Happy Pride


Ball and Chain
Originally uploaded by realsupergirl

It was a gray Pride this year. But it was a good turnout anyway, and it was especially meaningful to have Deval Patrick marching at the head of the Parade. It’s been a long time since Massachusetts had someone who was a friend of queers in the governor’s office. And I’ve learned since that Deval is the first sitting governor to march in Boston’s Gay Pride. (Could that really be true?)

But I have a couple things I’ve been mulling over for the last 48 hours.

One, at the Dyke March this year, apparently the singer Bitch was supposed to speak. She was cancelled at the last minute because she has spoken out in favor of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festical’s anti-trans policy.

Two, I heard some criticism of Boston Pride’s theme this year, which was “Do Ask. Do Tell. Proud to Serve” because of its association wth the military.

I guess the problem I have is not with any of the viewpoints being expressed – that we need to challenge transphobia and we need to question the use of military force – but rather this trend in liberal communities to shut down dialogue if the other side being expressed is disturbing or troubling.

There is a legitimate discussion that is worth having about “women’s space” and what it means in terms of people with genderqueer identities. Most of the people resisting including transfolk and genderqueers espouse the same rigid notions of gender that exist in the straight world. Why are we so much less patient and tolerant of this dialogue in our own community?

There is also a legitimate discussion to be had about the use of the military, not just in Iraq, but in other places in the world. Just because we are all queer doesn’t mean we have the same beliefs about the Iraq war, how to combat terrorism, or what America’s role in the world should be.

So, this Pride, I am reminded to celebrate the diversity of voices in the queer community. They are what make a community rich.

Also, I would like to start the first annual Realsupergirl Award for best Pride contigency: This year is goes to the “Lawn Chair Bears” who did a fantastic choreographed routine with lawn chairs. Runner up goes to the group of older gays and lesbians who did a complete Wizard of Oz float, with everyone in full costume.

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~ by realsupergirl on June 9, 2007.

8 Responses to “Happy Pride”

  1. I’ll tell you what I don’t like about Bitch. Many years ago, I stood outside Club Passim, handing out flyers about the MWMF anti-trans policy on a night she was playing and she yelled at me and told me to, “get a job.” WTF? She isn’t into dialogueing … she’s really abrasive in her view that transwomen aren’t “real women.” I don’t like her and I’m glad she didn’t perform at a community event.

  2. That is pretty fucked up.

    Like I said, I’m not necessarily questioning the decision itself – I didn’t really know enough about Bitch to have an opinion. But I was troubled by some of the reactions I heard.

  3. I think perhaps you heard frustration. There has long been a real push to make the dyke march inclusive to transwomen, and for the most part, it is. But there were many years of really fighting to make that happen and it always seems sort of fragile. Some of the long-time fighters saw her performance as a real step backwards in that fight and obviously they were really upset to see that all the progress might be undone. I can totally see why former dyke march committee members who worked really hard to make the march transwoman inclusive (myself included) would have been realllly pissed by this decision. Bitch isn’t just “someone with a different opinion that we ought to hear and be exposed to” — she’s a bona fide transphobe and I feel ok about not welcoming her into dykespace.

  4. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  5. I would have marched, but I didn’t get the memo.
    😦

  6. Here’s what I would like the community (or some sector of it) to do: hold mainstream politicians who will make decisions about our communities to the same standard as they do musicians who perform in our communities. In the end, I don’t really fucking care what someone like Bitch (she and Animal performed on the bill with The Amazon Slam back in the day) whose music isn’t very good anyway, thinks about anything. But I do care that the jerks who are the frontrunners in the Democratic race for president don’t even have the balls (or ovum) to support gay marriage; they’d rather appease bigots instead. More folks in the community should follow the rallies for Obama, for Clinton, for Edwards and say in one of the “dialogues” the candidates say are so important, “Your stand is completely unacceptable and you need to change it now, so it acknowledges the humanity of all GLBT people.” If enough folks did so, they’d have some practice in being able to tell a performer like Bitch the same thing and just walk away afterward.

  7. Here’s what I would like the community (or some sector of it) to do: hold mainstream politicians who will make decisions about our communities to the same standard as they do musicians who perform in our communities. In the end, I don’t really fucking care what someone like Bitch (she and Animal performed on the bill with The Amazon Slam back in the day) whose music isn’t very good anyway, thinks about anything. But I do care that the jerks who are the frontrunners in the Democratic race for president don’t even have the balls (or ovum) to support gay marriage; they’d rather appease bigots instead. More folks in the community should follow the rallies for Obama, for Clinton, for Edwards and say in one of the “dialogues” the candidates say are so important, “Your stand is completely unacceptable and you need to change it now, so it acknowledges the humanity of all GLBT people.” If enough folks did so, they’d have some practice in being able to tell a performer like Bitch the same thing and just walk away afterward.

  8. I think it is a different issues, but certainly no less important. I totally agree with you – what I hate about virtually ALL politicans is their unwilllingness to talk about how they really feel and stick with that position, and then allow the voters and other politicians to challenge them and dialogue with them.

    It’s about power, of course. Most politicians are more concerned with maintaining their power than they are with truth and dialogue and integrity, which is, IMO, ultimately destructive to the entire democratic process.

    But in terms of Bitch, who (again) I really don’t actually know anything about (not a big fan of lesbian folk music) I am not sure how much it should matter what a person’s views are in terms of whether they are a speaker at the dyke march. Unless, she is going to espouse views that are directly insulting to members of the march, which is obviously unacceptable, and from what said, is highly likely.

    But as a counter example, I do not think it would be inappropriate to have Andrew Sullivan or Joe Lieberman speak at Pride, since they have both spoken out very clearly in favor of gay rights (Lieberman was actually in ONLY Dem in 2004 to speak out in favor of gay marriage), even though their views on other issues are things on which I personally disagree and would challenge.

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