Pride 2011 Glbt Lgbt Blgt Tglb whatever
Today in Asheville North Carolina on this very fall like Saturday there is the annual Pride festival. As usual it will have the fashionable liberal politicians to put in an appearance along with the fashionable liberal clergy to stroll about, some in their clerical attire and most of them not, with an assortment of other folke, both those who are sincerely trying to be supportive and those who just came to look and gawk. There will be all the politically correct folke with the politically correct “letter sequence hierarchy” so as to insure that all of us who have suffered some discrimination of some or any kind get a letter in the order of things. Entertainment both “professional” and armature, as well as the unintended kind, will help the “festive vibes” of the event. “Resume strutting” conversations will often permeate social interaction with one or more participants trying to out impress the other. The “name droppers” will be there and like any self respecting street fair some of the”names” will be in attendance. You will most likely hear the “give them hell” speakers from predominately radical lesbian feminists and or drag queens whose vocabulary rarely exceeds four letter words! From the hyper Queenie intermingled amongst and betwixt the “average Joe and Jane” to the hype masculine with designer gym bodies, and from the lip stick to the tire tool lesbian, the “community” that is Queer(the latest political correct designation) will be on display in all its diversity!
But this begs questions that are considered anathema by the self appointed politicos, (after all we did not nominate nor vote on these “leaders”), and that is, what is it we are actually taking pride in and about? Is it the bars, the substance abuse and addictions, the illusions we parade around, our ego worship of youth, the political correctness or is it ,when all is said and done, that we are no better or worse than anyone else, that we are trully an fully human and are fine just being that!
To refrase a question and or issue from the African American community what does it mean to be whatever “letter” we choose to use to identify us? Will we do as many in that community suggest to their fellow African Americans and contemplate going past the “lettering” or to put it another way, will we see a “post glbtq or lgbtq or whatever” identity? A few years ago I was told by one of those self appointed politicos that I was not gay but instead I was just homosexual. In a very condescending fashion he informed that since I did not conform to the stereotype of what it was to be gay nor had any interest in any of the characteristics of such a stereotype I could not properly call myself gay. I responded that no I did not call people “girl friend” who were male nor did I worship Judy Garland or use words like “fierce” or care a tinkers damn about fashion or celebrity and if that meant I was not gay then praise whatever Force there was for that gift! I used “Force” since he was an avowed agnostic who had been recommended for the Episcopal Diaconate. He said he was “insulted” by that and by the comment I had made in a forum discussion moments earlier that everything that was gay was not good anymore than it was bad” and he in his best Betty Davis stormed off.
Will the day come when being gay or bisexual or transgendered is of no more consequence than being green or brown or blue eyed? Will the time come when it is not necessary or even healthy for a wholesome and positive self-image to identify oneself based solely on same gender attraction? It is a given in the straight community that your bedroom activities do not frame your entire person hood why should we be any different?
When I was a first year sociology major I learned the definition of community. A word I might add that we toss around like fall leaves.The most elementary understanding of community is a group of people who share a common language, mores, ritual, and relationships. Is is too painful to ask the question what do “we” have in common really other than conjugal attractions and what has become an almost contrived media driven persona?!
I understand the politics of Pride, the psychology both good and bad of Pride, even the theology of Pride and I know that perhaps for now it is necessary. But the day must come when being human in all the wonderment that means is truly the cause of self affirmation and pride.
Bishop Andrew Gentry
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