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Do pride parades hurt the gay community more than help them?

The “show-your-penis-in-public”, assless chaps-wearing guys are for the Gay community what the Haredim are for the Jewish community: a loud and visible minority who takes everything too far and gives the rest of us a bad name!

I received this comment on the post about my experience in the San Francisco Pride Parade and I sort of agree with it. I am not gay so I could never know the horrors of being in the closet, but I do know that many people think wrongly that Gays aren’t everyday citizens and they are all a bunch of sex crazed maniacs (in yeshiva I was taught that gay people had tried everything else and had used up their taiva for women). Even though this is far from the truth, I feel like the haters get ammo from events like Pride Parades, which are wild parties, but is one able to judge from a party, similarly to the way one can judge an entire group of Charedim by the fact a small minority of them will burn dumpsters in protest of something.

Then again, can’t we cut the community some slack, many of them have been forced by society to be in hiding. I am not sure if any of you have any good friends who are in the closet or have been in the closet, but it’s absolute hell from what my friends tell me and it seems like a pride parade is a chance to be proud of who you are a let loose.

While there were naked guys and gals walking around and lots of people slapping butts, there were plenty of regular folks just trying to show their support. I found the float of senior citizens who were gay very nice, as well as the gay policemen and women walking with their partners very nice as well. Most of the parade actually seemed like one big advertisement, as companies such as Kaiser and Virgin Atlantic showed off their names with rainbow flags.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Alan July 14, 2010, 10:41 AM

    Get out of NY and SF, go see a pride parade in DC or Boston. They’re much more family-friendly. Lots of happy cultural and religious groups, lots of gay families with little kids, lots of hugs and switching places between the marchers and the spectators, etc. Only a few risque floats/performers.

  • JewishAtheist July 14, 2010, 11:06 AM

    The important part of gay pride parades, historically, was that they announced that gay people exist. Not just announced, but shoved it in the face of all the bigoted homophobes. They paved the way for the more “normal” gay people to start coming out of the closet, and now, a generation later, gay equality is nearly upon us.

    Your mention of what yeshiva taught you about gays proves that negative stereotypes would have existed regardless of what happens at gay pride parades. So the important part is that they were out there leading the charge.

    It’s kind of similar in a way to what Dawkins and Hitchens have done for atheism. Out front, loud, and kind of obnoxious, but paving the road for more “normal” atheists to come out of the closet. Yeshivas (and the Christian and Muslim counterparts) have been spreading lies about us since the dawn of religion as well, but they won’t be able to fight the reality of millions of uncloseted atheists.

    • Julie July 14, 2010, 5:16 PM

      I have been told that gay pride parades were originally taking back the stereotypes thrust upon them by the straight community of being leather daddies and other deviants, just like with the usage of “queer.” I know some people who aren’t into the whole theatrics aspect and feel it does hinder gay rights, but here the parades are pretty much family affairs and just promotion for local businesses and politicians.

      One problem is that Dawkins, et al of the so-called “New Atheism” alienate people who would otherwise call themselves atheists but don’t want to be associated with the stereotype. The thing is, their [Dawkins, et al] anger is entirely understandable as a religious minority but I know people who shy away and call themselves “agnostic” because of it.

      I also assume someone self-identifying as one is a prick who is angry at mom and dad for making him go to church on Sundays and hasn’t researched other religions much–nor does he know that there are religions *without* deities.

      • Mahla July 14, 2010, 5:57 PM

        Julie, that’s such a good comment. On some level I feel my agnostic partner very much leans towards the atheistic side of things, but he will not directly admit it.

      • Chris_B July 15, 2010, 10:12 AM

        Its true, Dawkins and the Assless Chaps guys need a parade together.

  • Anonymous July 14, 2010, 12:03 PM

    Gay-Pride Parade Sets Mainstream Acceptance Of Gays Back 50 Years


  • Avrumy July 14, 2010, 12:45 PM

    “in yeshiva I was taught that gay people had tried everything else and had used up their taiva for women”

    So the 18 year old scared gay kids in your yeshivah class had already had their fill of women????? Gimme a break from these self-righteous bigots.

    Who doesn’t love a parade? And we sure put on a fagtastic one! LOL

    • Tova July 14, 2010, 1:31 PM

      “So the 18 year old scared gay kids in your yeshivah class had already had their fill of women????? Gimme a break from these self-righteous bigots.”

      Yeah, I agree.

    • G*3 July 14, 2010, 6:01 PM

      Is it possible to “use up taiva for women?” Isn’t that kind of like using up your taiva for food?

    • the other shim July 14, 2010, 6:31 PM

      In sem I was told that gays were just too self centered to be attracted to the opposite sex. They only wanted someone like themselves.

      • formerly frum gay boy July 16, 2010, 12:18 PM

        When I was still struggling with my sexuality I spoke to several different rabbis. Though the vast majority of rebeim are completely clueless, I did speak to one rabbi whom after i told him that I did not, and was not planning on contacting JONAH; he responded Baruch Hashem!
        The funniest (and saddest) reaction I got was after telling me he wasnt mekabel several times the rav i was speaking to told me to quit smoking and to stop eating processed foods. He said if I ate natural and raw foods it will all go away. I wish I was making this up! And he was rav at a major american yeshiva in israel

  • Mike July 14, 2010, 1:43 PM

    Complicated, particularly since your website attracts individuals with fundamentally different assumptions about God, morality, etc.

    For atheists, or religious people who have found a way to incorporate acceptance of a gay lifestyle into their religion, I’m not sure what the big objection would be to a gay pride parade. Of course some people might object to naked guys, slapping each others butts in public.

    In orthodox Judaism, I don’t think there is a basis to accept homosexuality as a lifestyle. Halachah can be flexible at times, but I don’t think it’s completely malleable. So then the issue becomes one of trying to increase sympathy for the plight of homosexuals, particularly in the orthodox community. For some homosexuals, however, this might not be good enough, unless the homosexual lifestyle is actually validated. A shoulder to cry just might not be enough.

    The problem with “acceptance” is that there is no single consensus amongst the general public what that means. For some, acceptance means validating a homosexual lifestyle, and not making moral judgements about it. There are others, obviously, who disagree, and don’t believe that acceptance has to translate into validating a lifestyle. There are those who don’t accept individuals because of their homosexual orientation, regardless of their behavior (I believe that the description “homophobe” is best applied to these). There are those who, apparently, believe that this orientation is acquired (I’ve never met a gay guy who who reported choosing his orientation).

    Additionally, even in a society that is very accepting, some homosexuals might still feel bad about “not being more like everyone else.”

    I don’t think gay pride parades really help society parse out these issues. Additionally I don’t believe that a given sexual orientation should be a source of pride, although I understand the desire to have a “pride parade,” if one’s self esteem has been damaged due to a stigma attached to a particular characteristic (race, gender, sexual orientation).

  • Frumsatire Fan July 14, 2010, 4:01 PM

    I saw the parade in NY this year, and actually thought it was “almost” family-friendly. The drag queens were outrageous in a kind of extraterrestrial way that wasn’t offensive. There was an enormous spectator with her boobs out (hope she put sunscreen on) and a few marchers in skimpy underwear, but for the most part everyone was very average-looking. I agree, the nicest parts were the totally non-outrageous people with their partners, the oldies, and the gay families with children. It’s a sign of how society has changed, and I think it’s very positive – not so sure about the assless chaps and guys showing their stuff.

    • Yochanan July 14, 2010, 4:15 PM

      All Chaps Are Assless.

  • Anonymous July 14, 2010, 5:38 PM

    The gay pride parades are to gay people what the Israel Day Parades are to Jews.

    • Heshy Fried July 14, 2010, 7:10 PM

      That is so true – but as a straight guy I felt totally proud to be there in support as well

  • Holy Hyrax July 14, 2010, 7:11 PM

    >I am not sure if any of you have any good friends who are in the closet or have been in the closet, but it’s absolute hell from what my friends tell me and it seems like a pride parade is a chance to be proud of who you are a let loose.

    I don’t understand, so you show your pride by acting up, and basically affirming all the negative stereotypes against you???? Thats almost like blacks fighting for civil rights and acting up with every negative stereotype against them, like wearing monkey suits or eating water mellons or raping young white girls. Don’t get me wrong, I know very well that are plenty of normal gay people, but I think the normal ones should basically should somehow condemn the more lewd people in their circles.

    My wife has been the the Gay halloween parade and told me it simply was not a pretty site and found it very revolting.

  • FrumGer July 14, 2010, 11:28 PM

    Well, all I have to say is while I am in support of gay rights, I do not support the lifestyle they lead and dont understand why a frum yid would be there to pat them on the back.

    Just like I support the rights for Goyta families to nosh on chazzer I am not showing up to a BBQ to give them a hearty Yasher Koach…..

    I guess really I Dont support gay rights, better stated i support equal human rights. it has nothing to do with them being gay or not. it has everything to do with them being a human beings that deserve respect and equality.

  • ProudGayJew July 15, 2010, 2:15 AM

    Like all parades (including the oh so overtly-sexed Carnival) pride parades are irst of all FUN, second of all a place to be BRAVE and OUT for some, and a place to be DUMB and OBNOXIOUS for others. This is just our dress up. Dressing up for fun (or under-dressing for that matter) is nothing more than that – dressing up to have fun. Much ado, I think.

    This guy may tell us for sure… Australia should send this guy over investgate some pride parades more closely … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_hZFWxooQQ

  • Moshe the spaced out BT July 18, 2010, 3:40 PM

    What’s worse- the Gay parade or the hateful violent reaction to it?

  • Corey Haley September 21, 2010, 5:21 PM

    Alan, that is not true I went to Boston pride. I am gay and have no interest in Pride or even gay clubs, pride is a shit show and it does major damage to the normal gays who have no interests in that nonsense. We should regroup and start new pride where we volunteer and raise money not for ourselves but to habitat for humanity, give money to children hospitals, and create good karma. I am gay and I am ashamed to go to any pride anywhere. I have been to Denver, Boston, Seattle, NYC they are all so horrible messes. No wonder why DADT was stalled- most people due to pride and party funny characters on TV think gay men are total flammers which is so far from the truth. We should end all prides and move towards non-profits where money is donated even to people who may be against us. It would send a more positive message and in the long run be so much more helpful for society and our sub culture.

  • Rick December 26, 2010, 10:03 PM

    They had a gay pride parade in Sodom and Gomorrah but it didn’t last to long.

  • Haiiro Kage June 23, 2017, 7:47 AM

    My biggest issue is how a stereotype that only a minority subscribe to becomes representative for the whole.
    And also makes the association between a specific way of dressing or acting and sexual orientation.

    So that those who don’t act/dress that way get the “no true scotsman” thrown at them. While those who do act/dress that way, but are not gay are suddenly told they must be closeted.

    Why can’t we all just be who we want to be without having assumptions thrown at us. and stop putting labels on things

    And “nobody” cares who you fuck. It’s literally the least interesting thing in the world.

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