How Do You Celebrate Gay Pride?

June 10, 2013
Celebrate Gay Pride Logo

It's June, which means Pride is in full swing across the land of the LGBT. For different people it can mean different things, some love to go all out and party it up in the parades and at dances, while others take the more low-key route opting to have a few friends over for cocktails and camp movies. However you celebrate, no matter where you live or how Pride has evolved for you or your city, our visibility matters. It's the reason we've come so far in the last several years, and it's important to recognize those that fought (and fought hard) to get us here. And that's plenty of reason to celebrate and revel in all that our community is.

When I was just a wee lad, Pride opened my eyes to the beauty of our community and all that it had to offer. In the 10 years that I've been celebrating, my yearly plans have certainly changed, but that sense of euphoria in being surrounded by thousands upon thousands of men and women who are just like me remains as potent as ever. Marches may have turned into parades, but the spirit of a community united is something that carries on forever.

How do you celebrate Pride? Do you think it's changed over the years for you and your city?

Tags: Pride, June, Parades
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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I don't.

While I'm not ashamed of being gay, I'm not proud of it either. I'm as comfortable with my sexuality as I am with my eye color or left-handedness. They are all attributes I had at birth.

I'm proud that my business is in its 10th year, and that I hold a national certification in what I do. I had to work hard for those things. I consider them to be great accomplishments, so I am proud of them.

But since I didn't have to do anything, learn anything, take a class or take a test to become gay - since I was born that way - I don't consider being gay to be an accomplishment. I don't find it something to be proud of - just comfortable with as a part of who and what I am. Just like I'm not particularly proud of being green-eyed or left-handed (or blond-haired, when I still had hair).

I think I have a similar take on "Pride" as Muzyqman. It's who we are, not what we are. And it's only a small portion of our 'selves' at best. We're not gay by profession, only by nature.
Oh, and while I'm not ashamed of being a gay man, I can't say that I'm proud of it, either. No more so than being a straight man. Nor am I bi/confused about myself.

So, although I don't necessarily celebrate, I have joined in Pride related activities in the past at the clubs and during the Pride weekend events. As those don't tend to change greatly from year to year, no, I don't usually attend them anymore, as it's primarily the younger set (20s to mid-30s).

You're so right, PdxDaddy. The activities don't change from year to year. They're just a thin excuse to be half-naked and drunk on the streets in the middle of the afternoon.

I couldn't agree with you two more. I find very little to be proud of when it comes to the gay community. In my opinion, parades and celebrations are more of a spectacle than a celebration. I stay as far away from pride celebrations as possible.

"Proud" to see this viewpoint expressed by you guys. I agree.

In an ideal world celebrating "Pride" should neither be necessary or significant enough to be a "celebration". It should a quiet everyday expression of both honesty, and, strange as it sounds, humility: It is after all nothing more than the act of openly acknowledging to the various communities we live in that we exist.

We do not live in an ideal world. So for some, for those who live in places where diversity and tolerance are routinely condemned, I think the festivals of "pride" are an important part of affirming that somewhere there is a place for everyone. Even if one cannot go to a pride festival just knowing it's happening probably helps. In that sense "Pride" still does serve a positive purpose (though I do wish it was less... corporate? commercial?).

But personally, to me, like Mother's Day or Father's Day - LGBT Pride should never be confined to just one day but instead should be a life-long celebration of that which is both unique and wonderful and so very essential in all our lives: Love.

Pride Month & celebrating Pride. Quite right, there is no reason to be proud of the fact you have green eyes, blonde hair or are straight, gay or bisexual. BUT, there ARE strong reasons to celebrate the ACCOMPLISHMENTS of a group of people who in the past could have been burned at the stake, jailed, abused by police and in some parts of the world. even today, convicted and sentenced to death. How's that for reality and a reason to be happy?

It's a good thing, once in a while, to remember we've "come a LONG way baby!", let our hair down, and just enjoy being who and what WE are.. FULLY.. without holding back! I am 60yo, born and raised in a small town, where people made jokes, comments and pointed at "those people"... fags, queers, etc and they were NOT being funny. They thought we were dirt and scum. Has that changed? In bigger cities yes, but not everywhere yet. It's still not OK in small towns and communities, or at the very best risky. Let us remember the bullies at school, the hate crimes against victims like Matthew Shephard. and let's be thankful for the drag queens who in 1969 DEFIED police and caused a riot in NYC. Were it not for those drag queens, police could prevent us from dancing together or even bartenders from serving alcohol to a "known" homosexual (those WERE the rules until Stonewall and what followed).

So... what does that have to do with PRIDE? We are being proud of our accomplishments and that a time has come where being an LGBTQ member is reasonably safe and ok. In fact, we've going to party! Not your cup of tea? Fine. Stay at home, watch a movie, leave town, avoid going to Pride events. But don't knock Pride or those of us, who once a year get together as a large group of people and have fun for being exactly who we are: LGBTQ.

How long do we need to celebrate Pride? Until the day comes when being gay is the same as having green eyes or blonde hair. Everywhere.. not just BIG cities. Examples ? When I can hold hands or kiss another man in any restaurant or public place I want to - not just SOME places. When I can cross the border and not be wondering whether I should tell a border guard that the man I'm with is my partner or BF. Or that citizens will stop trying propositions to overturn acquired rights. Will that day come? Let's hope so. I may never see it, but then again, same-sex marriage was made legal here here in Canada in 2005, and that was a big "C" change - whether you like/want to get married or not.

For this.. and all those who fought and fight for ALL of us in LGBTQ, everywhere - let us once a year have fun and feel like "it's ALL ok... for everyone!" Enjoy Pride!

I couldn't agree with karlstar1 any more strongly. I use Pride events to celebrate our accomplishments, celebrate being gay AND to carry banners and signs proclaiming our freedom and ever increasing equality. I have helped build floats for our parades and have driven floats for years. I love seeing how happy and comfortably "out" people can be during a Pride parade and the festivals that usually follow them. I've been going to San Diego pride for decades, have marched in "Stonewall 25" in N.Y.C. and participated in nearby parades, like Palm Springs, LA and Long Beach. I've carried signs and mounted banners on floats demanding marriage equality and the end of anti-gay bigotry, all for the public's education. Our Pride parade is San Diego's biggest civic event every year. Plus there's eye candy galore, friends and new acquaintances to be made!
LONG LIVE PRIDE!

Washington 1993, umpteen Michigan Pride parades in the 80s, 90s and 00s. Organized a neighborhood pride organization in the 90s. I'm in my 50s now and content to pass the baton on to the next generation who will take the causes to new levels. There is work to be done still and I feel my best contribution is the relationships I've created with all my friends, gay and straight, becoming, for lack of a better word, part of the mainstream.

Bravo muzygman and pdxdaddy...
I live proud...that i survived divorce, a broken home, dead parents, strong career achievements.
BUT i don't get naked and disco dance down 5th ave in nyc screaming about any of that.

I am proud of all of me...and being a gay man is NOTHING I "accomplished..."
Like my blue eyes...I inherited it along with several other good and bad genetic traits!

I do feel for people in the world who can't live freely.
Although never discriminated against in my life, I understand that persecution exists..
But not here for me, or for anyone I know.

And while I do believe the "GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT" has pushed some viable boundaries.
I do not feel the need to march naked in a parade saying I'm proud of my sexuality...
When is the HETEROSEXUAL PRIDE DAY??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When do HETEROSEXUALS MARCH SCREAMING their pride atop floats???

If equality is the desired end result, why continue to scream difference?
No one chooses a sexuality like a hair color at the drug store counter.

I couldn't agree more with some of you guys.
My first Gay Pride Parade I attended was back in 1974/75 in Chicago, I can't deny that I was entertained by all of it being all new to me, but at the same time felt "weird and disgusted".

I had just came out to accept myself as a Gay Man and it was not a good felling for me to see so much nudity and men grabbing each others genital in public. I stayed away for sometime and then years later decided to check it out again, to my surprise, it had changed for the worst. Two guys on a float wearing leather type bikini with a string up their butts and a humongous plastic penis protruding from a zipper in front. I felt disgusted and ashamed to be a part of that in front of very small children and their parents whose curiousity brought them near as it was held on a public street and near a public park.

That is not what being gay is about, that is simply a way of demeaning ourselves to the point of being simply disgusting to everyone else. And then we fight for equality when this is what we have to show and advertise as being Gay? Just saying!!!

I am proud of myself for all my accomplishments in life and very happy with my life as a Gay Man. I moved to USA back in 1971 not knowing the language and only having a High School Diploma from PR. I managed to get a job at a factory and learn the language by talking and sharing with others. Then I attended College for two years and ended up getting a job as a Social Services Case Manager for the State of Illinois in which a 4 year College degree was needed... that is an accomplishment to me of which I am very proud.

for those just accepting their sexually what a great oppurtunity to be with others who hopefully will gather around them and encourage them and let them be part of a group with similar orientations. Have never been to a pride festivial,but, like others on here,have heard it is sometimes a wild and crazy place with alot of sexual things going on. Fun for some,but,not all. Hope one day to experience the freedom of pride. Go gays.

Glad to see that most of the posters feel the same way I do :) I have nothing more to add.

I agree it is an awfully shopworn, tired old tradition in some repects, and should not, in a perfect world, even be necessary, but this is a sensitive issue, because these events really do mean something to young people and people newly out of the closet, so I wouldn't want that experience denied them. I know it meant something to me when I was in my twenties and freshly escaped from the "heartland", which had no heart for gays. It is not so much the "Pride" tradition and concept that needs to be upgraded as the format and mode of expressing it. Some people seem appalled by the fact that these are basically just massive block parties whose centerpiece is a parade. Thus for some individuals the whole affair looks like little more than a giant beer bust out of control, including all manner of "nakedness," lots of ass-wiggling, and a sort of Cecil B. DeMille-scale aura of orgiastic celebration. It certainly allows the drag queens and some of our more theatrical boys to strut their stuff year after year. It's also often a great opportunity to see old disco stars you might expect to be on walkers singing their hits for the boys one more time. I suggest they turn the whole thing into an event inwhich gays volunteer for charitable gay organizations throughout the weekend. (I can see the eyeballs rolling). OK...so do the charitable work in a leather toga or a wig if you must.. but then, Budweiser and Pepsi and Trojans and Wet Lube, and whoever else lines their pockets with the profits from these events would not be pleased with that, right? And the twenty year olds might stay home listening to Lady Gaga. I suspect it would be hard to take the party out of the pride.

there used to be a strong political component to our marches because we had so much that needed to change. drag queens were a large part as well, because at least in NYC they were the ones who started fighting back. (the Stonewall riot). the Pride parades were about celebrating our uniqueness and shared "other" status. for many of us, it was the ONLY time we came together. as things slowly changed politically and socially, the parades became increasingly commercial. I was a "float monitor" for the City of San Francisco's float...every float had to have them to keep folks from getting run over. I was also lucky enough to attend the NYC/Gay Games celebration & Pride parade. the money and organization needed for events like these has become overwhelming. the younger generations today expect equality (as we all should) and the parades and festivals have evolved from political to entertainment, though the Supreme Court made the June 30th parades an exception! moving forward, as we are increasingly equal to our straight neighbors and lose our "other" status, we will have to find new things to celebrate, or just sell out and have yet another excuse to party.

I've never been to a gay pride parade of event. But then, I live outside a small, rural town in east Texas where public displays of one's sexuality just aren't seen...or talked about...and rarely experienced. It might be nice to travel to one of the larger metropolitan areas to witness a few such events, but not all of us can afford to make such trips. I really don't see the point of them myself. For the most part, the scenes I've seen on TV or in magazines are usually of people intentionally making a spectacle of themselves. Nothing wrong with declaring who you are, but to do it in an exaggerated manner doesn't seem to really help those of us who live among a majority of heterosexuals. If anything, it tends to promote more discrimination against us. It's not the parading that I'm against, just the manner in which it's done. Being mostly naked or wearing outlandish costumes in the middle of a metro city street, jiggling your private parts or showing off your buttocks is just not the sort of thing that tends to inspire acceptance, especially in the area I live in.