Re: Don’t Rain on Our Parade (May 2010)—I can understand the current identity crisis facing the LGBT* community in regard to Pride and what it means and stands for these days. There was a time when Pride was solely for the purpose of protest and in the words of a friend of mine “to give the middle finger to cars who forced their passengers to look away.”
There was a time when Pride served as a way to make our presence clear and to let everyone know that we aren’t going anywhere. Just like the classic line says, ‘We’re here we’re queer, get used to it!” The message got through, and I really don’t think we’d have the choice of marriage without the “get used it” movement of Pride in the past.
But while it may be clear to government and other officials, the message hasn’t got through to everyone. This year will mark the first time I will attend a Pride event and it is as much a protest for me and me personally as it was to those who marched 10 or 20 years ago.
Pride still serves as a protest to families all over Canada who have yet to accept that we are here and we’re not going anywhere. The fact that major corporations now have their brand associated with Pride only serves to help our cause by making it more mainstream.
Pride gives everyone, young and old, experienced and new, an opportunity to protest against those who discriminated in the past and to those who continue to discriminate. Suicide rates among LGBT* youth are still outrageously high compared with other groups, and while the older generation who pioneered the Pride movement may feel that the cause has changed or lost it’s way should just look to those who still feel they are alone and realize that there is still a lot to be done, and a lot worth protesting over.
And just like any other movement, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating a job well done with a fantastic party!
–Kip Guenther, Winnipeg