Useful Notes: Pride Parade
Marchers: "We're here, we're queer, get used to it!"
: "You do this every year, we
are used to it!"
is an annual celebration of gender and sexual
minorities. Held in many cities in many countries, the event's social status and inclusiveness vary wildly from place to place. For these parades in media, see Pride Parade
. Regarding Real Life
The two most common perspectives on the origin of the pride movement is that it started with parades for gay men and that it started with the Stonewall riots. Both versions are true, it's a matter of perspective. The first perspective is more peaceful but also more gay-centric, while the second perspective highlight the struggle for equality and that this struggle has never truly been about one single group.
At the riots there were all kinds of non-normative individuals present, with transgender people being one of the core groups. When the parades started, however, they were only about mainstream (and thus "respectable") gay men and lesbians, excluding everyone else. Of course, transgender people and other minorities was still welcome to participate as long as they kept a low profile and masqueraded as either being gay or as simply supporting the gays.
However, this Gay movement grew into LGBT, and later expanded into LGBTQ with the addition of queer theory and expanded perspectives on the nature of gender identity and sexual identity.
What minorities are included and what minorities are not vary from year to year and from place to place. Transgenderism is now acknowledged in most countries (although far from all), while sexual minorities such as fetishists and BDSM
practitioners (active or otherwise) have started becoming an integral part of the movement in more and more countries. Of course, there is still a lot of tension in many places, with separate (and sometimes mutually hostile) subcultures such as Straight Gay
, Camp Gay
, fetishists, and others coming to blows about what should and shouldn't be included.
Other groups that are often included are local ethnic gender identity minorities such as Native American Two-Spirits
in the American Southwest. Straight allies
of LGBTQ rights/people may also be in the march.
Criticism from within
In some communities, usually those where LGBTQ are mostly accepted and the community at large is "used to it," portions of the LGBTQ community object, sometimes strenuously, to Pride. To some, Pride and the parades have become crass and commercial, used purely as a vehicle for advertising gay-owned businesses and no longer serving a real purpose. This tends to go along with a strong emphasis on the Stonewall origins and assertions of being "Social Justice Activists." Generally includes a feeling that some of racial minorities, out-of-stereotypically-attractive body types, and/or the disabled aren't sufficiently included. The counter-criticism is that several ethnic groups still hold parades several generations after total assimilation. "We're throwing a party in the old neighborhood and the whole city's invited!"
Sexualization - in the eye of the beholder
Of course, what's actually included and what someone notices may be two very different things. A well-behaved group may be mistaken for mainstream gay or even heterosexual (or simply be overlooked), while the most extremely dressed person in the entire parade becomes the poster-child for how all LGBTQ people supposedly behave. Even if the parade is purposely family-friendly, don't be surprised if someone starts shouting "Think of the Children!
!" To what extent, if any, the parade is sexualized
varies between different years and different places. The same parade can also get very different descriptions.
Parades and Pride Festivals
Pride is usually an all-day affair, with related events taking place over an entire week or weekend depending on the city. The day of the parade is often treated like an informal holiday in the LGBTQ community ("Happy Pride!" is an oft-heard greeting), with the Parade around noon, the festival in the afternoon, and the after-parties
at night. In fiction, if a story is gay-centric, then the whole event might be featured. Most mainstream works, however, usually focus on the parade since that's what the general populace is exposed to the most.
Regarding other parades
However, parades that are not about gender and sexuality issues can count as subversions, inversions, Rule of Symbolism
or similar if they are portrayed as "a metaphorical gay pride parade". This can pop up in stories with fantasy minorities
. Claiming to be "openly heterosexual" or "openly white", arranging a parade for "Heterosexual Pride" or "Aryan Pride", is usually meant as an inversion/parody (either by the characters doing it, or by the author). Expect to hear people rant that these things should seriously exist, Completely Missing the Point
of why pride parades happen in the first place.