Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Last Day

"Closing" comments.

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.”

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
It seems to make sense doesn't it?  Michael is good at what he does.  Obviously, I have opposing views on that.

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.



  1. We walked over to Market to check out the parade for the first time since we moved to SF and we were pretty surprised by how sedate it was. Maybe because the gay community started partying hard earlier in the week, they were way too hungover by this morning or maybe because the weather is ridiculously beautiful for summer in SF, a lot of folks went up to Napa or drove to Stinson for the weekend. Dunno. But compared to B2B or the Giants ticker tape parades, it was disappointingly dull.

    We saw very few children in or at the parade, and the spectators included more lesbians than gay men for sure. It seemed that the biggest activist-type groups were lesbians, and the marriage stuff was definitely more about lesbians than gay men.

    Interestingly, there were quite a few "no thanks, I'd rather continue living in sin" signs among gay male marchers and attendees. There's still a vocal faction of gay men (and maybe lesbians, although I only saw men with those signs) who prefer the "outsider" identity. Hey, at least they're honest...

    All in all, kind of a non-event event.

  2. This whole "pride" thingy sends my bizarro meter into the red zone. Marching around claiming pride for having weird sex? And straight people go to these events to do what? Folsom should have been shut down years ago. I've seen the pics. Ugly behavior by ugly people. Why, exactly, is that allowed in public??

  3. The Folsom St. Fair (or, more specifically, the community that hosts the Fair) is protected as a "social heritage resource".

    That's why.

    In a sense, I sort of get it -- they were there when no one else wanted to be there. The Folsom St. Fair was pretty much a gay leather thing and the area was basically just abandoned old warehouses and gay leather bars. It wasn't til after the 1989 quake and the subsequent SoMa redevelopment that the area became more heavily populated. Even so, that particular stretch of Harrison & Folsom Streets is basically a dead zone on weekends, so the general public has to go out of their way to check it out. I'm not defending it -- it's gross and sad and depressing -- but I think non-SFans think it's held in as public a place as Union Square or something. It's not.

    The same designation also protects the very small and quite devout Catholic Filipino community that abuts that area, allowing them certain concessions and exemptions and so forth.

    The public nudity thing has been curtailed quite a bit -- no more nudity during Critical Mass, during the Pride parade, or in general, for example. Only at B2B and Folsom St. these days, I think. And one end of Baker Beach, maybe.

  4. I have never been to a Pride Parade or event. Nothing against it, just not into crowds, especially half nekkid crowds (hence why I didn't go the Blackhawks rally!!!) Spent a day enjoying the weather God sent us, went to Mass, we took the dog to the French Country Market (how gay is that???) where we had some great paella, worked in the yard (I am afraid my roses have Rose Rosette disease as our neighbor does, anyone know of how to fight it??) watched the Sox game at B-Dubs and finished the night with the usual Sunday Night White Trash night( neighbors sit out in somone's driveway on lawn chairs, drink and catch up on everyone's life and whacked out opinions.) The world is changing and how funny that the most "radical," thing you can do is to be "normal," and live your life with integrity and just go about your business. I think that scares some people the most. Got to get going and get ready for my fave holiday, the Fourth of July! Not sure what we should have BBQ Chicken of to slow roast a side of pork...

    Peace to you all from Stepford ; )

    1. You are the Desperate Housewives couple then! Just kidding.

      I saw a clip on the news of one of the local entertainers and to a kid I suppose the parade would be like any other - the drags being the clowns - because the entertainer went over to a group and handed out candy or something.

  5. Terry..I would love to live on Wisteria Lane!House and garden tips from the red head..drinks with occasional shirt less Mike and it seems to always be early Summer. And a murder to be solved each year...who could ask for more!


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