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8.8.17

When Pride Becomes Destructive

Over the past month or so, most people living in the West have heard of, encountered or maybe ever participated in a Gay Pride parade.  They are almost unheard of here in the East, because homosexuality and other sexual aberrations (yes, that is the correct word) are not generally tolerated in public.  In fact, open displays of affection between anyone other than husbands and wives are thoroughly discouraged here in the Republic of Indonesia.

Before the SJW reader gets its (gender-neutral English pronoun) panties all in a bunch, let me explain something.

I grew up and have worked in the entertainment industry all my life.  I have encountered, worked with and socialized with just about every permutation of human being you can think of.  I have hugged, kissed and held hands with other men.  I have rarely, if ever, taken offence at what others choose to do, so long as the participants and observers are consenting adults.  I really don't care what people do in the privacy of their homes, or in establishments where everyone knows and consents to whatever may happen inside.

In other words, within the sanctity of one's personal realm, I have no say nor investment, except when and where I so choose.

However, I take issue with public events where non-consenting individuals may be subjected to sights, sounds and experiences they do not want.  It is a form of assault to subject passers-by on public thoroughfares to things they would not willingly seek out.  A human being cannot be forced to partake of something they find abhorrent or distasteful without their consent.

Now, for Gay Pride parades.

I know all about them.  I have helped arrange and stage them.  I acted in a play years ago about the Stonewall riots, playing a "straight" cop who ultimately "converts" to homosexuality (it was a comedy).

If you aren't familiar with Stonewall, on June 28, 1969, a group of homosexuals rioted at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, in New York City.  At the time, homosexuality was illegal and police staged regular raids in the area, arresting just about everyone on suspicion of engaging in homosexual practices.

For my part, I side with the rioters and against the State, since the bar was well-known as a "gay" bar and anyone going there knew what they were likely to see and hear and experience.  As long as nothing lewd or lascivious took place in the public sphere where innocents could accidentally see it, I am all for those folks having a fun time.

In my opinion, it is not the place of the State to legislate morality, nor to tell anyone what they may not do in the privacy of a residence or private business.  Furthermore, I personally don't have a problem with people of the same sex showing affection for each other.  I would rather see tenderness than murder and mayhem any day.

But...anyone who has attended a Gay Pride parade in the past couple of decades knows that public displays of affection are just the tiniest tip of the iceberg when it comes to these events.

These parades put on public spectacle some of the most decadent behavior, costumes and practices known to Mankind, from imitating sex acts of every description to whips, chains, spikes, clamps, plugs, beads, paddles, and pretty much anything else one can imagine.  Many of the costumes are unsanitary at best, and expose that are best left to the imagination in public areas.

In fact, Gay Pride parades have devolved into hedonistic displays in which the participants actively try to out-shock each other in what they are willing to do in pubic.

Back in the day, these events were fun and funny.  I can think of one gay bar that had a precision marching kazoo band.  Another had a float with (fully clad) drag queens putting on their best performances.  Some organizations simply had everyone in matching costumes marching down the street in solidarity with their fellow participants.  There were likely local politicians and celebrities riding in convertables practicing their Princess Wave, including the winner of the Parade Queen contest.  A really daring show might have been a Dom displaying his/her/its prowess with a bullwhip, but that was nothing worse than what one could see in the rodeo parade, as well, including the leather chaps.

In the past decade, however, these events have taken a decidedly darker turn.  Nudity, flogging, even some blood sports are on full display, disregarding any social mores or decorum.  There is no concern for innocent passers-by, children or delicate sensitivities.  The parades are no longer fun, but rather challenge on-lookers' limits of tolerance and taste.  They have become shocking displays of depravity that openly flaunt things that are much better left in private.

Personally, I have seen it all and it doesn't shock me much anymore.  I am, though, rather bemused by the term "gay pride," since I associate pride with excelling at a skill or talent or project, not for who (or what) I choose to have sex with.  Copping an orgasm hardly seems like an achievement by any means, since it is a biological function of which most human beings are capable, and being completely subjective, there is no way for me to judge the quality or intensity of anyone else's.  So what is there to be proud of?  It's a bit like "eating pride."  So what?

The thing about pushing the boundaries of acceptable behavior in public is that the public eventually pushes back.  At some point, a boundary is crossed which offends the vast majority of average people, and it is at that point that the push-back goes quite far in the other direction.  In the effort to "normalize" every conceivable behavior, the ultimate result will be a new prohibition, where everyone gets punished for the excesses of a few.

While I truly don't care what you do for fun within the walls of your domain, there are limits to what I want to see in public.  I'm sure most people feel that way.  Seeing someone flogged, even if the recipient gets his/her/its jollies from it, is not something I care to see.  I empathize far too much with the pain and it makes me extremely uncomfortable.  I am sure most people feel the same way about a range of behaviors.

In the interest of propriety, we humans keep certain things private, if for no other reason than we don't want to offend others' sensibilities.  Ultimately, I am being selfish, though.  I don't want to get punished for the actions of others, and that is certainly what will happen at some point, as the parades delve off into truly offensive territory.

By all means sing, dance and invite everyone to the party, but make it a party that everyone wants to see.  It's just a matter of decorum and civility.

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