Alex Blaze

Full Equality Now! Corporate Party Later!

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 25, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: marriage, party, pride, Prop. 8, reed cowan

Lots of Prides are happening this weekend, and in coming weeks, and there have already been a few.

Reed Cowan, the director of 8: The Mormon Proposition wants all Prides canceled until we can get married. (Full equality now! Corporate party later!)

What can gay rights advocates learn from the Mormons?

First of all, I hope we will learn that no battle that is won with misinformation is worth winning. I would hope the gay community would not resort to playing dirty pool. When we win, we want to win clean. What we can take out of their playbook is organization and passion. I would like to propose to the entire worldwide gay community that they cancel gay pride events until we have marriage equality. All those thousands of people who go to gay pride, those are bodies that could put on a shirt and go into the neighborhood and tell their story. We should wait until we have equality to have our party. In the meantime we volunteer the same passion and air miles and participation and really channel that same participation into our fight for equality.

Well, since he probably wouldn't want me out there telling my story, I'll be headed on down with Alberto tomorrow and I'll probably have pics to post later. What about you?

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I think this is a terrible idea. We need Pride celebrations, but we need them to be a mechanism for reminding the community that there are lots of things to be done and that we are not powerless when united.

Every Pride should remind us that the time for activism is now. It's a valuable chance to connect with activist groups and to remember that we all can work to make a change.

When Pride is just a mindless party, there's a problem. It shouldn't be a chance to buy stuff with rainbows on it and drink beer in a park.

If your Pride doesn't have activists and elected officials speaking, you're making a mistake.

Let's have Pride. But let's have it as a activism rally, not as just a summer gay party.

I wouldn't mix "crazy shenanigans" with alcohol.

Have fun and party, but think about participating. There are many ways to make a difference. The most effective is talking to friends, neighbors, family, co-workers and even strangers. Everyone can do that.

I disagree. I think that Prides should have more political messages to them, and even separate political events (like at the National Equality March wasn't just a march!) for community members to choose to attend.

Pride means many things to its attendees. For some, it's a party. I attended my first Pride this year (woot woot Kentuckiana!) and had a blast, just being around others who are like me and support people like me. For me, Pride was partially reinforcing. It was also fun. It could have been even more fun if I liked Absolut. :D

It has its purpose. Don't take it away, add to it.

For those of us who have the luxury of feeling secure in our queer identities and can choose to go to pride because it's a "good time," sure, we could likely be utilizing the time to redirect our efforts. But to the many LGBTQ teens and even adults who need pride to discover their identity and escape from the world of homophobia and heterosexism, pride events need to continue. In the first couple of years after coming to terms with my identity, though I was passionate about LGBT political causes as well, pride events helped me have faith that I could survive. I needed time to learn about my community and its many facets before becoming an out and proud political activist.

I think it's the same debate that goes on about Gay Straight Alliances in schools- do they serve a social or political function? The answer is they can and need to serve both, because while political activism serves the community, social events serve the individual and allow them to discover, come to terms with, and grow within their identity. Queers of all kinds deserve a safe space. And while that safe space may be corporate and depoliticized to some extent, it may be necessary for survival. We all have different needs and experiences.

My favorite response came from Queerty of all places:

Reed Cowan, the ex-Mormon director behind the brilliant Prop 8 exposé 8: The Mormon Proposition, deserves much credit for chronicling the Mormon Church's heavy-handed influence on the outcome of same-sex marriage in California. But then he went and suggested we should all cancel gay pride parades until there's marriage equality throughout the land, and that's where he lost us.