Do we need “gay pride” anymore?

It is Gay Pride season in most American cities so there will be parades, celebrations, observances, marathon bike rides and other events designed to heighten the awareness of what critics like to call the “gay agenda.” This year it coincides with a growing call to do away with the ban on gays in the military, growing objections over President Bush’s nominee for Surgeon General and increasing acceptance of gays in the fabric of life in America. It is also a time to begin to question whether anything is “so gay” anymore.""

All Democratic candidates for President have vowed to abandon the failed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy put forth by President Clinton after his attempt to remove the ban entirely was met by a firestorm of criticism. In the 14 years of the policy, sold as a way to permit gays to serve in the military so long as “they didn’t flaunt it” the result has been an increase in service discharges because of being gay, quite the opposite of that predicted at the time.

The most infamous examples of the failure of the policy came with the disclosure by the 9/11 Commission that 58 Arabic linguists had been discharged from the military for a breach of the DADT policy. At a time when our military in Iraq is severely hampered by its inability to provide service members who understand Iraqi citizens, this turns “supporting our troops” on its head.

Repeated surveys of Americans in general and troops in particular show widespread support for allowing gay Americans to serve in our military. Apparently our soldiers have more fear of ridiculously extended tours of duty than of someone seeing them naked in the shower. Gays serve in the military of nearly all our “allies” and have done so without incident and with distinction for many years.

It is way past time to remove this discriminatory ban and honor the willingness of all who wish to serve their country.

As for the nomination of Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr., as Surgeon General, there is little surprise that Bush would pick someone who would appeal to the conservative religious base of his party, but it is disappointing that he did so when it is clear this would be yet another divisive move on his part. The doctor has publicly taken stands upon his religious beliefs and eschewed objectivity. As a private person that is his right. As the doctor for all America, it is intolerable. Odd that Dr. Joselyn Elders was removed for making a common sense observation that masturbation might avoid complications from sex among young people yet Holsinger is free to incorrectly stigmatize gay sex as unhealthy by its nature.

The nomination should be withdrawn and the President needs to put forth someone who will heal America, not further divide us.

Despite the remaining division of opinion about gay marriage, gays have for the most part quite successfully been assimilated into the larger population. An overwhelming percentage of Americans feel they should be treated as any other citizen is and that gays are “normal” human beings. Among young people, there is not only high levels of acceptance, but also an attitude of “what is the big fuss about?”

This long sought for acceptance raises an interesting question. Is there really much that distinguishes gays from the rest of America anymore – other, of course, than what we do in bed. (Although even on that front there is a growing convergence of behaviors and even choice of partners when it comes to recreational sex especially)
In other words, do we need “Gay Pride” anymore?

Being a gay man, it used to be fairly easy to rely upon my highly honed “gaydar” to pick my fellow queer men out of a crowd. No longer. Not only have the fashions of gay and straight men become nearly indistinguishable, the behaviors have merged as well. The days of the ‘flaming queen” are passing and despite the appearances of those who march in Pride parades, it is darned tough to tell us apart anymore.

This really is a dilemma faced before by all those who were once different but who have become assimilated into the mainstream. How to preserve the beauty of one’s culture and still gain acceptance and “normalcy” in the larger culture?
Some in the gay community resist this loss of identity and feel the calls for gay marriage are unwanted. But as with most things cultural, the votes that count are those made with the behavior of our young people. On that score, the votes are overwhelmingly in favor of “we’re just like you except what we do in bed.”

So I say fine, America, come on in and join our Pride celebrations and parades! Let’s instead celebrate and have pride in everyone, each one of us, for our uniqueness, or individual personality and quirks.

Lets be proud to be, just as we are.

Comments

  1. Doubtom

    Hey Armyguy, if I ever find even one soul, what color do you want me to paint it?

    And If I ever find a god I’ll be glad to paint it also for no extra charge. This is a public service.

  2. Sandra Price

    …made me immune to this awful hatred for fellow Americans who happen to be gay. My family has their share and nobody was particularly upset and in fact there was little discussion of the facts that so and so prefered boys. My grandmother, being the brains of the clan told us once that maybe Mother Earth was telling us to stop breeding. Okay!

    Even in California I saw among my musicians and actors terrible horrors of physical brutality and I could never understand where this came from.

    I went on line in 1993/4 and found the religious right. I found the source for this torture that my friends and family members had to survive.

    I had a string quintet playing at a Baptist Church and one of the board members of the church asked me how many of these young men were gay. It was during a standing ovation for their playing that I told her “all of them.” I had no idea if any of my boys were gay but the question called for a dramatic answer.

    When will we grow up? When will we learn to appreciate people for what they are not where they sleep?

  3. Armyguy

    There is a difference between animals and human beings. One difference is that human beings have immortal souls, and another difference is that human beings have human rights, but animals do not.

    We call these human rights “inalienable” because they are from God. If there were no such thing as God, then there would be no such thing as human rights.

    Since some of us believe that God does exist, then we also believe He instilled in us certain human rights because of His commandments to us, so for example, because murder is a sin, then it makes sense that we have a right to live…but we do not have a right, say, to fornicate, because God does not want us to fornicate.

    Therefore, we do not believe homosexuals have a right to marry or to act as if they were.
    Thanks.

  4. Sandra Price

    But Phil, These people believe sex is a sin. Their first reaction is to prohibit sex unless done in the marriage bed. They believe that prohibiting gay sex will stop gay actions.

    I can’t even imagine thinking along those lines. They don’t realize that they can live their own strict lives and leave it at that. No! they want to prohibit all things that they believe to be sins. It is this power that Jesus Christ has given them to change the world as some scholar claims would be what Jesus wants.

    There is an inherent arrogance among Christians that they are the only people who know the truth. They are willing to kill and die for this religion and then act horrified when Islam is doing the same damn thing.

    America is changing under the obvious hypocrisy found in too many Christian churches. People are not buying this division among people. It will take time.

  5. Phil Hoskins

    I seldom comment on comments to my own commentary (still with me?), but a couple of points deserve it.

    There is no such thing as a “homosexual” any more than there is a “heterosexual”. There are homosexual acts and heterosexual acts. Categorizing people is always an attempt to marginalize and diminish a human being.

    Kinsey’s research, replicated many times since, showed we are each a mix of sexual identities. Each of us some part homo and some part hetero sexual. Where on the scale you may be today could change tomorrow.

    Present day American and other cultures tend to so heavily stigmatize sex in general and that which does not meet the approval of the most uptight among us that most people have repressed anything other than the most narrow of sexual concepts.

    That is a tragedy that gets played out in wife beatings, hate, war and a host of common ailments. it is a pity we perpetuate this repressive culture with a venegence.
    _______________________

    As to God and his grant of inalienable rights, God wants us to fornicate or else he would not have given us a penis, vagina, mouth, anus or hand. Get over it, God loves sex. He/she must, there is so much of it.

    Phil Hoskins