Pride is a lot like Christmas: it happens only once a year, it involves a lot of sparkly decorations, and social conservatives just love to kvetch about it.
Much like Christmas, even those who participate in Pride don’t always agree with how things currently work. Some points I agree with, some I don’t, but one I’ve never understood is the idea that Pride is no longer necessary.
In Canada, we have it good. Like, really fucking good compared to the rest of the world. Some take it for granted that we have the rights we have, but for the most part, not all of us have crossed the finish line. The race doesn’t just magically stop because you’ve finished your run. Konrad Yakabuski pretty much hit the nail on the head in his piece for The Globe and Mail:
It’s tempting to dismiss such people as fossils, along with anti-gay-marriage protesters in France and the 130 British Conservative MPs who voted last month against same-sex marriage. Most young people, it seems, have no such hang-ups and see sexuality as a non-issue.
That is of little consolation to the gay teenager cowering in his room as he reads the slurs on Facebook. Or to gays in Russia, where the Duma has just passed a law banning the propagandizing among minors of “nontraditional” sexual relationships.
The law is hugely popular. This month, a Pew Research Center poll found that 74 per cent of Russians think homosexuality is unacceptable. Fully a third of Americans and 14 per cent of Canadians were shameless enough to tell Pew that they agree. In most Arab countries and Africa, the poll found condemnation of homosexuality running into the high nineties.
Pride, in the abstract at least, is still wholly necessary. If not for you specifically, for someone else. If you happen to love Pride, ask yourself what you’re really celebrating and why you get to celebrate it today. If you don’t love Pride, ask yourself what the harm is in allowing others to enjoy it and why they might need it. My basic point here is this: Pride’s still on the table. You can either take a piece or you can skip it, but it still deserves to be up there for anyone who needs it.
[Image via EverydayWeekender]