Though Pride is often considered as a time to celebrate diversity, the event is not without its critics. Some people, both within and outside of the LGBT community, have conflicted views about pride and what it represents.
Conceived in the early 70s, Gay Pride began as a celebration that marked the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Inn rebellion. The protests at Stonewall were a reaction from the gay community towards an oppressive political regime.
To summarise, the idea behind Pride was to recognise and discuss some of the common issues, which so many of the LGBT community come up against. Most of those who identify as LGBTQ+ could describe feeling outcast and ostracised from the mainstream at some point in their life.
However, through Pride the ill treated and ostracised could come together to share their experiences with a more understanding and inclusive demographic – and also, to have a bloody great party!
As with all minority groups who attempt to achieve equality, the gay liberation movement was confronted by a backlash of prejudice from the homophobic public and Pride did not escape this. Even now, over 40 years since Gay Pride began, there are those who still say: “If you want to be considered ‘normal’, you should start acting like it.”
I classify this sort of person as the “reluctant homophobic”. The reluctant homophobic might also be expected to utter such statements as: “I don’t care that you’re gay, just don’t flaunt it in my face”, or “I’m not homophobic, but I just don’t believe in marriage equality.”
Firstly, any statement that begins with, “I’m not homophobic, but…” is most likely going to result in an extremely offensive and homophobic conclusion. The question as to why there is a Gay Pride, as opposed to Straight Pride, can be answered quite simply: because there isn’t straight shame.
It has never been considered as immoral or a perversion to be a heterosexual and certain members of society, including politicians, are not currently suggesting that “straight cure therapy” becomes introduced to the NHS. Pride is the result of ostracism, the gay community is not othered as a result of Pride.
However, it is not just the homophobic minority who have reservations about Gay Pride, recently the event has come under fire from criticism by people also within the LGBT community, about whether it is an out-dated concept.
Some also argue that Pride has gone too corporate and is so focused on sponsors that it has lost it’s original meaning. However, many also believe that corporate sponsors help to reduce homophobia in the financial industry, which is otherwise considered a difficult environment to be openly gay.
But is it not extremely positive that large companies are now showing their support for the LGBT community? What is your view on pride – has it gone too corporate? Leave a comment below, or respond through Facebook and Twitter.