A4A : Why A Gay Parade?



So yesterday’s post about LA Pride got few comments like ” Why the fuck do we need a parade? We can all marry in LA!” or “Why do gays have a parade in 2014, straights don’t have a parade?”.

Ok let’s do some education 101 here.


The parade has become a vehicle to showcase LGBT pride, a celebration, a manifestation of the “out-and-proud” mantra to put the lights on the LGBT community. But the history of the parade comes from less celebratory roots tied more towards political activism and protests.

On June 28, 1969, a riot broke out at the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in downtown Manhattan. Police had been known to raid the club from time to time, but on that night, the patrons fought back. A protest broke out, with police and community members clashing through the night, and for the rest of the week.

That was 45 years ago, and it was the spark that ignited the beginning of the gay rights movement, which has snowballed into a much larger movement for the entire LGBT community.

In 1970, the first gay pride event, called the Christopher Street Liberation Day (CSLD) March, was organized to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. People gathered all over town and marching on 6th Avenue from Greenwich to Central Park. Soon other commemorative marches took place in other cities like LA. There were no floats, no music, no sexy boys wearing speedos. Instead there were banners and signs and people were chanting “Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud.”

Modern Movement

“We still call ours a march to show our respects and commemorate the history of what these events started out as originally,” he writes via email. “We have said that once the LGBT community no longer faces discrimination and hate worldwide we will then identify the march as a parade” says Chris Frederick, the managing director of NYC Pride.

Over the years, parades have evolved into pure celebrations, with drag queen contests, costumes and celebrity appearances.

Why doing a Parade?

The necessity of doing a parade is that there is still work to be done! Not everybody is equal yet, there are still people in the closet, some people are being killed for being gay in some parts of the world,  LGBT people die each year committing suicide because their family doesn’t accept them and the positivity and unrepressed nature of the parade can be very inspiring. It is also simply fun! In a movement that is so frequently grabbing headlines for issues such as marriage inequality and bullying against LGBT youth, it’s even more imperative to balance that out with an image of fun and cheer.

“There will always be that 16- or 17-year-old kid who doesn’t necessarily realize they are part of something much bigger than they ever anticipated,” Frederick says. This alone, is a reason to celebrate!

So Happy Pride Month guys and celebrate thinking about others who don’t have the same rights that we have and commemorating what others went through to get us where we are!


There are 57 comments

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  1. Kyle

    To be honest, despite the causes and what’s stands for, it’s the method that fails hard here….

    I’m a ‘modest’-type of guy, and the parade -despite knowing what it stands for- is something I just don’t want to be related to….here’s when some people would call me hypocrite, or I’m still in the closet, close minded, etc……guess what? I’m out of the closet, and I have no issues with more flamboyant people, I just don’t want to be represented as a LOOK AT MY GAYNESS IN ALL ITS GLORIOUS MIGHT, HUMANS!!!!!! person…..that’s just a bad (and effective) stereotype gay people constantly have to deal with, some of us just want to be accepted WITHOUT being the center of attention…when I was a kid I was afraid of coming out BECAUSE of the bad reputation those parades had in my town, and I have no doubts a lot of people consider them ’embarrassing’ to say the list.

    IN SHORT…. I know the purpose of the parades, I just don’t think making them so……flashy… necessary, or in some cases even effective.

  2. Joe

    gay pride parades are important. Gogo boys on floats does NOT represent gay pride. It is more gay fest. the imagery of such stuff does not do anything to change the minds of people , parents , people marking showing they are just like you and me that will make a difference.

  3. Chris

    Kyle I could not have worded it any better myself, but you expressed my feelings in relation to parades eloquently.
    But this I will say, just in addition and in favor of them, my nephew and niece came out recently, and they are 19 and 20 respectively. It was because of a pride event they found the courage to do so. I guess they do work for some, keep up the good work, I do respect all the tireless work that goes on in the background for the benefit of all LGBT people.

  4. Kevin

    I totally agree with Kyle. I usually avoid the Gay Pride parade and all the festivities during Gay Pride here in Toronto for those exact same reasons.

  5. John...

    Nonsense. So called “Gay Pride” week and parades is more about businesses hocking their wares and people looking for someone to have sex with then it is about pride of any sort.

  6. cmat23

    I’m sorry Dave, I just don’t buy it. You can accomplish more through activism and legislation than a flamboyant, grandiose party. And even for the good it ‘may’do, it does far more harm. It encourages a culture of ‘this is what gay people are universally like’. It encourages random hook ups (wouldn’t expect you to complain about that given the site you manage) and encourages a stereotypical view of what gay mean should look like and want. We should be more concerned with why a gay man here who has the same appearance of a comparable straight man while struggle finding compatibility as opposed to the murder of gay men in say Nigeria… something that while horrible a hundred million prides will never do anything to change.

  7. Randy

    I agree with both sides here. First off I do think it is important to remember those that worked so hard to advance the movement. We have come a long way but there is still a long way to go. I respect those that don’t like all the glamour and glitz of a parade. That is your choice. My partner and I participate in the parade each year because it symbolizes our lives as a gay couple.We don’t flaunt our lifestyle. However we respect it.

  8. Safe than Sorry

    John, you are absolutely correct. This is a great meaningful post because… the Parade has been corrupted by Businesses ( both legal and illegal)promoting unhealthy view of what it is to be gay. I stopped going to New York gay parades about ten years ago. It is drug infested, unsafe sex encouraging type of atmosphere that is disproportionately more prevalent in our community than in the straight world. Our you need to understand that not all gay men need to take drugs to mask unresolved issues with friends self and family.I celebrate gay pride everyday by living a healthy mental and physical lifestyle. I show my pride through example. When parade Pride day cease to be superficial and take advantage of the opportunity to promote the serious issues, such as marriage, parenting, HIV prevention,drug rehab, barebacking along with celebration OF THE FABULOUS RIDICULOUSNESS, I will begin to attend again.
    Thanks. Or should I say No Thanks.

  9. Sparks

    Its just another holiday season to me, like Christmas.
    No one asks to be part of certain stereotypes but that shouldn’t give you an excuse to bash others for being part if the crowd. The negativity isn’t needed.

    Be apart of it or not. Be proud or not. But don’t be a wet blanket gay-Scrooge

  10. dcmusbear

    Wow, cynicism abounds. The Pride march/parade has evolved just as our freedoms have. It is natural to remember and to celebrate. I march (first in DC and now in Denver and Colorado Springs) for those who died before HIV cocktails kept the rest of us alive and for my lesbian sisters who passed on from poor healthcare and late cancer diagnosis. They may have been leather queens and dykes on bikes. I choose to celebrate our diversity. You don’t have to. Spending dollars on local businesses is not such a bad idea, and you don’t have to spend any money if you don’t want to. Lighten up folks, if not for yourself, then for those who aren’t here any more (or those who can’t be themselves such as in Uganda, Ghana).

  11. Jim M.

    Good taste has never been a hallmark of American culture. P.T.Barnum phrased it so appropriately: “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” However, much as I would never march in one of them, I have no problem with the political implications of such public displays, especially considering the Stonewall legacy. I remember reading of it during my summer residency in D.C. and thinking at the time and as I do now, “how brave! how needed! how great!” If you (plural) are not of a certain age to remember first hand what life was like then, you’d best shut up. You don’t possess the credentials to voice an opinion.

    I also would subscribe to the emotional mantra that “if it helps just one person in the world, then it is worth it.” Yes, if a pride parade stops one gay closeted teenager from offing himself, then all the tasteless, tawdry display can be overlooked. There is a lot more tasteless, tawdry, clueless displays that are much more offensive, such as contemporaneously with Stonewall a bunch of black American GIs with their boombox blaring at full volume some trashy “music” sauntering through the concentration camp at Dachau outside Munich — we other Americans there literally cringed in embarrassment and shame at the inappropriateness of their conduct, but we at least hoped that the mere fact that they were there spoke to their learning something where they could make their own lives better, in spite of the bad behavior.

    One must distinguish between one’s own personal conduct and the image it presents and the public and political conduct of any group into which one might find himself a member. They are not the same. Familiarity dulls public sensibilities, and really, when one gets right down to it, is the public behavior at a NASCAR event or a nationally televised football game really any better than what one might see at a pride parade? I don’t think so!

  12. SETH

    Maybe its but gay pride and all of their festivities does not accomplish what it was set out to do. They few gay pride events I been too was nothing but a sex fest full of drugs, drunks, people partying 24/7, and all the negative aspects of being gay is what is being promoted. You call that equal? Where are the seminars about people doing things to help us decent n great gay men our right to get married, wheres the history of our struggles and our battles in the future, the talks about the advancements made in HIV/AIDS cases among gay males, or how about successful gay businessmen trying to help those who are starting their business? That what gay pride should be about, abouy unity and taking control of what we want & need out of society. I can’t think of one positive thing about any of the gay pride events i ever been too. I choose not to go to gay pride because i promote a positive image that not all gay men do those things. Everyday i talk to gays about coming out and how to deal with that, being hiv positive, and things we can do to change the negative image of gays. Personally i don’t need all the (pardon my following words)glitterly & flamboyent things that come with gay pride and to celebrate me being gay.. A true gay male doesn’t need an annually event to have “gay” pride, he has pride all year around.

  13. keith mccullough

    i know this doesn’t not pertain to the topic but as a gay male i do not like singing in to my a4a account and have pop ups of females having sex with guys i turns me off really quick. just wonder whats going on?

  14. Kirt28202

    Here in Charlotte, you see gay couples that have went and gotten married in other states and are marching in the parade for equal rights. Then you see them on a website the next day looking for another sex partner. Waving the flag, carrying the banner, organizing the Pride and other Human Rights events, but can’t be a true faithful life partners. Charlotte had their first Pride parade in 2013 and of course, there were the twinks walking down the middle of the street in their underwear. It’s funny, the color guard in the Christmas parade have been banned from dancing too much and showing too much skin. Doesn’t make sense.

  15. keith

    personally, i feel we should stop bashing ourselves! there are far too many people out there already doing that! celebrate Pride however you feel comfortable with, dont put others down.
    Happy Pride to all and be safe!

  16. Eric

    I think you would find that most, if not all, cities that have a parade call it a “Pride Parade” and festival. It’s about showing pride in ourselves and “our” community, much like the way the Irish have coopted St Patricks day. It’s also about remembering that struggle that’s gone on before now and that will continue. Pride comes in many forms and they’re all equally valid.

  17. southga51

    As a bi person, it’s hard to say you are bi. I have been to gay pride and was upset to see how people gay and bi acted. It is we want to fit in and be treated equal but when you got men walking around half naked, touching private parts and others cheering them on It makes the gay/bi guys that want to be respected ashamed. I’m sorry I feel this way but what we do in our homes in our bedrooms rather gay or straight should be kept there. I don’t care to see either gay or straight carrying on in public. What got me was the one float that had men in leather acting like they couldn’t wait to get off the float to have sex, well they were about having sex on the float anyway.

  18. Melaquan

    I totally agree with Kyle. Here in Birmingham we recently had “Gay Pride Weekend” and it was more so a nude sex fest. I would be more excited about pride if it was more informational and family friendly. My older gay uncle who was around during the beginning of the LGBT Movement said and I quote “Gay Pride is nothing compared to what it use to be. They’ve turned pride into a chance and a place to showcase how gay they can be when in fact that was never the true reason we marched. We need to return to the TRUE meaning of LGBT pride.” That should tell us something.

  19. robert

    It makes us look stupid. All those prissy men wearing thongs kissing and screaming… a disgrace to the rest of us its not everyone but those who hate us and disapprove….thats what they see…thank you

  20. Axel

    Thank you, Kyle! I don’t know. I guess it depends on the city you’re in while celebrating Cristopher Street Day. When I lived in Phladelphia 10 years ago I loved going to the parade because there was a good mix of people and personalities which made it a fun venue to be able to meet new people and maybe to add a few of them to my list of friends. And although it was a public event where books, food, and decorative goods were sold, it had an essence of privacy. The gay family celebrating all together. But here in Munich the parade goes through a large part of the city center then at the end of the party mile all the guys are nasty drunk or wearing a nasty snarl on thier faces, look at me like I’m a steak, or posing while avoiding eye contact. Using the cell phone to look important, help with insecurity issues, or waiting for friends to call happens too. I don’t feel included in the purpose and my happy moment at the Christopher Street Day parade never comes. I mean, the pedestrians are on the streets making jokes or snide comments about everything they see – being mean to eachother and me, being the person I am I always feel the need to set the haters straight. But after leting know that I can hear them I start thinking and seeing a lot of stuff that makes me uncomfortable about associating myself with the parade too because of the stippers, the wagons loaded with all kinds of had looking drag queens, and all the sluts dancing badly on the backs of trucks and some of them I can smell the musty funk coming from their pits from the pavement. I mean I still attend the parades, but all the hedonistic activity leaves me feeling empty because there isn’t anything beautiful to see or to be had. I believe that a Christopher Street Day parade’s standard should be first carry the signs, and only post positive messages pertaining to gay rights and no kino or sauna advertisements even in fine print and that everyone, after these signs are carried through the city, we can all party with each other and our friends. Like they say down south, ‘keep the whore in the house!’ Most times, when the party is over and the next day comes, nobody knows anybody anyway and the all go back to business and usual and start planning for the next thing. I miss the feeling of brotherhood. The Christopher Street Day parade has become a joke to many of our own too. Let’s try and keep it serious and leave mor positive impression this year. And concerning helping the closeted come out, most of them can/should/and would stay in the closet!

  21. Lee

    It would be interesting to see a poll asking if you are embarrassed by the more flamboyant members of our lifestyle? How can you be taken seriously when you are seen as freaks by the rest of the world in these parades? Some are just lewd.

  22. Neal

    I with Kyle on this as well…but what I say next is gonna draw some serious heartfelt fire..

    If you are ok with who you are and what your preferences are, what do you GAIN by parading your lifestyle out the in the streets for people who really don’t want to see it, anyway?

    The more you force your lifestyle out into the open air to MAKE people accept you, the more you make them HATE you instead, because your lifestyle is not ACCEPTED by them (no matter the rationalizing about “equal rights” and all)…

    In fact if you asked straight folks, even HETEROSEXUAL lifestyle Public Displays of Affection also make them feel uncomfortable…Why you might ask? Because NO MATTER how much you may love your BF or your partner of if you are straight or BI your woman or wife, ONLY fringe fetish people LIKE TO SEE these things…And KIDS really don’t need to have it front of their faces either. It comes down to the discretion factor… There are places for the heavy activity, but in the main streets is NOT the place for it. Take it to your beaches, your spas, your bathhouses your adult books stores, to your gay campgrounds, or take it to a motel/hotel..but the best place is to take it home, to your bedrooms with those people who ARE OK with watching or taking part. The more you try to “normalize” an activity that has never been openly accepted in polite society, the more anger and hate you breed with your stubborn refusal to just be happy with yourselves and your preferences. Its why your don’t see hetero couples giving head on every street corner, or outright f*cking in bars and department store changing rooms.. Discretion speaks volumes no matter how hot the moment might be. Im not saying don’t be risky like that and go with the moment, Im saying sometimes being smarter about things and perceptions we create is more powerful.

    Im not out, no intent to be because of the backlash at home and work..Yeah yeah I know, “they can’t do that anymore”.. But is NOT a fight worth fighting for a Pyhrric victory in the end, too much of my business would then be public business, and my privacy, my interests are my DISCRETE business. Im not craving public attention, no have an interest in being a public political whore either for ANY attention I can get for being controversial and an adrenaline junkie..Just saying.

  23. Tom

    I’m gay and out of the closet. I’ve been to the parade one time. That was enough to last me a lifetime. If anyone is wondering why many so called straight don’t like gay people. Go to a gay parade and that’ll answer your question. It’s a freak show. Its all commercialized. I agree very much with Kyle.

  24. Dave

    The police raided that bar because it was serving underage boys. Its shame because to this day NYC police barely go into clubs and the clubs in this city are full drugs and what not

  25. michael

    Nothing will please everyone ,so no point in trying .Everyone needs the Parade . There are so many who cant march , or wont march and we march for them too .Im not young anymore and youthful energy is the future. encourage and celebrate .Things have to change and if it’s not becoming something its dead .So My point and question is why wouldn’t we have a parade that embraces all our diversity and uniqueness and even our averageness .

  26. Ethan

    Gay parades are complete hypocrisy. You mention how we have a long way to go. That the parade is for our rights etc. But in reality gay parades do nothing more than make the community look even worse than what people think of us. They are used for marketing porn sites/companies. There is a huge percentage of people at these parade who use it to be naked and high on drugs and have sex in public where people watch and cheer them on. Sure there’s a few floats that are for gay rights and HIV awareness. But do you think those are going to be noticed in a sea of porn and drugs? No.

  27. Jeffrey87108

    I would rather showcase that we are part of a nation full of diversity. Gay men are doctors,lawyers, cooks and Janitors. We are in every part and are productive members of our society. I am out and proud. I believe that we have the same rights as everyone. When the young men/women see this and except that loving the same sex is all good that will make them proud. The time as come to put ourselves in positions to change things. Not force others to except us but to except ourselves. Stop making us look like clowns in a cheap circus.

  28. E

    Pride parade?? What pride?! These parades are not about being proud, they are sex fest’s and the very reason why gays are not taken seriously in society…drag queens half naked people and blatant sexual behavior is not the way to go about being accepted in society

  29. JC

    The Pride parades I attend have some of the more serious elements of the first NYC march still intact. But they have also become more of a celebration, and yes, sometimes we get glimpses of debauchery, stereotypes, and commercialism.

    I don’t know on whose authority we would get rid of the latter in a free society even if we wanted to, so we may as well make nice.

    There are still valid reasons to hold Pride parades and all the other events many cities include in Pride Week.

  30. Smusport

    Parades work for some and not for others. I’m not one who’s flamboyant I’m quite the opposite. Now I have to bow down to the flamboyant, in your face gays who have put themselves in the line of fire to fight for equality for all of us. If a celebration is the culmination of year long hard work, more power to them! We’re all different but let’s not slight the gays who work hard and put themselves in danger every day to make it easier for the whole LBGT community.

  31. muzyqman

    Actually, if you look at the pictures from Pride events all over the country, you find that pride seems to be in short supply all over the place. The event is, and for many years has been, no more than an excuse to be drunk and half naked in the street in the middle of the afternoon. I think we need to make up our minds. If we are truly born gay, as I believe we are, then being gay is not a matter of pride any more than being blonde or being left-handed. The way we are born needs no parade. I’d rather celebrate the aspects of my life that I had to work hard to achieve, like my national professional certification, my college degree, my 10-year old business, and things like that. And that’s just my opinion. Y’all can proclaim your comfort with being gay any way you choose, but no parades for me.

  32. Mitch

    I agrees gay pride parade have a stud in barely nothing giving guys new content for there spank file. Then those guy in 80 pound peacock sequence covered dress and there like we are here were normal. These parades should be more like other parades a required non sexual floats. We ask what the hate and then we have family intended parades with sore does and leather fetish floats a guy leading there pups with a leash and collar. I agree the leather fetish a BDSM is not limited to gay but when pushing for change and exceptiance we need to be hyper average and not flaunt taboo sexual topics.

  33. Kr

    The problem with the Pride parade is it is more about sex and less about sexual acceptance. I also agree with Kyle in that it does provide heterosexuals with a prejudice that homosexuals like to “flaunt” their sexuality.

    That being said it’s still an excuse to get hammered in the city so I will be going.

  34. Melvin

    I agree with Dave,People that did not live in the 1950, 60 and 70’s have no idea of the hate that existed to the gay community in those times.
    I never have attend a gay parade but they brought the attention to the gay pride cause. It my belief that without pride month; gay marriage and gay acceptance would not exist today

  35. PrideAintDied

    I will always remember my first Pride, in NYC the year after I graduated from a conservative midwest college. It was the first time I had ever been anywhere where the whole world felt like it was gay and I wasn’t a minority. It was an incredible feeling. Maybe a lot of guys need to get some of that pride feeling back, and new gays deserve a place to feel that they can be gay and it is celebrated whatever their flavor.

  36. Allen

    If it weren’t for the marches/parades, we as a group would still be in the closet, and the hidden minority. Things like the March on Washington in 1987 helped bring together people from across the country, and focused attention on our existence and widespread diversity in this country, and was a catalyst for organization and lobbying for acceptance and legislative change of the repressive laws directed against us. I was there, and at many other parades in Columbus, where I worked Security several times, in the 80s and 90s. So, I KNOW it made a difference. It’s easy to take our visibility and (more or less) toleration and acceptance today for granted. It didn’t happen by itself, in a vacuum. It came about BECAUSE of events like this, and the continued work of many dedicated people who struggled against the religious bigots and those who tried to paint us ALL as aids infested, John Wayne Gacy/Jeffrey Dahmer wannabes and child molesters. NONE of the freedom to marry in several states, and other rights against job discrimination, etc. came by default. So, we need to remember that before we label ourselves as a bunch of flamboyent attention craving queens just trying to show off.

  37. BryBry

    I’m not a fan of the flamboyant aspect, BUT do see the need for members of the LGBT Community to see that there is support for us. There is also a need for non-LGBT members to see that there is a community other than theirs and tolerance is necessary. Frankly, I like the philosophy of continuing to call the parades a MARCH. So that members on both sides of the fence can see the seriousness of the issues… We are not all OUT, not all PROUD, and not all FREE TO EXPRESS. There is still a lot of work to be done. It is not a joke, and it is not time to REST ON OUR LAURELS!

  38. Richard

    It’s ironic that people want to suppress the “flamboyant” and the “gayness in all its glorious might” in a parade that commemorates events put in motion by a bunch of drag queens. Are you totally unaware what happened at the Stonewall Riots? The brave people who stood up for themselves and put in motion the events that have led to whatever rights we enjoy today would be horrified to hear these comments.

  39. Hunter0500

    Parades served a valuable service for social progress in the 1970s. They brought the existence of and negative treatment of gays to the forefront of social conscience. Forty years later, with that conscience well established, they now serve the needs of certain members of a stereotypical group, one that craves attention. “What prince or princess doesn’t love a parade?” When pride parades are held, do straights say “Who are they”? or “Oh good! Here come the gays!”? No. The parades and their pageantry are tolerated, but they do nothing to bring understanding or advance a cause.

    Gays become accepted when they live everyday lives like everyday people. Those who are seen as great neighbors, great coworkers, great friends, great relatives … without the pageantry or militancy or “in your face!” militancy … do more to advance respect for gays than a parade ever will.

  40. Samuel

    I actually am appalled at how so many of you are treating this. We can’t even agree amongst ourselves…as gay men and women and all those in between and outside…the reason for the march is to show we don’t care what others think about us. We don’t care about how uncomfortable it may make someone feel…you know why? Because we are being ourselves! We will NOT be quieted, we will not step down, and we will not stop shining as brightly as we can until all are heard and treated equally. If you don’t like or appreciate a creative collection of beautiful creatures marching for something they believe in whilst scantily clad in a skirt or some slight bit of fabric covering their penis then don’t watch or go to the march. Ignore the festival as if it didn’t even exist. It is no more your right to tell me to “tone it down” than me to tell you to “fab it up”. When we can stop fighting amongst ourselves worrying about what he or she said, or what they did on tv, or who pissed off who, and actually come together and work as one to change the world….we will be an unstoppable force. Rant over 🙂

  41. George

    I have been to a a few parades here in Portland, Oregon….it is an embarrassment. The parades are touted as family friendly events. I’ve seen marchers wearing strap-ons and leather bears dry humping on a float in a sex swing. Save that crap for the after parties.
    This is the only time of the year that I go into the closet. Why can’t we have a parade that shows us as a normal group of diverse people?

  42. blog

    I’m a bit discouraged to read some of your comments. Like if being flamboyant is bad. So being proud and wearing a speedo or a tshirt with a gay flag to show that we are proud and human with the same privileges as others is wrong? What about what all the gays fought for years, tolerance and acceptance, diversity? Now being different and being accepted by your own peers is not accepted ? WTF?

  43. Jeff

    I would have thought that this subject would inspire many more responses on both sides of the fence. I’m not sure what to make of the lack.

    But I will say that flaunting stereotypes at the parade for the media does little for positive images. An entire generation has grown up in the new climate thanks to those who said “no more” at that the Stonewall incident. In 1969 it would have been only a dream to think of same sex marriage. Great strides have been made. In some ways being gay might even have been marinalized in certain aspects.

    I respect everyone’s right to self expression. I wish more people would be conscious of where we came from. The parades initially were marches for our rights. Now they are a bacchanalia of hedonism.

    A better balance needs to be struck.

  44. Dennis

    The gay community still needs to have a day of celebration..a parade…street fair…music…dancing…but not like some gay pride parades have become…I lived in Greenwich Village in 1963 and 1964 in a building at the corner of Greenwich and 10th…there were very few if an gay bars at that time and I believe the Stonewall was still a restaurant lover and I lived facing Greenwich on the fourth floor and I can still remember hearing cries for help late at night as the police or some other thugs were attacking a gay person….during the day it was Ok…but nights were dangerous….you kept secret about who you were and had to hide everywhere but in your home…
    We s community need to celebrate that community …celebrate the good of it…not the deviant side…what you do at home with a partner is your business…
    You are gay/lesbian because your creator made you that way to love a person of the same sex….and that creation is to be celebrated….

  45. 1versfucker

    In my city
    it’s the ONLY truly fun party of the summer where ALL (gay, straight) come out and just cut loose.
    The spectrum of ‘entertainment’ from the parade gets the party started.
    Too many of us are quick to judge and make assumptions about motives.
    Get over it now please! Life is already tough enough in this ever increasingly oppressive, so called ‘modern’ world we live in.
    Just show up and have a good time.
    If it’s not your thing then do something else.
    Any excuse for humans to celebrate together should be embraced.

  46. BearOKC69

    Being gay is often compared to the Civil Rights movement. Imagine if you will, during a Civil Rights march/parade/celebration that there were floats and folks dressed and acting out every stereotype that existed. Does anyone think that it would have brought any sort of acceptance? They would have been viewed as fools by everyone.

    Or consider immigration “rallies” where folks claim they only want to be Americans and you see nothing but Mexican flags. If you want to change things, your actions have to match your words. Undocumented immigrants are often described as “hard working, honest, law-abiding people” really? One out of three is bad I guess. How is the first act of coming to the country by breaking the law and continuing to do so (lying, forgery, identity theft, etc etc) support the description?

    Again, I digress.

    That’s the way these types of “pride” events almost always are perceived and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

  47. Mecocklover

    We need a gay pride event for the same reason we need an Irish pride parade (a.k.a. St. Patricks Day), an Italian pride parade (a.k.a., Columbus Day), etc. It is a celebration of yourself as part of a bigger group.

    I could personally do without the drunken excess that it has become, but when your “pride” events are “brought to you by Budweizer,” what can you expect?

  48. dumbass that likes str8 men

    str8 men are the bomb. they have no expectations of u other than gettin their knob slobbered. who u kiddin with this post man. everone dreams, fantasizes (spelling?), witha big diked white str8 bud in his sweaty work clothes and fully hard dik in his white briefs. Lot of fun man. Try it. If u havent then u the pussy ass that will sit in the corner and watch.

  49. BryBry

    Maybe I was misunderstood… While not a fan of the flamboyant aspect, I am in no way embarrassed by it. As several have said in these comments, the gains that all of us now have were initiated by those who were the most flamboyant. They are the ones that could not “Pass” as “Straight Acting”, not should they have to for respect to be given. When it became a situation of “Enough is enough”, usually the targets were those of our community that were considered flamboyant…

    They will always have my respect and support, no matter my personal, individual, more reserved personality. Out, loud, proud, or quiet, reserved, and introspective… we all have a right to be our own selves and show(or not show) which ever one of those types we happen to be.

  50. Andrew

    I disagree with Kyle straight people get pretty wild as well. In Toronto we have a Caribana parade where men and women are grinding all over each other! Instead of worrying about what straight people think live your own life! I think sex is a big part of gay pride for a lot of gay men because it is empowering. For a lot of gay men remember they escape at Pride forget about their problems and have fun!

  51. slimtee

    A nice reminder and overview for those who are unaware why there are pride parades around the world. I enjoy the festivities and meeting people from around the world. It also feels good to be part of these parade as a form of support and a sense of pride, even when there are some rude people in the midst of the celebrations. The flamboyancy makes it even more exciting and exuberating. I personally don’t go every year to the parade in my city, but I do go to pride events ever year, rather it’s just a informal get-to-together with friends or just walking up and down the streets in the gay communities. That synergy is important. Stonewall is a great reminder why all gay people and their supporters should celebrate together and except each other of our differences. It’s 2014 and unfortunately I see a lot less unity between young, older, and people of color. If you know the true history of Stonewall, it was predominantly Hispanics and Black drag queens that put up a fight for freedom and tolerance, as it was something of the norm back then to standup against the forces to be and fight back. My uncle was there and stood up for all of us!

  52. Tim

    I am not happy that I was born homosexual, yet I am proud that I am gay.

    Because, I did choose to be honest, and unafraid of who I am, how I feel.
    It is a personal honor that I can stand up and say who I love, what I love most in life, despite the disapproval of many.

    I am more Christ like, or Allah like than any of the church, mosque goers, because I am honest, seek the truth, and love.

    Above all, god’s of all religions espouse the virtues of seeking the truth, honesty and love. And these qualities I have created within myself, handle my homosexual feelings and nature.

    Being gay for me is being honest, truth seeking and loving. Hence a virtue, far above those so called religious people.

    I am gay, I am happy and proud that I decided to be honest, loving, and truthful, searching for and giving love, honesty and the truth, as best as I can. Always learning to do this better, each day.

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