Day 9 – What do you think about LGBT Pride? Is it helpful or hurtful? Encouraged or unnecessary?

I love Pride.

Sure I’ve got so many criticisms of its playing into the capitalist materialistic culture that overtakes A Lot of mainstream queer culture. I hate the Rainbow Washing that corporate entities with problematic records on queer employment try to do by sending straight people posing as allies to Pride parades. Good gods the problems with corporate rainbows. And I’ve relatively lately come to the conclusion that we really do have a problem with allowing uniformed police to March with us at Pride Parades. But then we’ve got a problem as a society with the police and frankly I think that’s part of the same materialistic capitalism that drags its tendrils through mainstream queer culture.

The feeling of being perfectly myself and being seen in a Pride parade. The fact that rainbow washing is even a thing – that it genuinely helps corporations to appeal to the queer pound – that is why Pride matters.

I am in particular fond of the parade. I have marched in Tokyo, Manchester and Lancaster and it’s the most visible form of fuck you that I’ve ever seen despite its problems. People, especially if you are very hardline about police in pride being a problem, see the parade sometimes as playing respectability politics. The thing is I’ve never marched anywhere that I was at risk by marching, Tokyo is the closest I’ve come but that doesn’t compare to marching in a country where it’s illegal or where deaths and assaults on you if you’re part of our QUILTBAG are common. But I don’t find the parade Respectable not matter how much it’s corporate or full of middle classisms. We stop traffic, we have shop displays of rainbows all down the high street, we’re here, right in the middle of the street queer and there’s no ignoring that Parade.

Gods it’s important to be seen, it’s how we normalise being queer, it’s how we keep the freedom that we have. You think it might hurt that because we’re visible people will throw their weight against us? Sure they are and they do but not as much weight as if we’re all silently disparate in our separate closets unable to find each other.

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