the times, like the leaves, are a changing
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Friday, June 16, 2017

How "Pride" Has Let Us Down


Disclosure: To the friends I have made over the course of my life who have stuck with me through thick and thin, please know I would never include you in this group that I'm about to discuss. While we all have similar or wildly different beliefs, you are my community of lovable misfits and I love you all for accepting me. Now, down to business...

So, this is something that Is not going to be popular and will likely ruffle some feathers. Personally I won't be celebrating pride this year or any year in the foreseeable future. What is supposed to be a time to come together, accept and be accepted and to highlight the diversity and walks of life of a supposedly welcoming community, the overall LGBTQ construct has failed to make certain that ALL it's brothers and sisters feel welcome year after year. It's as if you don't fit the mold of the "average gay American" who loves to party, throw shade, celebrate what the media pronounces as beautiful and just generally perpetuate basic-ness/mediocrity, then you don't exist. 

When you're too weird, or not light enough, not skinny enough, not tall enough, or not promiscuous enough etc., then you don't deserve to be part of the group and celebrated. Maybe that's just my experience, but I have NEVER felt welcomed or loved by this "community" at large. 

There is still so much division, discrimination and downright ugliness that I have seen over the years, that I haven't felt the desire to spend my time or money amongst people who hate me. The worst part is that they don't even know me to hate me. I've never fit the plastic mold of what I was supposed to be. I don't fit the stereotypes that are perpetuated about most black men. I certainly don't fit the mold of what it means to be a gay man who's defined only by his sexuality. I'm just me and more times than not, I'm shunned because of my individuality. 

I have tried friend's advice to change my attitude towards people, not be so critical of those who have abandoned me and to not let the rampant discrimination get to me from this supposed all inclusive group, but I have to tell shine a light on a very real truth. Just like a bigoted hetero male who is afraid that some gay guy is looking at him funny, the same is true of gay men with "background privilege" when they are presented with someone that wasn't struck from their same mold. That someone may admire them for their beauty or their personality, means nothing to them; and maybe it never did because they weren't taught the golden rule or to just be decent humans. They have been taught by their parents, upbringing and finally this "community" that you stick with your own. Too many times has the sentiment of "you can't sit with us" has been pushed and accepted as doctrine. Too many times young men and women have taken their lives due to bullying, feeling isolated and not feeling loved by their brethren. It's really a sad thing to think about when we should all be coming together in this new and socially freer millennium. 

So, while everyone is celebrating and having a good time being happy about their privileged gay pride in themselves, I'll be continuing my solitary, big tent community-less life. It takes way too much time and energy to make someone change their mind and see how special us misfits are in our own unique and special ways.