It's a G'Day to be Gay
Reading this article about the enormous success of Sydney, Australia's, cross between a Gay Pride and Mardi Gras parade reminded me vividly of the last time I saw San Francisco's Gay Pride parade. I didn't have children then, I was a good, card-carrying liberal, and I still left feeling the event feeling slimed. For the most part, what I saw wasn't a parade about people who happen to be gay, but are proud of their lives -- although there were contingents of gay S.F. cops and firefighters, wearing their uniforms, and attesting to the change in those formerly macho domains. There were also parents who are proud of their gay children, and gay parents with children. All of it celebrated life. What creeped me out was that at least 50% of what was on parade was sex -- not sexuality, not sexual orientation, not gender identity, but pure, raw sex. Parading down the City streets were naked people, people decked out in little leather strings, people being dragged about by leashes, people in bizarre masks, people whipping each other, and more that I seem to have forgotten or don't want to remember. I concluded then that I'm happy to witness a joyous celebration of a life free from fear and prejudice, which is what I'd always understand a gay pride parade to be. I'm way less interested in having my city streets opening up to the equivalent of a moving S&M Sex Club. And that is what I thought off when I saw this in the Times:
Tom Sellers busily adjusted white cowboy chaps over the underwear of dozens of gay men, handed out sequin-trimmed pink and blue cowboy hats and tied glittery bandannas to best effect around everyone's necks.To me, this just isn't family friendly fare.
As dusk fell, Mr. Sellers and his group, inspired by "Brokeback Mountain," were geared up (or, in some cases, geared down in bare buttocks) to take their place in Australia's venerable Mardi Gras gay pride parade, which cavorted through crowd-lined streets here Saturday night. [Emphasis mine.]