What is Pride?
I haven't been to a Pride march for years, mostly because they are corporate-sponsored events that lack any sort of meaning to me and any resonance or recognition of the political history on which the pride parade, at least in New York, is based.
Of course this year, at least in New York, there was the passage of the marriage equality legislation on the eve of Pride to celebrate—if you are of the marriage-supporting kind and if you didn't read the fine print of that "victory." The legislation allows religious organizations, non-profits and businesses to deny recognition, benefits and services to gay couples. Ergo gay and straight marriage are not equal in New York State. So much for the New York "victory."
Elsewhere in N.Y.C, QuORUM (Queers Organizing for Radical Unity and Mobilization) was celebrating the achievements of our queer community, resistance to oppression, queer self-empowerment and sustainability.They were also protesting the corporate-sponsored pride parade here in New York City.
Their mission statement reads: "...We're NOT proud of the corporate sponsors of the pride parade! We're NOT proud of the corporatization of the mainstream LGBT world! OUR PRIDE'S NOT FOR SALE! And so we'll be at the Pride Parade on Sunday, expressing both our PRIDE and our DISSENT, and our PRIDE IN OUR DISSENT.
They wore black T-shirts with big, hot-pink dollar signs stuck on the front.The idea was that they were visual representations of "The Pink Dollar."
They said, "We know that the Pride Corporate Sponsors see us as nothing but a market, and this is our way of saying, "We know what you're thinking." We'll also have a few signs that say, "MY PRIDE'S NOT FOR SALE," and other slogans.
We will also be handing out fliers that say "WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?" on one side, and on the other side, two columns of facts - one column with facts about Pride corporate sponsors (ie: "Google is complicit in human rights violations against the people of China.") and one column of facts about the grassroots queer community (ie: "AIDS drugs exist because ACT-UP pressured the FDA to accelerate testing and trials.")."
Folks, we are once again on the precipice of history: we can embrace mainstream mediocrity and keep begging for reformist crumbs or we can resist assimilation and celebrate our families of choice, attachment and friendship that lie outside of the narrow confines of marriage and keep resisting.
I, for one, am not ready to claim a status that changes the lifetime of affiliations based on support, love and friendship I have built without marriage, children and mainstream approval and that legal marriage could never replace. Neither my pride nor my relationship is for sale— to the state, church, Google or anyone else.