Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gay Pride Parade =/= Santa Claus Parade

Yesterday, at the call centre where I work, some people in my aisle were talking about the Toronto Pride Parade (which, because of the G20 conference, was postponed to this weekend). One (straight) woman was saying that the Pride Parade has been ruined by all the people walking around naked/in fetish wear, that she would have taken her (straight) son to the parade, but can't because of all the child-inappropriate behaviour.

It was an epic lets-make-this-all-about-me moment. It's called the Gay Pride Parade. Not the Entertain Straight Children Parade. The purpose is for the participants of the parade to be proud of who they are, not to tailor their presentation to the delicate sensibilities of spectators. Furthermore, the idea that the parade is "ruined" by nudity/fetish wear/"child-inappropriate" behaviour is just bizarre, seeing as that's kind of the very essence of the event.

Once I realized what my co-workers were saying, I kind of awkwardly waited for an opportunity to interrupt, but then then we had to go back to work. Ally intervention fail on my part. So I wrote a blog post about it instead.


  1. This is a perfect example of straight privilege and sense of entitlement. that a straight woman is annoyed that she can't bring her child to a gay pride parade plays right into the "think of the children" narrative which is so popular these days. for the record, i cannot wait to have kids to take to a pride parade!

    this makes me want to scream though, because she's making it about herself and her desires. it's not about her or being "able" to bring her kid!

    as for your ally fail, think of it as a learning experience for the future. it's very hard to deal with these moments properly, especially at work, but now you're ready for it.

  2. While it's presumably the essence of the event for the organizers and the participants, one can see how it could be "ruined" as a family-friendly event. While the woman is straight, it's presumptuous to assume that her son is too.

    And while changing the parade to suit the desires of those horrible- straight-people-with-kids is not an option, I can't help but notice that there is a great opportunity here to promote understanding and acceptance in straight parents and their whatever-orientation kids, especially in families of the more conservative disposition, by countering the "well, we would have gone BUT-" but sentiment with some family-friendly activities that reach out to the LGBT community affiliated with the event. Perhaps that's already done - having never taken a kid to the parade, I don't know.

    -the happy medium

  3. I want to make clear that I refer to my co-worker's son as straight based on what my co-worker was saying about his attitudes towards gay people. He himself identifies as straight.

  4. And, yeah, Toronto Pride has a whole list of activities and events that are family-friendly and targeted at kids.


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