NYC Pride as seen looking east on 5th Ave, between 12th and 13th St.
A few weekends ago, a couple friends and I went to the NYC Pride Parade. It had been ten years since I had been to an LGBT event. I’m not afraid of being out, nor am I suffering from internalized homophobia, but I do get exhausted by the internal politics of gay culture, and for awhile it was less uplifting and more frustrating to participate.
This year we had more than our usual annual pride. We saw an undeniably historic SCOTUS decision. I remember well when gay marriage was legalized in my home state of Massachusetts — I was 12 years old, had recently come out (or rather, been outed), and I ended up writing a paper for my English class on the issue. At the time of writing said paper, I saw the issue, and the community, as fairly black and white. Gay people and straight allies were categorically good — it was the kind of immature and dichotomous thinking that is characteristic of young teenagers (and that we see so often in Tumblr-brand slacktivism). Later that same school year I attended my first pride parade in Northampton. And it was one of the most depressing days of my young life. The participants were all very homogenous: butch-adjacent lesbian couples in hiking mandals with young children. The parade was for gay marriage and gay adoption rights. It was — and there’s really no other word for it — conservative.