Wednesday, August 09, 2006


As emotions go, pride eludes me. The closest I get to pride is "pleased" or "hey, that's cool." It confuses people. I get a lot of, "Aren't you happy about that?" As I get older, I've learned to fake it just to avoid stares of incomprehension.

The notion of gay pride eludes me even more. I can understand being proud of your accomplishments. I can understand being proud of your children. Being proud of something that you have no control over makes no sense to me. I'm not ashamed of being gay, and I wouldn't change it even if I could. But I'm not proud of it any more than I'm proud of having blue eyes or meaty infant hands.

So I'm not too big on the parade. I get the idea of why there is a parade, even if the name doesn't make much sense. The problem is that the parade is so intensely boring. Watching the gay employees of Citibank walk down the street just isn't my idea of a good time.

That said, I've been looking forward to Amsterdam Pride for my entire stay. Here, the parade floats actually float down the canals. And I figured, if anyplace can make pride interesting, it'll be Amsterdam.

It was everything we'd hoped for and more, so here's a web album. The photos were co-taken by Ames, of recent Frolic & Detour fame, who was visiting from the States (more to come, and the reason for my week-long absence.) I might add that this was the only sunny day of her entire visit, and a good day it was.

Here's the album, my first attempt to use Picasa. Note: You'll see a few butts and boobies.


At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I can certainly understand your puzzlement over gay pride - it's certainly not a new argument - I'm wondering if you've ever been to Pride in a smaller city. In, say, Cincinnati, there is a certain defiance and joie de vivre in Pride, a certain attitude that says, "You have tried to shit on me because of who I am, but despite that, I'm still here, and I rock." Maybe we're in a post-pride world in major metropolises, but I personally think any gay person who is out and sane needs to be a tiny bit proud. *shrug* Just my two cents.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Mike said...

You know, I would agree with that, if Pride was more about our accomplishments as a community. Because if it was about -- hey, look what we've managed to do -- rather than "Hey, look at X!" where X = bondage guy, drag queen, lesbian boobs, etc., than I think that would be very cool. I just think that in general Pride is an institution that continues to exist independent of what we actually need to celebrate on an annual basis. But very few people seem to have any interest in changing it, because it's simply taken for granted.

I do agree with you that Pride must have far more meaning in Missoula or Riga (see recent articles on Pride walkers being assaulted with rotten eggs) because the sense of accomplishment is explicit.

At 6:56 PM, Blogger Kris said...

Aside from the deep conversation about how proud we ought to be where (and I've been in parades in Major East Coast Metropoli and tiny midwest cow-towns), I have to say that Amsterdam pride looks WAY more festive than Boston pride, which has devolved into platoons of a) political candidates (not Mitt, of course) pandering; b) corporate groups in matching polo shirts; c) Unitarians and UCC congregations; and d) white suburban lesbian couples and their adopted third world babies (which is most of the diversity in Lexington, MA). Last time I went there was only one bar float with men in g-strings and pounding techno music. Don't get me wrong - I'm proud of those politicians, corporate wonks, faithful folk, and families - but I like to see a little razzle-dazzle with my "pride."

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Mike said...

That's EXACTLY where I was thinking of with the marching Citibank employees.


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