The term "LGBT Pride" (or its usually more specific variants, such as "gay pride", "lesbian pride", "LGBTQIA pride", and so forth-I have long since heard "LGBT" as the designated term, so that's what I'm using for the sake of this journal, no offense) is a phrase I've seen lobbed around for years now. But over time, I have come to wonder what exactly is being prided upon. Initially, I got the impression that LGBT Pride simply meant not hiding that you're non-heterosexual anymore, and that there was nothing wrong with you for being so, despite what certain groups might say. However, as the years went on, I started to see certain criticisms about the concept of "LGBT Pride". And, no, I don't simply mean the usual homophobic bouts from the overly religious and conservative types, either.
To bring up a common criticism I have seen with "pride" in general, some-including people who identify as LGBTQIA themselves-have criticized the notion of "pride" due to it not being tied to any accomplishments. I get the logic behind this. As someone who grew up during the BS romp that was The Self-Esteem Era, I can tell you that I understand the notion of being made to feel proud despite not doing anything, simply for the sake of itself. It was this notion that you had to feel good for the sake of itself, without actually demonstrating good qualities, skills, or aspects about yourself in the process. That mindset only helped to create a lot of arrogance, as well as self-hatred and anxiety over failing to live up to such expectations. With that knowledge in mind, I have an idea of this criticism of LGBT Pride. It goes further when some also point out that one should not feel pride in something they were born into, because it wasn't something they did. Therefore, by that train of logic, having "pride" in the fact that you born non-heterosexual doesn't ultimately mean anything in the long run.
That said, there's a common response to this. So maybe one shouldn't have pride in something you didn't do. However, one should take into consideration that a good number of LGBTQIA individuals had to deal with a lot of crap in their lives. You hear about the bullying, about the abuse, about the discrimination, about the falling out after falling out with family members and friends. The word "homophobia" has been etched into our conscious memory because of the crap that non-heterosexual people have had to deal with, and still do. Therefore, some could-and many do-argue that "LGBT Pride" is for those who have managed to not only deal with all of that crap, but also actively defy it by campaigning for LGBTQIA rights and recognition, speaking out against homophobic and heteronormative mindsets, or sometimes just simply not letting the crap interfere with their daily lives. In this sense, I think LGBT Pride receives its requisite of accomplishment, going by that argument that you have to do something to really have pride.
However, whenever I tend to think of "LGBT Pride", the mental image of men and women who cater to the stereotypes-the camp gay, the butch lesbian, the femme lesbian, the bara gay, and so forth-are what come to mind. I figure this is probably due to media perception, as well as the search results generally bringing up people acting in a flamboyant manner. Is this "LGBT Pride"? Some say that it shouldn't be, usually for reasons ranging between the lack of focus on non-flamboyant, non-stereotypical LGBT people, its possible consequence of positive discrimination (i.e. they're put on a pedestal and treated like something different because they're LGBTQIA), and that it makes the whole group appear like a bunch of attention whores. (Essentially, it's the understandable desire to not be lumped in with those who, in one way or another, make it harder for everyone else.) I do think these people have a point, but that's just my stance here.
Speaking personally, though, I have never really felt pride as a bisexual man since, honestly, it's just a facet of myself, and not really something for me to get all worked up about (then again, I have only known this facet of myself for about two, maybe three years on a very on-and-off basis, and have never gotten any crap specifically for being bi, so I may not be the best person to talk about this). Granted, I'm not open about it in the realspace as I am online for the obvious reason, as well as just not really seeing a need for people to know which way I swing. Not to sound offensive or anything, but I don't exactly feel the need to wave around the magenta, purple, and blue. But again, that's just me. Anyone else reading this will be different in some manner. But at the end of the day, I wonder. What exactly constitutes "LGBT Pride", or "Gay Pride", or whatever term you may use?
(To think, this all came up when I read an article about people's responses to Kellogg's sponsorship of a gay pride parade. Ah, what an interesting place the Internet can be.)
Listening to: Chris Winland - Happy Days
Watching: Pound Puppies (2010 Series)
Eating: McDonalds Cheeseburgers and Fries