Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gay Pride Parades are Intended for Adults

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.


  1. Not to piss on your parade ;-), but when exactly did publicly accessible Pride parades become de facto adults-only events? I don't know of any city that requires participants to be at least 18. The post parade festivals are another matter, since these are commonly conducted in locations that can be subdivided for various age appropriate activities.

  2. Try reading what I wrote a second time.

    There's a difference between "adults-only" and "intended for adults". When did Pride parades become "intended for adults"? Since the very first one. It's in the last few years that there has been an increase in calls to make them "family friendly", and to tone down and restrict behaviors so as to not upset the straights.

    Not all activities of gay adults need to be painted over to be deemed suitable for 4 year olds. If you want that sort of a parade, go make the "Gay Family Pride Parade" -- some other place, some other day.