Seattle Pride is this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited. But, with all our Pride planning, a very obvious problem has come to light. This is the same problem that we encounter year after year…
For some reason, Seattle wants to separate us.
That’s right – Seattle Pride is formed and functions with lesbians on one side of the street and gays on the other. The parade, itself, is all inclusive but every other event is split up between men and women.
It makes planning with my gay male friends incredibly difficult. I was told this year that we were looking for something “inclusive” to do on Saturday night and I had to point out that that’s impossible. Either we go to a lesbian event where guys are scarce or we go to a gay man event and women are scarce. One way or another, a group of people will be left out.
Our straight friends don’t seem to care either way. They will be going to this gay event or this gay event. Both equally as gay. No complaints.
But I care. I have to choose between one of these two parties and one group will feel unimportant.
Why not have a party for everyone? Gays, straights, lesbians, transgenders, whatever the fuck you are?
Pride is supposed to be a time where we celebrate ourselves. We were born this way and we’re damn proud of it. But splitting us into clearly labeled and defined groups only marginalizes us further. It places us in a nice little box and asks us to not interact with others. Even the idea that there’s a men’s party and a women’s party implies that only gay men and lesbians should show up respectively. What about our straight allies? What happened to loving everyone?
This is the one way Portland does it better. Portland has a dance party called Blow Pony (which happens every month) and their website reads:
“WE GOT IT ALL: BEARS, BARBIES,CHUBS, CUBS, HAWKS, COCKS, PIGS,CHICKEN, TRANNYS, QUEENS,KINGS, DAGGERS, DYKES, FEMMES, FURRYS, GARDEN KEEPERS, SCUM, MILF LICKERS, KNOB SHINERS, FILTH, SHIRT LIFTERS, COUGARS, CRAP STABBERS, PILLOW BITERS,TRADE AND A GOB OF YOU!”
The message is clear: all are welcome.
They have a dj downstairs, a dj upstairs and a dj outside and you can grind up on whoever you damn well please.
I can walk in with my gay male friends and not feel out of place. We are all there to dance and celebrate pride. You are treated as an equal. Pride is meant for everyone.
So Seattle, stop putting me in a box and tucking me in a corner with all the other “lesbians.” Start recognizing that Pride should be about everyone standing, or rather dancing, together. We are one voice. We are proud.