What is Pride?

pride – [prahyd], noun: A high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.

So I got myself into a small shitstorm on Facebook this week. If you’re a friend or follow me, you already know that I say whatever is on my mind and try to avoid being “Fakebook.” This week, I struck a nerve with the following post:

“I’m just going to say it. Pride is not about getting as naked as possible and being a drunk fool in the streets. What is that saying about you? Is that really what being gay means to you? Not me. I will never forget a Chicago Pride in the early 2000’s, where in the middle of the parade, two daddies decided to rim ass in the street. In broad daylight and in front of the MANY CHILDREN that were present. It was shocking in a bad way and I have never felt shame for being gay until I witnessed that.

Sorry to rant, but Pride isn’t about that at all. If you’re so desperate to strip naked and be lewd in front of other people, find your crowd – Pride isn’t it. Feel free to display normal public displays of affection, in fact do a lot of that. But nudity and sex acts should stay off the streets.”

I opened up Pandora’s Box with this statement, and along with it came tons of different opinions on the matter. I have my own, and am going to share it with you. First, let me point out what I did not say. I did not say “this is what Gay Pride is about.” I said “this is NOT what Gay Pride is about.” That’s important to be stated, because an overwhelming majority agreed with me. While Pride is a free-for-all type of celebration, it’s still a parade that is set in broad daylight, in the streets. In this arena, there is no place for near nudity/nudity or sex acts, which is rampant during the festivities. Why? Because it’s almost 100% certain that minors will be present, amongst a million other reasons.

This post hit certain people deep and they got angry. I heard from many gay men who are so addicted to their lifestyle, that they have tunnel-vision about their gayness. They lacked empathy to see this point from the other side. They explained that to them, being gay means being cavalier. I personally don’t think the fact that I was born a homosexual gives me carte blanche to get naked in the streets in front of minors. I never will. I’m completely supportive of being yourself, and if that means an over-the-top look and marching down the street in 10” platform heels, get it girl. In my head, that stuff is all PG-13, and hilarious, and I encourage it. Put on a skimpy bathing suit and twerk on a float, please! But when I see men with their assholes literally hanging out, it disgusts me. That is private activity that should remain indoors, in an adult-only setting.

I want to reiterate that I’m not referring to the people in beachwear. If it’s appropriate to wear at a pool, you can wear it during a Pride parade. But if I can see your dickhead through your Andrew Christian undies, I think you need to go home and put on more clothes. The people that choose to expose themselves forget that Pride attracts a wide variety of people. Some are parents like me, who want to bring their kid to a parade. Others might be LGBTQ+ youth/minors, who are maybe just coming to terms with their sexuality. While it may be fun for you to get close to naked, you must try to put yourself in other people’s shoes.

My adversaries exclaimed that Gay Pride should be an adult-only event. How do you feel about that? Also, how would that be enforced? Gay Pride is not exactly a contained environment, and I can’t even imagine how that would happen. Additionally, statements like that are prejudiced towards LGBTQ+ parents. All I hear is “Your family can’t be a part of this wonderful event because I want to show my ass in broad daylight.” I don’t think that logic is justifiable. I can’t imagine that when the Stonewall Riots occurred, those men who fought for our rights and to have Gay Pride wanted to exclude any members of our community.

That being said, I am ridiculously all about people expressing themselves. I think the creative beauty that emerges from the LGBTQ+ community is awe-inspiring and limitless. I’m not referring to that at all. I’m referring to the countless number of gay men who take “short cuts” and want to be near naked all day for whatever reason. If it’s insecurity, then we, as a community, need to stop enabling that behavior. I want everyone to have an exciting, and more importantly safe Pride. If your outfit is too revealing, please reconsider it. Try to imagine what other people feel, as Pride is not a solo event but a community one. We need to come together now, and become the pillars of society that we know we are.

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Today is National Coming Out Day, and as we celebrate, we're sharing six coming out stories from dads in our community. Their personal stories are heartwarming, relatable, and empowering. Happy Coming Out Day, and remember, live your truth!

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Photo credit: BSA Photography

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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