Today is the last day of Gay Pride Month, and the last day of the festival in Loring Park, Minneapolis. So I suppose I should say something, seeing how I promised to have extra commentary on the issue this month. For the record, I'm no longer sad or depressed, much less discouraged by the recent gay marriage decisions in the news, as one Bishop affirmed, "Catholic teaching doesn't change." I'm fine - but I'm not convinced the kids are alright.
Anyway - huge crowds this year at Minneapolis Pride - most likely because of the marriage victories in Minnesota and the nation. The focus at the pride event - according to news reports - is the wedding business. Many gay florists, caterers, etc., appear to be on hand to offer services to gay couples planning to wed. Looks like there will be ample gay resources that gay couples will not have to bother businesses which would rather not support gay weddings.
I've been to Pride fest several years ago, with some friends - we did a quick walk through - I found it surprisingly unsophisticated and tacky. The friends I attended with, now say they wouldn't be bothered to go to the festival - because most of those people do not represent them. They are pretty much talking about the drags and leathermen, and underwear fetish type guys - and the dykes - who add color to the festivities. There are class distinctions amongst gay society of course - even though they claim it's all about love and acceptance.
The intellectuals, theologians, social anthropologists and therapists amongst the more discerning and respectable class have often decreed these behaviours are reactions to years of suppression and shame and suffering the label deviant. Truth be told, Pride is a direct reaction to the deviant label - Pride month, week, weekend, commemorates the 'great' Stonewall uprising - an event which took place in 1968 in NYC - that's back when gays could be arrested for morals violations - such as public sex and nudity on Folsom St.. I've post on this before, one study in particular supports my POV: Marriage, Cruising, and Life in Between: Clarifying Organizational Positionalities in Pursuit of Polyvocal Gay-Based Advocacy.
Now that sodomy is legal - and has been for quite some time - the shame excuse doesn't work as well - unless one is into bondage and discipline of course. In fact, gay spokesmen for the movement now recognize these so-called sexual minorities within the general sexual minority movement known as LGBTQ, as helpful and supportive to the cause. Perhaps because the more Stepford-type gays appear even more normal and natural in comparison. Sorry, I was being flip.
One local activist-educator-writer, Michael Bayly lays a great deal of blame on the Catholic Church, I suspect there are other queer Catholics who would agree with a lot of what he writes - though they may not have evolved as far as Michael has - yet. The Catholic Church and Folsom St. Fair - united in their differences? It's all about dysfunction, repression and shame then?
Contrary to the findings of both science and human experience, this natural variant of the God-given gift of human sexuality is described by the Vatican as being “against natural law,” while homosexuals themselves are said to harbor an “intrinsic disorder.”It seems to make sense doesn't it? Michael is good at what he does. Obviously, I have opposing views on that.
Ironically, such negative teaching comes from an institution whose priesthood is filled with a disproportionate number of gay men – men instructed to despise and repress their sexuality and the sexuality of others like them.
There may well be a dysfunctional and damaging “homosexual subculture” within some seminaries and even the wider Church, as some so-called traditionalists like to claim. But any dysfunction and damage stems not from the homosexual orientation per se, but from the Church’s persistent demonizing of this orientation, this aspect of nature.
Whereas it’s acceptable for straight seminarians and priests to talk about their struggles and issues as sexual beings, many gay seminarians and priests feel unable to talk about their sexual issues in a similarly upfront and healthy way. Many harbor a legitimate fear of being hounded out of the ministry to which they feel called. There’s also the fear of being stereotyped, to the extent of even being accused of pedophilia. And, of course, there’s a limit to how often one can stomach hearing one’s sexuality being described as an “intrinsic disorder.”
Furthermore, the Church encourages and rewards secrecy and repression on the part of its gay seminarians and priests. And when the consequences of such unhealthy repression surface in dysfunctional behavior of one form or another, it’s the homosexual orientation that’s to blame, not the culture of secrecy, denial, and repression. It’s all very sad and pathetic. - Wild Reed
Newscasts this past week have been showing clips of dads and dads - with children, looking forward to August when they will be able to legally tie the knot. They really do look normal. It's hard to even believe there is anything 'off' about their 'marriage' and family. I have to wonder however, if they let the kids go to Pride, and there is erotic art exhibited, or 'scantily clad' fairies, how they explain that to them? I didn't see the film, The Kids Are Alright, so I'm not quite sure what they want me to think. But I digress.
Dan Savage has some praise for the sexual minorities many other gay people like to insist do not represent them - although they may have enjoyed their performances in a bar, a gym, a sauna or a shower, in porn, or in a bush someplace.
I don't think it's a coincidence that cities with big pride parades and events like Folsom are more tolerant and more accepting of sexual minorities than cities that don't have big gay parades and fetish street fairs. If an event like Folsom were actually counterproductive, you would expect San Francisco to be less tolerant and less likely to back equal rights for sexual minorities, not more likely.
And finally, any attempt to shut down the Folsom Street Fair – or to ban drag queens, go-go boys, dykes on bikes, or leather guys from pride parades – would be so poisonously divisive that it would do more harm to our movement than a thousand Folsom Street Fairs ever could. - Wild Reed: "Savage's response is helpful though limited in depth, no doubt owing to the spacial limitations of any type of 'advice column.'"
"To the extent that a homosexual tendency or inclination is not subject to one's free will, one is not morally culpable for that tendency. Although one would be morally culpable if one were voluntarily to entertain homosexual temptations or to choose to act on them, simply having the tendency is not a sin…. Simply possessing such inclinations does not constitute a sin, at least to the extent that they are beyond one's control." - USCCB, Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination, Nov. 14, 2006
Moving on now.