Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Celebrating "Our" Gay Pride?

June is winding down, and like many cities across the United States, Atlanta just celebrated “our” annual Gay pride celebration. While it is wonderful to see the unity that Gay pride brings, I have to say that this year, like every other year I have called Atlanta home, the great diversity that makes Atlanta, Hotlanta was absent.

When discussing this issue with my friend, Emma (who is a white lesbian), I came to realize how black people are viewed in regards to pride participation. She argued that black people simply don’t want to be included in the pride festivities. If black people wanted to come to the events, they are more than welcome. The problem, according to Emma, is that they don’t want to attend.

In many ways, I agree. We do not want to attend because too often we are made to feel unwelcome or to feel that we should feel honored just to be there. I, for one, refuse to spend my good gay dollar in support of anything that runs contrary to my interests and I feel that due to White Gay Pride’s lack of diversity and failed efforts at inclusion, it runs contrary.

This is Atlanta. While exceedingly liberal and increasingly diverse, Atlanta is still the south and the majority of the city’s wealth is unduly saturated within the hands of the majority (i.e. White people). The racially underlined mentality that black people should simply be happy to be able to sit at the table is prevalent within the white gay community.

If the White Gay Pride committee really wanted inclusion and truly served a diverse population, actual events and activities would have been marketed to Atlanta’s diverse black and Latino populations. Of the twenty seven people on the 2007 Gay Pride festival committee, three of them were people of color. Of the three people listed, none were recognizable by either myself or my friend James, who is an active member of the Black Atlanta club scene.

White gay pride in Atlanta is a wonderful time for many people. Celebrations of rainbow flags, drunken dances in the park, and enough shirtless white guys to fill several bars abound, but I am thankful that black gay pride (labor-day in the ATL) is right around the corner. Vanilla is tasty, but I, for one, love my chocolate cakes.


ponoono said...

white people are like wallpaper.. ubiquitous in the environment

you know its there.. but who remembers it later ???

and im white

D-Place said...

I live in California and I think the same can be true for Gay Pride here in Los Angeles. Like you, I love my chocolate cakes.

To Ponoono...We remember its there.

Omar Ramon said...

what do you think would serve to may white gay pride more inviting to those of other ethnic background? What would qualify as a more diverse-populace-friendly celebration.

Mr. Jones said...

In Baltimore and Washington 'white' pride and 'black' pride are two completely separate events. 'White' pride often gets the benefit of local advertising, banners on light poles in Mt. Vernon (Baltimore's gayest neighborhood) and through midtown, etc.

I've never attended white pride b/c from what I hear, there's such a cultural divide. I'm not into leather or chaps or flannel clad Rosie O'Donnell look alikes.

I too like my chocolate cake and there's nothing but vanilla wafers during white pride weekend.

Corey Keith said...

I think, Omar, that Mr. Jones hit the nail on the head. The bottom line is that the interests and entertainment that appeals to a diverse audience is not present at ATL Gay Pride. I would like to see more people of color on the organizing board and more venues throughout the city of ATL utilized. Every event was held at areas frequented by white SGLs, while the areas (clubs, nightspots) where black people party were completely omitted.

yet another black guy said...

hmmm, this is pretty much what i expected. while in Chicago, i noticed a big spread in their paper about Pride. on the back page of the local gay paper was the only mentioning of Black Pride.

it's not just the South, it's America.

Anonymous said...

I still can't find no good cause for pride events...you'll be intrigued to know what it REALLY means.

Mademoiselle M said...

Do you think that maybe there are other factors to why black people don't attend the parade? The black community isn't the most open of communities when it comes to homosexuality. Many black people - both gay and straight - may not want to attend because of the way others in the black community may view them.

I'm not very familiar with any gay pride parades so I'm not claiming any knowledge here. Just curious about ur thoughts.