So, yeah, the concept of Pride is at once contradictory. It's both an ultimate sin and a triumph of the spirit. Here's me at a gay pride parade in Boston, circa 1991:
But back to Pride. Around the mid 90's, corporations started wising up, realizing there were a lot of gay people on the planet and they were just as voracious of consumers as straight people. "Gay dollars are just as green" was a phrase I recall hearing at the time. And then this started happening:
I think "Pride" is the wrong word for the Gay Liberation Movement. I mean, what's there to be proud of if you're gay? You're born that way. It just is. It makes about as much sense as Straight Pride. Or Mineral Pride. Or Vegetable Pride.
I think what the Gay Liberation Movement is really about; has always been about; is acceptance. It's about getting the prejudiced world at large to accept us, yes. But more importantly it's about accepting ourselves. Growing up gay in the 1970's was tough. Being queer, a sissy, a mama's boy, a pansy, a faggot; anything else you wanted to call it... It was simply one of the worst things in the world you could be. The shame that engendered I still deal with. I'm still, in a way, accepting myself. However, Gay Acceptance Month doesn't have the same ring. So, I'll guess I'll have to live with Gay Pride.
Ever hear of Paul Cadmus? He was a painter known for his provocative scenes of carousing, sensuous (and somewhat grotesque) men and women:
In 2019 I happened to be in NYC for the weekend. I wasn't even thinking that it was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. So it was kind of startling to see that the entire city was decked out in rainbow colors. Macy's even had a rainbow tunnel. I have a picture of me in it somewhere; but this stock photo will have to do for now:
Here's a couple more Cadmus paintings. It seems he too had a type. Just like Matt.