The three biggest Gay pride parades and celebrations in the U.S. take place this weekend in NYC, San Francisco and Chicago.
These events cap off a great Gay Pride month. Hundreds of cities have already celebrated Pride in their own way. Now the big three get to strut their stuff, bare butt, bare chested and all that.
I fondly remember marching in the 1993 March on Washington as well as Stonewall 25.
These were giddy times. We were fighting for our lives. AIDS and discrimination were killing us. They still are. It seemed the best of times and the worst of times. Don't ask, Don't Tell, a still friendly Congress and optimism galore.
But we got ahead of ourselves. The gay bashing Republicans took over Congress and we were back at square one.
Fast forward to 2005. The under 30 crowd thinks it is uncool to go to the parade, yet alone march in it. We marched squirting each other with water pistols. Hey, who says that we can't have some good clean fun every once in a while.
The Human Rights Campaign Fund and their blue and yellow equal signs still florish at parade time. Safe sex messages and condom tossing is still in vogue along the parade route.
But our parades have become overly commercial. This float sponsored by Bacardi, the Absolut Vodka drag kings, the Bud Light beefcake, you get my drift.
You used to see dollars stamped with pink triangles, currency reminding us that the best way to get our issues addressed is my spending our money at gay owned businesses and letting the large straight corporate America that we have spending power.
But the marriage issue eludes us today. Quoting Mike Albo in the Village Voice's queer issue, "The fuel of anger behind the event of gay pride has gradually turned into a marketing technique." Our tight ass opponents and enemies can just sit back and laugh, because we have lost that fire in our gut.
I, for one, welcome the younger guys to stand up and be counted, instead of crystalizing their life on the endless party circuit. These GoodTime Charlies need to get with the program and march for our right to marry, to live a life no different and every much as equal as straights.
So as we enter our final weekend of Gay PRide, let us reflect upon the past and regroup for the future fights. We have only just begun. Big Hairy Muscle hugs of Pride to each of you.