The Pride parade: For better or worse?

Ok, I know it isn’t due for another two and a half weeks, but it’s something that I really need to talk about. To get off my chest. But before I do, before I go on, I wan’t to stress that I don’t want to be misunderstood. This is not written to judge or offend or even hurt anyone. Everyone should be true to who they are. In any way they are. Always. So don’t get me wrong, when I say that…(inhales)…the Pride parade has long bothered me. There, I said it. (exhales)

Wait what, how can you be bothered by an event where LGBTQI people get a one of a kind opportunity to “increase their visibility, promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance”, you might ask.

Well to begin with, it’s the alcohol. There just to much of it. Then there’s the nudity, the slutty costumes, open leather pants and sex toys. It seems like the participants think they can dress, drink and do what ever the fuck they want and others better respect that because it’s their day. It’s a confusing mixture of fighting for rights and provoking the rest of the country with sexualized outfits and behaviour. It’s basically a huge messy party.

That bothers me.

I mean, why are dildos even present at a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward the LGBTI community? Is it so we can shove them up our ass in a special break? Is it so curious bystanders can get a clear picture of what we do in our bedrooms? Or is it simply to give all the phobes and other ass holes out there means to their cause?

Masked Kenyan supporters of the LGBT community stage a protest against Uganda's anti-gay bill
All around the world LGBTQI people are persecuted and killed. Pictured: Masked Kenyan supporters of the LGBT community stage a protest against Uganda’s anti-gay bill.

Are our own lives so “perfect” that we forget that all around the world LGBTQI people are not only discriminated against, but they’re also persecuted and killed? That in Uganda queers are being burnt to death. In Iran executed by hanging. In Russia hunted for sport. And even in the USA, a Californian laywer proposed that next year residents would vote on a bill: “Allowing anyone to kill gays for being gay”!

Are we really content with prancing around intoxicated and half-naked, when we could actually grab the opportunity to shout out our support for all those LGBTI people who struggle and suffer – simply because of something we ourselves find so normal and so beautiful?

That bothers me too.

I mean, why can’t we show our best sides? What we’re really made of? Just be ourselves?

Basically why can’t our Pride parade in Copenhagen, and others in the same spirit, be more like the one in Reykjavík? Filled with love. Filled with messages. With political awareness. Music, costumes and dance. Devoid of alcohol. Of nudity. And thankfully, dildos. Where every day people, families and friends, turn up to be their charming everyday selves. Taking in the love and support the bystanders – a lot of people, probably almost 30 percent of the whole nation – are giving them. Where people of all genders, all sexualities and ages come together to experience something wonderful. Something outstanding. Something that fills you with pride – like it should.

“It’s a confusing mixture of fighting for rights and provoking the rest of the country with sexualized outfits and behaviour. It’s basically a huge messy party.”

Now this all might sound biased coming from an Icelander but that’s not the case. In fact Denmark is just as good as any other country to be queer (counting the ones which are progressive in terms of LGBTQI rights) and before Copenhagen was somewhat of a haven for Icelandic lesbians and gays when the support for gay rights was non-existent back home.

And as I said before, I don’t want to sound judgemental and I certainly don’t wan to offend anyone. However, I really think it’s time to stop and think what message we’re trying to convey with our Copenhagen pride.

In my mind it’s really simple: Pride is meant to educate. It’s meant to inspire. It’s meant to raise awareness of the cultural, social and legal inequality LGBTQI people face in every corner of the world. And to stress that we’re not in any way less than others because we’re queer.

But in order to do so we need to be on our best behavior.

We need to set a good example.

To show dignity.

And finally we need to attend Pride with, well, pride.

Copenhagen Pride. Photo/Stefano Bolognini
Copenhagen Pride. Photo/Stefano Bolognini

Main Photo: Shows Reykjavík Pride, taken by Sigurthor Gunnlaugsson.

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