(I originally posted this on my personal facebook, and decided to reproduce it here. I think these are important things to discuss, and I want to add to the wider conversation. This also goes well with my last post about feeling initial reticence to keeping certain elements of my upcoming album intact in the wake of Orlando. And this only strengthens my resolve: F*ck it. There ARE divisions within the LGBTQ2SA community, we need to address them, and this is NOT the time to soften blows!) 😉
Ok, so I have been processing the whole #BLMTOPride thing. I had an initial reaction in the immediate moment which, after further reflection and perspective, I will admit came mostly from a selfish place (calling myself out here). Ultimately I AM onside with how things went down and I’m sorry I ever felt differently. Yeah, I ended up being stuck at the starting gate with the other bannered groups for over an hour (the stop did cause a cascade effect, time-consumption-wise, with the remainder of the parade). No matter, that. Activism isn’t supposed to be convenient. It’s supposed to provoke, enrage, challenge the establishment, inspire conversation–check, check, check. It is naive and misinformed to think that Black Lives Matter were attacking LGBTQ2SA culture–on the contrary, their demonstration was a continuation (and a REMINDER) of the inherently activist nature that queer culture’s roots are based upon. To me, the corporate sponsorship that now defines the event isn’t a sign of “how far we’ve come,” but rather how diluted our focus has become. Just like abolishing slavery didn’t end systematic racism, marriage equality hasn’t killed institutional homophobia. Ultimately, for me personally, this feels like a cautionary tale in getting too comfy with comfort, if you will. Add that to the week full of lessons learned–fine, I’ll take it. 😉
I DO want to confront one perspective that I thankfully haven’t seen much of online, BUT which was the basis of a heated in-person (imagine THAT!) debate I found myself in on Sunday: in my humble opinion, raw, uncensored SEXUALITY is (still) political (TOO). I’m all for calling out the corporatization of Pride, but please don’t lump that in with groups likeTNT!MENN and such. TD Bank may be aiming for nothing more than an increase in new chequing accounts with their conventionally “hot” (and likely NOT queer) models for hire, but the REAL queers getting down and dirty IN YOUR FACE (mainstream body shape acceptability be damned) at the festival are NOT part of the de-politicization of Pride–in fact, they (WE) have been one of the few REAL political highlights of the whole thing for YEARS! You want to “protect the children”? Go ahead and explain LIFE to them, like you’re SUPPOSED to–kids are always, always WAY more sophisticated than we think they are. (Don’t YOU remember being a kid?) This is NOT about “sex vs politics”–SEX *IS* POLITICAL, and indeed THAT is one of the core values of the political heritage defining Pride! 👁 We aren’t all just happy gay people aiming for the homo version of the perfect spouse with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence (mortgaged with TD, obviously)–a chunk of us have NO INTEREST in that, and our life choices are JUST as valid! And we are all sexual beings of ALL kinds of identities and persuasions, and we’re NOT going to modify ourselves for ANYONE’s comfort!
Finally, if you find yourself agreeing with Margaret Wente about ANYTHING, you really need to examine just how progressive your personal politics really are. JUST SAYIN! #PEACE 😼