The Right To Express Yourself
After reading Brenda Power’s article in GCN, and seeing the opinion of many others on the Tallyman blog, and following on from Click Here’s piece from the weekend on “Uppity Gays” I was struck by the following thoughts.
I’m sick to death of people giving out about the way gay people chose to express themselves. I’m tired of Brenda Power and her ilk disparging the attire of members of the LGBT community at Pride and other LGBT events. But most of all, I’m disgusted at the people who use this as an excuse to not participate in these events.
Brenda Powers apparently once glimpsed (on the singular occasion she happened to be in town as the Pride parade was on) some guys with their asses hanging out of their pants… And she feels this is a bad representation of the LGBT community. Who is she to judge this? Does it ever occur to her or any of the other nay-sayers that maybe this is how these individuals feel comfortable? I haven’t witnessed such things myself, but maybe that is how they wish to embrace and celebrate their sexuality?
There are those who think that LGBT people marching in Pride should dress “normally” and try to aid LGBT people’s assimilation into “normal” (ie. heteronormative) society. Who are anyone to say what qualifies for normal? Their version of normal may not be “normal” for anyone else. Each person is an individual, and their presentation of their individually should be accepted, embraced and even celebrated.
I’ll be honest here. When I took my first tentative steps out of the closet, and later participated in my first Pride, pre coming out to my parents, I was worried that my parents would see the images of half naked people walking the streets and find it hard to accept me, as they would see that as being “the gay lifestyle”. However, I soon realised that the LGBT community comes in many different guises, shapes and sizes, and in many different forms, and I now openly celebrate this fact. The diversity is what makes Pride Pride, and I think that some of the critics should do what I did and actually participate in, and embrace, Pride. Trust me, you’ll never look back.
I constantly get berated for having short hair and dressing so “dykey”…This confuses me. I dressed this way when I identified as straight. I dressed this way when I had a boyfriend. I dress the way I dress because its how I’m comfortable, and I wear my hair short cos it suits me better than my long hair did. And thats my choice. That’s me being an individual.
Similarly, I’m sure everyone else presents themselves the way they do because that’s how they’re comfortable, and how they wish to express their individuality.
Finally, to the people who don’t participate in Pride because it “doesn’t represent them”… How do you know if you don’t go along? More importantly, how can it represent you if YOU don’t participate? Just a thought…
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