the same reason that March through January aren't billed as "White History Month."


You miss my point. Heterosexuality is not the explicit purpose of those festivals. It's not in the title. All heterosexuals do not become associated in the minds of outsiders with the imagery of those festivals.

I think it's great if parents want to limit their kids' exposure to sexual imagery. To limit their exposure to heterosexual imagery, they can limit their access to mainstream media. To limit their exposure to homosexual imagery, they can not hang out along the parade route.

So parents who come to show solidarity and instil their children with respect for the LGBT community -- What, they should just not bother?

What's the message then? That being gay is dirty and forbidden. Bra fucking vo.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:32 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just actually had these thoughts in this order:

I get not wanting to deal with explicit sexuality if you have a child with you

But these parades are historically and culturally important to queer people

But then I wouldn't imagine queer folks want to be associated with cheap, sexualized stereotypes....

But then what's wrong with sex?!? Nothing!

But should people be having sexy or simulated sex in front of kids?!?!

And what about the nudists? They're just trying to show that our bodies aren't shameful and that it's natural to be naked. So is sex!

But people have been on this "clothes" bandwagon for a while now, and I'm not thrilled with how my body looks without them.

But I shouldn't care what people think! Neither should the parade people!

Oh wait, a lot of persecution is based on stereotypes people have.


So, basically..... who the fuck knows. This is a cognitive Uroboros and there isn't an ideal solution.
posted by lattiboy at 11:20 AM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Heterosexuality rarely has to be the explicit purpose of anything because it is the default setting.

In principle I'm fine with having a more explicitly PG-rated area, section, or time of the walk and I'm sure there'd be support for it from both within and without the LGBT community. But I also don't think that means we need to bifurcate out all the sexy parts. I really don't think it's a big deal if a kid sees a leather daddy in chaps or a shirtless woman. We're not talking about live-action porno here.

And personally, I like that Pride is sort of an undifferentiated mix, and I hope it can retain some of that character even if it gets more family-friendly during the AM. That kind of mixing sends a message that yes, sex is an one part of our culture and it's worth celebrating, but we are also doctors and lawyers and parents and politicians and activists and etc., etc.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:41 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also gotta say, I think we should keep in mind that all our information here about this alleged semi-visible boner is third-hand, unless any of us were actually there. Someone mentioned "simulating sex" upthread, and yeah, that'd be too far for a mainstream event, but as far as I know that is purely a theoretical possibility, not based on a personal account of what went down.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:53 AM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


So parents who come to show solidarity and instil their children with respect for the LGBT community -- What, they should just not bother?

What's the message then? That being gay is dirty and forbidden. Bra fucking vo.


I had thought that the purpose of the parade was the self-expression of the participants. But I'm not gay, and I have no formal credentials in LGBTQ studies, so my understanding of the subject is no doubt flawed. Maybe I'm just lucky enough to live where parents have 365 opportunities a year to show solidarity and instill their children with respect for the LGBT community and don't miss their lone chance at raising tolerant children if they choose to skip a single event that they decide isn't age-appropriate.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:13 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really don't think it's a big deal if a kid sees a leather daddy in chaps or a shirtless woman.

This is a valid opinion, yet it's not (generally) reflective of our public decency laws. As a societal collective we have decided it is a big deal, enough that we legislate it. This is the case irrespective of whether you are on the street celebrating Pride, protesting nudity laws, or just strollin' along to the market.

Maybe there's an interesting question whether a Pride event could request some degree of dispensation in obtaining its permit. That's a legal question I don't definitively know the answer to, offhand. But as a general proposition, I don't think we embrace the idea that it's okay to ask any person to skip even a single event for age-inappropriateness reasons, when that event is occurring on city streets.
posted by cribcage at 12:39 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are there any primary sources that contain the actual communication that was sent out to parade participants from Dallas Tavern Guild?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:43 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


cribcage, I agree it's not reflected by laws as they are currently written in many places, though again, public nudity is legal in some US jurisdictions, and different locales also draw the line about "enough" vs. "not enough" clothing differently. But even then, in practice, many laws are not always enforced to the same degree in all situations. Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it can used in a discriminatory way.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:03 PM on September 12, 2013


I organize a group that has marched in the Houston Pride parade in the past, and we won't be participating next yea for a whole lot of reasons. In part, that's because of the condom stuff. We're a healthcare organization, and of course policies like that are dangerously anti-health. But also it is difficult to square the goals of our organization with the wild Bacchanalia that Pride is. It's just not matching up with the image that our organization wants. (Aaaaand it's also because they moved the goalposts on us *as* we were lining up for the parade this year and made us dismantle part of our incredibly fabulous float which we'd spent all day building. So fuck that officious noise.)

But it's a shame we won't be taking part again, since as The Chief Gay here I have a responsibility to find ways that we can partner with sexual and gender minority communities to improve delivery of medical services and reduce disparities in health outcomes. It's also a shame, because in the past when we've marched, we've been so well-received by people along the parade route. When folks see our hospital come up, they stop clamoring for beads and start thanking us for taking care of their loved ones.

I'm kind of sanguine about it. So we're not taking part in Pride anymore. That's not the end of the world. There are a ton of ways that we can be involved in the community, and this only provides us an opportunity to think more broadly about what we want to accomplish. And frankly, if I think about it too much, I start to think that appearing annually in the parade without much involvement through the rest of the year is slacktivism.

The super-uninhibited part of Pride has always mystified me because being a part of the gay community has never been about celebrating who I fuck in public. It's about who I am. It's about who I love. But when I came out and needed a place to be a Very Boring Gay, there was no Very Boring Gay Pride Parade. There was Pride. And while it wasn't a *good* fit for me, it became a better fit over the years as more gender and sexual minorities felt empowered to take part. It's still got a long way to go before it is "White Gay Men and the people they allow to tag along."
posted by jph at 1:40 PM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Maybe I'm just lucky enough to live where parents have 365 opportunities a year to show solidarity and instill their children with respect for the LGBT community and don't miss their lone chance at raising tolerant children if they choose to skip a single event that they decide isn't age-appropriate.

My wife and I and our (at the time) two small children used to live one block off the route of our city's annual pride parade. Parade participants and attendees would park in front of our building and all around our block and use the dead-end of the street in front of our building as a spot for gathering, carousing, and celebrating. The only way for us to skip that event, if we thought it was not age appropriate for our children, was to leave our home or hole up with the curtains closed and not go outside.

The first year we were there, we discovered taking our kids for a walk on the day of the pride parade that we could not walk out our front door or around the neighborhood in the middle of the day without encountering middle-aged men dressed and acting in a manner that no reasonable person would ever think appropriate around children. Sex positive is one thing. Walking through my neighborhood waving genitalia around in front of my children is another - regardless of intent.

Public decency laws should be enforced equally regardless of sexual orientation. Hetero displays of lewd sexual behavior and clothing should be treated exactly the same as similar behavior in a non-hetero context. But saying I should just not take my kids out in public all day if I don't want middle-aged men waving their genitals at them is a ridiculous response, as is the argument made several times above that, because Miley Cyrus is odious, nobody has any right to draw lines as to what is acceptable sexual expression in public.
posted by The World Famous at 1:43 PM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


i have never seen waving genitals at dallas pride. my complaint about dallas specifically is that they don't appear to be enforcing things equally - or at least, organizers of other events aren't passing those warnings along. pride seems to be singled out from their other similar, but not gay, celebrations.
posted by nadawi at 3:58 PM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here's some stuff that it's okay to show in public places where children will be: Anyone who thinks that regulations of nudity at Pride is about anything but policing the sexuality of queer people is willfully fooling themself.

Anyone who thinks that policing Pride because they're worried gay people will be judged by it is full of shit because they'd never do the same thing to straight people. (Full disclosure, that's a self link.)

It's always the privilege of the dominant culture, whether that's heterosexuals, white people, monogamous people, Christians or whatever else, to do what they want without the extra pressure of people saying "but if you do that, it will make all of the members of your group look bad". That's fucking bullshit, and marginalized people have the right to tell people who try to police their behavior in that way that they're bigots and that they can stick that attitude and those parade laws up their collective asshole.
posted by NoraReed at 6:38 PM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


"All these dudes"

I wouldn't necessarily argue from this last one as an emblem of hetero eroticism.

But since you've raised the question of whether sexual displays like the ones talked about in the article would be more acceptable if they were straight, I can find (and I think you obviously can too) some pretty problematic stuff pretty easily with all of those images, and none of it really has to do with the (semi)nudity. It just feels like you're arguing that there should be no limits on any sexual expression as long as it's LGBT.

Sorry if I'm misunderstanding.

If there should be limits, is the limit of wearing swimsuits reasonable at Pride?
posted by klangklangston at 7:16 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


condoms aren't kid unfriendly, and they are definitely teen/pre-teen necessary (indoctrinate re safe sex early). This Pride, I was given (and then wore) a great t-shirt that said "Keep Calm and Carry Condoms".

Which is always great advice: in the event of the apocolypse, they make good emergency water bottles/skins.
posted by jb at 7:31 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


wow wrong thread.

Uh yay condoms
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:48 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's some stuff that it's okay to show in public places where children will be

All those appear to be graphics, as opposed to actual in-the-flesh acts. And none of them appear to be in Dallas. Are there examples of the city of Dallas allowing the specific conduct that's at issue here as long as it's heterosexuals engaging in it and you've just omitted them for some reason?

Anyone who thinks that regulations of nudity at Pride is about anything but policing the sexuality of queer people is willfully fooling themself.

But the majority of the billboards you just linked to are depicting queer sexuality. And, unless I'm missing something, there's not a parade through Dallas where non-queer people engage in the conduct that's at issue here, nor is there any reason to believe (as far as I know) that the city of Dallas would be totally cool with the conduct in question just as long as the people doing it aren't queer.

I agree that American culture, in this day and age, reacts more negatively to queer sexuality than it does to straight sexuality, and that LGBT individuals and groups are unfairly discriminated against at every turn. But I simply cannot buy the argument that the city would be totally cool with the conduct we're talking about here if only the parade were a straight sexuality parade instead of a gay sexuality parade.

Anyone who thinks that policing Pride because they're worried gay people will be judged by it is full of shit because they'd never do the same thing to straight people.

Are you kidding? People always judge straight people when they march through the streets mostly nude depicting lewd acts. But they judge them according to whatever group they're identified with when they do those things. Straight people doing that at Mardi Gras get judged as being part of a disgusting Mardi Gras culture. Straight people doing it at Spring Break get judged as being part of a disgusting Spring Break culture. People doing it on the Jersey Shore get judged as being part of a douchey Jersey Shore culture. The judging - fair or not - gets aimed at whatever group the offending individuals are openly identified with. When there's a parade expressly celebrating gay pride, don't be surprised when people rationally determine that the aspects of homosexuality being celebrated are those being put on display in the parade.
posted by The World Famous at 8:18 PM on September 12, 2013


Correction - it looks like the majority of the billboards linked are specifically depicting queer sexuality, though several of them are, and several are not depicting any particular sexuality. My apologies for the inaccuracy on my part.
posted by The World Famous at 8:26 PM on September 12, 2013


When there's a parade expressly celebrating gay pride, don't be surprised when people rationally determine that the aspects of homosexuality being celebrated are those being put on display in the parade.

ok, but if you were going to "rationally" determine anything from Pride, you would need to look at the entire program in proportion, and not focus exclusively on the raunchiest bits or the parts that you happen to find the most shocking. I agree that many people don't do that, but I also wouldn't use the word "rational" to describe their takes on Pride.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:11 PM on September 12, 2013


They're not judging all straight people or making generalizations about straight culture, TWF. And I'm speaking to this whole "Pride is oversexualized/gives a bad impression of gay people" attitude in the country as a whole, but if you want specific examples of sexualized shit that's allowed in Dallas, please refer to the Cowboys cheerleaders and these PETA ads that were run in the Dallas/Ft Worth Area.

It just feels like you're arguing that there should be no limits on any sexual expression as long as it's LGBT.

I'm saying that we're allowed to have extremely sexualized semi-nude images on billboards but the idea of seeing actual semi-nude people is somehow bad, which is fucking crazy. The problematic issue is related, and that's the fact that mainstream advertising is rapey as hell, super fucking airbrushed and otherwise fucking terrible, but people are outraged about Pride, which has non-airbrushed people promoting healthy, consensual sexual attitudes and giving out condoms.

I'm fine with regular public decency laws being enforced at Pride-- at least as fine as I am with any decency laws being enforced anywhere. I think it's bullshit that they are issuing special proclamations about queer events and not about all the sexualized stuff that we're constantly exposed to that's actually harmful.

Pride means a lot of things to a lot of people, but one of the really great things it does is provide a venue for healthy sexual expression through promotion of safer sex, consent and groups that help people with non-mainstream sexualities (including queer, kinky and poly people), and there are very few other times when you get that.

We don't notice it all the time because we're so fucking inundated with it, but the sheer amount of sexual content around us that's nonconsentual or objectifying gets really wearing, and going to Pride and seeing the people in tiny leather shorts and leashes, the bears in their shorts, the dancing butch women, and all of those other displays of sexuality among the HIV prevention folks and the tolerant politicians and the activist groups and the other people who are in the parade for reasons not directly related to sex (but rather related to sexual or romantic orientation), it's such a fucking relief, because it's exhausting spending so much time in a culture that's dripping with the male gaze, with heteronormativity.

So I guess when I think about it I'm really just not okay with straight people imposing anything on Pride, because looking at television and fashion magazines and billboards and everything it's obvious that y'all need to get your own fucking house in order before you come into ours.
posted by NoraReed at 9:23 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


" When there's a parade expressly celebrating gay pride, don't be surprised when people rationally determine that the aspects of homosexuality being celebrated are those being put on display in the parade."

Yeah, but that's a bit of a dead-end argument. You've gone to Prides; you know that the wet briefs/hard on combo really isn't representative of Prides. It's no more Pride than polygamy is Mormons.
posted by klangklangston at 9:25 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but that's a bit of a dead-end argument. You've gone to Prides; you know that the wet briefs/hard on combo really isn't representative of Prides. It's no more Pride than polygamy is Mormons.

First, to address the point I think you're really making, I agree that the specific example of wet briefs/hard on combo is more extreme than is the norm in the Prides I've been to.

With that out of the way - because I agree with you - I would just point out that I don't think polygamy and Mormons is a particularly good example to illustrate your point (with which I agree), since modern Mormonism has no polygamy, whereas Prides really actually do have, very prominently featured, flagrant sexualized near-nudity. I'm not saying that should be outlawed or stopped, but just addressing your comparison, if that makes sense. I've been a Mormon all my life and I've never met or seen a polygamist, whereas I've been to two Prides and seen a lot of indecent exposure and close to it. I don't think the pictures that appear in a google image search for "pride parade" are all staged. It is not in any way a misconception for people to believe that Prides feature a bunch of scantily-clad people doing sexual things in public.
posted by The World Famous at 9:55 PM on September 12, 2013


"Doing sexual things in public" and "flagrantly sexualized near-nudity" makes it sound like a bathhouse on wheels. In that Google Image search link, I saw one total-nudity pic (from SF Pride, natch), some dudes in Speedos and underwear, and a couple of women without tops, amidst a sea of rainbow crafts and drag queens. Seemed pretty PG-13 to me overall.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:42 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and also I saw one rideable burrito. But what I actually wanted to add is that there is some serious selection bias in what events in Pride are going to end up photographed and what photos are going to end up making the rounds, and it's not going to be the dudes in band uniforms or whatever.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:48 PM on September 12, 2013


The point is more that it's an unfair stereotype based on outliers. I'll take your point about prevalence if you take mine about how the broader public is often pretty ignorant about minorities, and often the most salacious story is the one that gets remembered. (In your link, the ones with the full dicks out? That's now illegal. Wiener banned wieners.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:52 PM on September 12, 2013


Totally agree.
posted by The World Famous at 12:11 AM on September 13, 2013


if you go way upthread i posted a slideshow of dallas pride from last year which i think is more pertinent to the specific circumstances than just a random google search.
posted by nadawi at 6:05 AM on September 13, 2013


The most disturbing picture in that slideshow, by some distance, is the guy in the orange morphsuit and the cowboy hat. And that's full-body coverage!
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:09 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I'll just do y'all one better. Who do those queers think they are, anyway, huh? The NERVE to have guys in MY pride parade, that I don't want to sleep with! What is this world coming to? And the ages these days! Some of those kids are young enough to be my grandchildren!
posted by Goofyy at 7:19 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nudity is not illegal at SF Pride. FYI.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:48 AM on September 13, 2013


Really? Is there an exemption from the Wiener law? (The name of which will continue to bring me glee.)
posted by klangklangston at 8:58 AM on September 13, 2013


So, what I'm getting here is a sense that it's pretty safe to assume that full dicks out would be a fairly predictable occurrence at Pride if it were not illegal, but that the vast majority of participants would not have their dicks out. It also seems like there's a distinction between, on the one hand, opposing lines being drawn that are overly restrictive and/or seem unfairly targeted at queer sexual expression in public and, on the other hand, banning full dicks out in public. Is that right?
posted by The World Famous at 9:41 AM on September 13, 2013


You can be naked at SF Pride, and there are definitely Dicks on Display at Folsom and Dore Alley. Boobs, too. I don't remember off-hand if the exemption is formal or not (I think it's formal), but it's there.
posted by rtha at 9:44 AM on September 13, 2013


Yes. It's referred to in the link you posted above. The exemption is written in to the ordinance. It was a point of much discussion during the passage of the ordinance.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:03 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, the more I read, the more I see that I really am coming from a position of privelege and will just read the rest of the thread after this.

Once I left the rural farming community where I grew up, I've been lucky enough to live in an area where the LGBTQ community is visibile on a day-to-day basis, and even people with personal prejudices have lots of opportunities to see the community in a positive light, as dull as the rest of their neighbors. Organizations with a LGBTQ focus that are devoted to things like community health generally don't find themselves excluded from health fairs or community festivals, and local gay men's choruses draw audiences that compete for audiences with the regular musical season.

I'm not saying it's a perfect, homophobia-free Utopia. Far from it, but - except possibly among the elderly - there's definitely a perception that "Pride Parade" is "Let your freak flag fly and get it out of your system day" and "The rest of your life" is "The rest of your life." Probably half my younger gay friends have never been to a Pride Parade because they haven't got a freak flag big enough to fly, and don't feel like they're missing out on anything, in the same way that I've never been to Burning Man or any of the local Woodstock-style festivals.

But after more careful reading, it seems like that's not the case everywhere - like maybe this is the only chance the LGBTQ community gets to come together and be visible in some places. So I'll pay more attention to tnat.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:29 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


just for a tiny bit of perspective. in my community i'm afraid to put a gay themed sticker on my car because i'm pretty sure actual physical damage would be done to it or me. so, yeah, pride is still really important some places.
posted by nadawi at 1:03 PM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've said it before, I'll say it again. It's worth repeating, and goes with this thread:
When I was 13, and learned words that described my feelings ("homosexual", in those days), I looked it up at the library. As we were taught in school, I started with "Reader's Guide to Periodicals". This was in 1970. So the first thing I found was photos from Christopher Street protests. The modern word for what this caused is 'empowerment'.

That boy (ME!) of 13 suddenly learned that he was just another minority that people put down for no good reason. And this was like magic armor. No one could ever again get me to suppose I was "wrong" for being gay. Pride Parades have this power. There are boys and girls everywhere who need this message, to give them strength. I don't doubt for a moment that this helps prevent suicide.

So, party down! Let your 'freak flag' fly! Create an event that demands publicity! No child must be left without knowledge that yea, some folks prefer the same gender, and that's just FABULOUS!
posted by Goofyy at 2:27 AM on September 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


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