Thursday, June 22, 2006

Opinion: Queer Pride

Well I'm off to the Pride Toronto Festival and I thought it would be important to reflect on the issues of Pride. Today Pride festivals in cities like Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, and Sao Paulo are big tourist attractions bringing in money to these major cities. Pride in some places and historically has been in many respects a protest against the oppressive systems of homophobia, biphobia and, transphobia that permeate our societies.

The roots of the Gay Pride movement in the West came out of San Francisco and New York. In 1966 in San Francisco there was a violent gay uprising at Comptons Cafeteria against the oppressive system of the day. The most famous uprising in 1969 that really became the birth of the movement was a small gay bar known as the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Police as was usual at the time raided the bar. The community had enough of the constant oppression simply for what they were and fought back. A few thousand people fought the police for a few days to stop the injustices that were occurring. Although, publicized as a 'gay male' uprising it also included lesbians, trans-people, and bisexuals. The aftermath led to the creation of many Queer rights organizations and in 1970 San Francisco and New York held the first Gay Prides.

In Canada the Gay Rights movement was sparked by the occurrences below the border. Despite that the idea of Pride took a decade to get functioning in Canada. In Toronto it came after police raided a gay male bathhouse. In response the creation of Toronto Pride was born in 1980 for many years the city would not recognize it. Now 26 years later one of the founding members of Pride is a councilor, politicians gleam at being able to get the publicity, it is one of the biggest Pride Festivals in the world with hundreds of thousands of people and, has a plethora of corporate sponsorship.

The movement has taken time to accept different parts such as bisexuals and trans-people who suffered a lot of discrimination within the community and without. Over time organizations have added letters to their acronyms starting at just Gay and Lesbian working their way up to what I used in the high school Gay-Straight Alliance I started in my grade 12, GLBTTTQQIAAA (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Transsexual, Two-spirited, Queer, Questioning, Intersexed,Asexual, Androgynous, and Allies). Most organizations now use LGBT or LGBTQ.

As a trans-person I have a special reflection on Pride. I see it as a venue to be myself without worry of insults or threats. Some people don't agree with Pride because, they say it separates the society. I disagree Pride is a way of being proud of the fact that you can accept yourself in an intolerant society. Pride is a way of celebrating who you are and adding to the society instead of retracting from it. Pride give people an opportunity to feel alright about the way they are and a safe place to celebrate that. There is nothing wrong with acceptance. Happy Pride Everyone.

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8 Comments:

Blogger sappho said...

Great post!
And a Happy Pride to you!!!

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to be weird. I'm looking for someone I met at pride and being a slightly creepy stalker, you wouldnt happen to be really skinny tall and blonde with a bit of pink hair and all decked out in leather would you?

1:31 AM  
Blogger Jade said...

Well you were right up to the leather part. Though I was wearing a collar and bracelets that had leather. On saturday and sunday I was also wearing wings.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'm not good with fabrics lol
it was some black thing anyway...
okay I was the big tall lesbo in the too many shirts, My names kate I was there at the parade with the half black chick and the the purply haired chick and the guy with no leg? Them? I was the one with the tank girl shirt who wouldnt shut up about my ears and how much my family sucks, so how are you?

10:40 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Yep I remember who you are. Funny you were able to find me this way. Feel free to email me jadepichette@hotmail.com

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

didnt think youd respond that quickly
yeah I'm weird like that sorry if I'm way too abrupt/creepy or something.

whatd you end up doing after the parade was over? I felt kinda bad not saying goodbye to you or that eric guy or any of them

10:46 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

We just went around, did some shopping, partying, dancing, met up with others. If you have livejournal I have a detailed description in it, but its friends only. romantic_jade

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we ended up at the arcade playing dance dance revolution and eating pizza and stuff, then they got bored and went home and I walked down queens W and ended up in kensington before realizing everything was closed and went back to church for a bit and then had to catch my train so thats that! mines 'mopimpthanthou' gangsta meets shakespeare or something
I never talk about anything constructive really, this blog is really... thought provoking

11:00 PM  

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