Atlantis Alumni

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Of Pride Parades And Gay Rights Marches

In 1979 I marched in the first national gay rights march on Washington. It was a sober affair on an overcast fall day. The tone was serious and political. In 1987, in conjunction with the second MOW, I was arrested along with more than 700 other activists on the steps on the U.S. Supreme Court. We were protesting the Bowers V. Hardwick decision that has since been overturned. But that was the last time I felt good about joining a march. After that the tone of the national march changed. The next march in 1993 was more of a big party. But I couldn't understand what we were so happy about. Nothing much had changed in terms of gay rights. Today, I feel the same way about gay pride parades. There was a time when these parades might have meant something by making us more visible. But now we are all too visible and all too ignored. Feel good pride parades are just parties. They don't get anything accomplished. We still lack basic equality. We need to do hard political work. Count me out on the pride parades until we have a real reason to celebrate.

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