So LA just had its big Pride parade and whatnot. I'm not so sure how I feel.
I really have no issue with certain parts of the parade. I mean, the various activist groups, charity groups, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, Red Cross, PFLAG, Gay Men's Chorus, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, support groups - yeah. Bring 'em on.
But there are points it starts to get silly and we start to get used.
I think I'm pretty much okay with bars having floats. I mean, they're sort of safe spaces, places that really offer the only place to go and be confident that most people are gay (the Abbey notwithstanding) and thus suitable targets.
But I was a little shocked that bathhouses have floats. I mean, come on. What does that say? Part of the gay community is a place you can go have anonymous sex? People do it, sure, but does it have to be so . . . accepted?
And then the brazen advertising gets to me. How many different alcohol companies had floats? What is that - "Ooh, look, Bud Light is supportive! They come to Pride!" Great. They ticked that box. What else do they do for us? (I have no idea about Bud Light. I just pick it as an example.) Great, Absolut - you got a float and put a bunch of half-naked probably-straight muscleboys on it. Do you give domestic partnership benefits? Do you give money to gay charities? Do you give money to fight Republicans or the FMA?
When we let that happen, we're just getting used. Those companies go, aha, this is good advertising, we know gay men and women can consume prodigiously, let's toss them a bone and look supportive, they'll buy it, and then we can say we've done our part.
I say keep them out. Let the people who really do something for us march, and let them march because it's a statement or a cause, not because some straight guy in a suit saw a marketing opportunity.