Give me a P! P! Give me an R! R! Give me an I! I! Give me a D! D! Give me an E! E! What’s that spell? Pride! What does it mean?? And a hush falls over the crowd.
I’m not sure we really understand what it means to be proud. I certainly think it’s a very overused description of some intangible feeling that can lead us all down a path of self righteousness. The drag queens are snapping me right now! The twinks are hissing, “Oh no he didn’t!?!”
Ya, I guess I did. Don’t misunderstand me, I think it’s critical that everyone has the formidable right to love, to acceptance, to security, and to freedom but at what cost do we equate this freedom. Every year when Toronto Pride comes around I do find myself irritated. Not at any person or group. I’m not unhappy that as a gay man I have a whole month now that on the surface seems to celebrate the very right at being G.A.Y. Gay!
I still don’t understand what the event is suppose to do. I live in a predominantly Muslim area of the city and trust me there are no rainbows hanging around in my neighbourhood. The Pentecostal church dumped in the middle of my neighbourhood does not teach the fairy tale story of when the gays came to town. Amazingly enough just a block away from the Gay Village there’s a church that literally preaches hate speech about the gay lifestyle. Honestly I don’t believe it’s really gotten any better. I think what makes me so concerned is what I see happening in the States right now with their new leader Trump. We all believed that most of the racism that dirtied the history books of the United States has all but disappeared with the two time leader Obama. It felt so amazing to think how far those great people had come to elect a black president. Awe inspiring. Little did we all know the next man in the “White” house would be instrumental in the resurgence of such a hostile environment in which the world is witnessing now. The erasing of all of Obama’s Work. The allowance to discriminate against gays and trans people in the military. Can you honestly imagine harassing anyone who chooses to put their lives on the line to save such a greedy racist and vile country. Of course they’re not all vile but it certainly makes me think. How safe is our Pride? I mean we all love to hate the leaders we elected into power now but let’s say we decide we don’t like the direction the politics in this country are headed. How easy is it for all of us to forget the freedoms we enjoy because some politicians made it their priority to make sure we all had equal rights respectfully. Of course there are failures all around us. Woman are still fighting for equal pay. The blacks are still trying to not get shot by our local police because they walk a certain way. And honestly what about all these religious groups constantly preaching hatred towards the gay community. Calling us abominations. Sneering at us when we hold hands. Who are we kidding? What is Pride? I’m a proud person. I’m not a proud person because I have a same sex partner. That hasn’t created anything for me to be proud of. I don’t think straight people are thinking, yes I’m having sex with the opposite sex. I’m so proud that heterosexual sex does it for me. Self love is important but I hope this Pride month we can choose to stop verbally masterbating ourselves and be proud because you listened to someone’s difficult coming out story or gave food to the local food bank. Maybe you can pick up that garbage you see on the sidewalk. Maybe you can decide to not be that person that throws it there in the first place. I believe in being proud of who you are but who you are isn’t just where you decide to put your penis or who licks your vagina. Honestly, let’s be proud because we took a moment to try and make someone’s day a little brighter. Do we even give a shit about each other anymore? Really when was the last time you actually gave a shit about what someone was going through instead of watching it from the sidelines like a bad reality show. In an instant all this self proclaiming Pride could be taken away in several pen swoops depending on who we decide our leaders are going to be. You think it’s impossible and ridiculous? Just look to the south. That’s dictatorship in action. It’s babies being taken from their parents. It’s a black woman being referred to as a monkey. It’s trans people unwelcome in the military. Do yourself a real favour this year, get involved in your local politics because Pride can lead to a great fall. This homo wants to keep our country going in the right direction. A truly proud and free one. Get involved! Know your leaders! Speak out! Vote!
Happy Pride Everyone!
You’re more than what you do with your genitalia!
Edited by Mary Ellen Monk
A word from the editor
Your feelings of “Pride” are similar to my feelings of religion. I’m not a big religious person, not sure I even believe in God to be honest but I’d like to believe that “if” there is a higher power that I will be rewarded simply because I am a nice person that goes out of my way to help when I can and not persecuted simply because I chose not to grace the pews of a church. Just my two cents.