Thursday, May 31, 2007

Boston Pride Straying from its Routes

Boston Pride week begins this Friday with the Flag Raising Ceremony at Boston City Hall. This event marks the starts of a week filled with events to celebrate LGBT pride. The biggest event of the year for the LGBT community, the Boston Pride Parade, will take place on Saturday, June 9. The LGBT Pride Parade is the biggest parade in the city of Boston all year. The last event of the day is a "Military Ball".

There has been much controversy in the LGBT community over this years pride theme: Ask. Tell. Proud to Serve Our Community, Our Country, Our World.

I do not understand why the Boston Pride Committee chose a military theme for this years pride. It doesn't make sense, especially because we are in the midsts of a very unpopular war.

Interestingly enough, the first Boston Pride Parade began during another very unpopular war. In fact, Boston pride began with "a few dozen lesbians and gay men marching as part of a Vietnam War protest".

It troubles me that Boston pride has strayed so far from its roots. The LGBT community was a very active component of the anti-war movement of the 1970s. The first pride parades had strong anti-war sentiments to them. These early LGBT activists laid the foundation for all the advances that we have made in LGBT rights in Massachusetts.

The book Routes of Pride "traces the evolution of the Boston Pride celebration - from a few dozen lesbians and gay men marching as part of a Vietnam War protest, to a massive celebration that often draws more than 100,000 participants."

Identifying as LGBT does not mean that
you must be liberal, progressive, or anti-war. The LGBT community is made up of liberals and conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, and every other political ideology out there. However, as a movement, our community has a history of activism; not just against homophobia, but also against racism, poverty, oppression and war.
What would the early pioneers of the LGBT movement think of a pride theme that celebrates militarism?

Honor the brave men and woman who fought for our rights before us. Wear pink at Boston Pride events to show solidarity with the coalition.


At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure I entirely agree with Mr. Mason. I am happy that the Pride Committee confronts one of the few areas where discrimination against gays and lesbians is written into statute, regardless of whether the current war is unjust and unpopular. The Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy is inconsistent with the great tradition of our armed forces protecting liberties for all. There is no question that the current war is a disaster; but the United States policy on gays serving in the military is just as large.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Mark D. Snyder said...

The problem is they are not being ironic, or confronting it at all. They are simply using dog tag logos, and sponsoring a military ball with no real political message behind it at all. Furthermore the other language in the pride theme suggests that pride is a day in which we are on display for the dominant culture, and that we are willing and able to answer any questions asked of us. That is simply not the case.


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