There is an increasing conflict regarding gay pride parades and the sometimes over-the-top, edgy behaviors sometimes exhibited at them. This conflict has increased in recent years with the rise of the gay family, including young children — some people want the behaviors restricted due to the presence of children (and some want them restricted because of the presence of straights and the media), which of course pushes some people to go more extreme.
The push/pull of this is felt very strongly by the Leather Community. Already branded as sexual outlaws and oddities by both the straight worlds and the mainstream gay world — a branding embraced by many in the community, and played up accordingly — leatherfolk are heavily in the spotlight regarding this issue. How do we (legally) present our edgy play and sexuality in a way that doesn’t sideline or minimize it? In other words, how do we express our pride?
How pleasant, then, to read this article about the Stanley Cup being exhibited during Chicago Gay Pride, and especially this not-quite-a-quote regarding the pro hockey player (and his wife) who is bringing the Cup to the Parade:
When the [Blackhawks professional hockey] club passed along the request to players, Sopel and wife Kelly volunteered. The couple doesn’t plan to bring along their kids, saying the festive, sometimes-bawdy atmosphere might be a little too chaotic.Amen. Here’s a couple who apparently gets it: the Gay Pride Parade is a party for adults. There’s nothing wrong with a bawdy atmosphere, but it isn’t appropriate for kids.
So let’s stop the discussions about dumbing and damping down the parade and start the discussions about where it’s appropriate to bring your kids, and how we can have age-appropriate other events for them.