Gay Pride: Does it Help or Hinder?

Recently, I was catching up on gadgetfreak84’s youtube videos. Gadgetfreak is a gay man in a commited relationship. He and his partner make videos where users send in questions about being a gay couple, and they answer them honestly and without hesitation. He’s also very adament about gay stereotypes in the media, and he has a series of videos on this topic which I thoroughly enjoy as well.

In one of his videos, he mentions that he feels negatively towards gay pride parades. This came as a bit of a surprise to me, until he explained his reasons why. There’s a lot of logic in what he says, but I still can’t decide where I stand. To paraphrase, his views are that homoaffectionate people (“homoaffectionate” is a word he coined as an alternative to “homosexual,” as he feels that the latter draws unwanted attention to the person’s sexuality) having an entire parade to themselves, where many of them go a little wild and often behave as if being gay is all about having sex and displaying it to the world, is effectively othering them. He believes it’s sending the message that there’s “normal” parades — fun, family friendly, modest — and then there’s gay parades — sexualized, raunchy, wild. He believes that it’s harmful, because gay pride parades get more media attention than your average everyday gay couple, so the images that the public is seeing on TV and in newspapers is one of sex-crazed party animals, instead of what homoaffectionate people actually are — that is, no different from heteroaffectionate people.

His partner is neutral on the matter and thinks that while he doesn’t have a problem with other people attending and participating in gay pride parades, he himself has no interest in participating.

What are your opinions on this? I’m very interested to hear some viewpoints on the matter. Do you think it’s helpful for gay people to show their pride and get attention in the mainstream media to show that yes, they exist and no, they’re not going to be ashamed of it? Or do you think gay pride parades are othering them from “normal,” non-gay themed parades?

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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