When Can I Stop Having Pride

Originally Published on Medium - August 7, 2018

Notes: I have written a commentary on this piece after reflection.
 This article is written in response and in a similar manner to this article: Dear straight people: Please shut up about the Pride Parade
A great response article to this piece is also available

Dear gay people: You know I love you. Many of you are my dearest friends and I even have homosexuals in my family. But we need to talk.

In the coming days, I want you to do something for me, please let me shut up about the Pride Parade. Yes, I want to shut up.

I do not care about Pride Parade anymore. I have no plan to attend now or in the future, nor do I really care to talk about the politics around it. Is that okay with you?

There was an opinion written by RM Vaughan in the Globe and Mail where they ask straight people to shut up about the Pride Parade, and I am here to say; I wish I could.

If you want straight people to stop talking about the Pride Parade, you have to stop making straight people talk about the Pride Parade. You make all of the politicians say they want to attend, you make all of the companies say how great it is, you make every single aspect of society need to actively show its acceptance and appreciation of the LGBTQ community, but then expect us to have no opinions on it at all?

I know there is a lot of work to be done, I know we are not yet at a point of equality, but I also know that in my life, we are. I do not care if someone is L or G or B or T or Q. If you want to keep the conversation and the dialogue on your fight, your rights, you have to know that people are entitled to their opinions too. This idea that only those directly involved can have an opinion is folly, especially as the conversation continues to grow.

But I do have an important question. When can I stop having pride? When can I tell you that I hate the pride parade, without you thinking it means I hate the community. When will you be okay to say that the default assumption is not bigotry, but tolerance. Do we think every company that doesn’t contribute to Pride hates “the gays”. Or do we think that Pride has distorted into a massive, government subsidized PR parade of which company can support pride in the most creative way possible. I don’t really care either way, but can I opt out of the conversation completely? Can TD Bank, can Visa?

Can Doug Ford? The Globe Opinion conflates Ford saying that he doesn’t want to watch Buck Naked Men with being anti-LGBTQ. The article it links to mentions that he said numerous times that there are buck-naked men there. Which there are. I have become desensitized to penis’s, but many people, men in particular, are still uncomfortable with seeing them. Maybe I do not want to go and stand in or be a part of the parade that has topless men and women walk by me en-masse. Good for them, I am happy they have a safe space to do what they want to do, but when can I stop caring personally.

I don’t know Ford’s opinion on the community, but neither do you simply by him not wanting to attend. The point society has to get to is a default assumption that people do support LGBTQ rights, and condemnation when that is proven to be false. But this narrative of vehement support or bust is flawed, and exhausting.

I don’t care about pride, at all. I care about my friends and family who are a part of the community, and I care that they have every right and ability as anyone else. And that is enough for me.

David BirnbaumLGBTQ, Pride