Monday, June 20, 2011


This past weekend i attended Portland Pride.
So, here is emotional vomit rant # seven million and five.

For those who don't know, Pride is a weekend long festival for LGBTQ rights centered around a parade, and with some vendors and music.

Since i am certainly not a heteronormal person (ok if you insist i use an 'identity' word i'll use queer), i figured i'd drag my cynical self out and have a look at what the LGBTQ community has to be 'proud' of.

The Pride parade essentially consisted of this:
Police escort, military presence, corporate sponsors, church groups, corporate sponsors, OHSU (vivisectors), corporate sponsors, a variety of 'rights' organizations, and corporate sponsors.
Naturally, i was not impressed. It seemed to me it was a parade for heteronormal white corporate amerikkka.

Though i'm always bummed about it, i understand that in order to have a parade or action of this nature you have to get a permit and have the police escort you through your route. The obvious issues with having the symbol of the brute force and violence of the oppressors lead the parade for equal rights bothered me to say the least. Immediately following was a number of military groups, symbolizing the LGBTQ communities willingness to participate in corporate and political genocide, terrorism, war, hegemony, and imperialism. As i sat, relatively surprised by my own surprise, the parade continued into a never ending march of corporate logos. An alaskan airlines float, dozens and dozens of people in Nike shirts sporting Nike gear, a wells fargo horse and carriage, absolut vodka, sports teams (like Portland's soccer team the 'Timbers', what asshole came up with that name?) on and on and on.

I realized that this parade was not a celebration of diversity, or a call from the LGBTQ community for people to acknowledge that we are fine the way we are, but the message was rather close to 'just because we are LGBTQ doesn't mean we aren't normal corporate loving militant imperialist fuck bag amerikkkans'. It was around this realization that OHSU marched by. The local Portland school has a massive vivisection lab with hundreds of tortured primates within its cages. So yea, just because we aren't heterosexual doesn't mean we are not down to torture animals too.

Scratching my head in confusion, frustration, and the never ending feeling of alienation, i pondered whether my response should be one of two things. The first being, acknowledging to myself that the mainstream LGBTQ communities goal is relatively apolitical and centers solely around being accepted as normal amerikkans, which therefore means i want nothing to do with it and would like no association whatsoever. Or two, to throw a small hissy fit at the community in hopes of some sort of clarity or constructive response. The fit would be something like explaining that amerikkka and most of the western civilized world is based on a history of exploitative violence, religious fanaticism, imperialism, hegemony, resource mongering, war, bigotry, hatred, white supremacy, corporatism, and control over its workers/citizens. The logical conclusion here would be that we should be 'proud' that these assholes don't want us included in their evil society, and furthermore we should want nothing to do with it nor any overlap or association. Its far deeper than the obvious wish to celebrate diversity in sexuality, religion, race, beliefs, etc... its more political than that. This is our chance as an alienated community to accept the alienation and use it as a means to not take part in the imperialist, animal torturing, war raging, corporate culture that is destroying the planet and making life miserable for most humans (and certainly non humans). If i thought there was some hope of reaching a goal with response number two, i'd gladly go forth with it. But that is doubtful.

So once again, i suppose i'll wander back to my rock and climb under it.


  1. Thanks for posting! I definitely agree.

  2. Pride couldn't exist in the capacity it is without all of those sponsorships. What you don't see is how much time & money those corporate organizations give throughout the year to support the LGBT community & charities! The parade was filled with many other worthwhile groups & organizations as wel ... just because you didn't recognize them doesn't mean they weren't relevant. Like I always say ... if you dont like it, get involved and change something. Just a thought!

  3. Wait, so what's wrong with OHSU?

  4. Look I understand that you feel 'alienated' but bottom line the LGBTQ community is not. We work and live our lives everyday alongside our straight counterparts without all the strife and drama you seem to obsessing over. The bottom line is that the choices you are attributing to our entire LGBTQ community is also the same of the straight community. This problem you have with corporations, isn't just a USA problem, it's worldwide. That doesn't mean we can't work on racism, class struggles, etc. BUT attacking all corporations is stereotyping and profiling... attacking all military and police presence (I'm not a fan either) is stereotyping and profiling... Your anger and disgust at "corporate Amerikkka" is warranted, but it is unfocused and sloppily directed at anyone that lives and works for a profit. If your problem is with greed and exploitation of workers fine, but if your problem is with capitalism, I'm sure there's a bus to Canada or a boat to Communist Cuba. I appluad your sentiments but its time to grow up and enter the real world where adults work to provide for their families. I'm afraid in this instance you my friend are indeed alienated. However, I appreciate your point of view. Be well.

  5. i think you are asking for a consistency in a VERY large community that you (or any of us for that matter) don't have within yourself. just because there are corporate sponsors/floats doesn't mean that the organizers/attendees are all "normal corporate loving militant imperialist fuck bag amerikkkans". just like you are angry at the way we are living & trying to devolve, yet you list many movies & bands in your profile that are distributed & produced by HUGE corporations that also have their fingers in a wide variety of "projects" that im sure you & i would find deplorable. expecting someones beliefs to *always* line up w/ what they consume, is not only short sighted, its actually impossible in this world we live in.

  6. i agree with what anonymous said.

  7. I have nothing but appreciation for your own opinions, preferences, experiences, needs, and loves. I bet I have more in common with you than I do 75% of the attendees at Pride. That said, its a community event, meant to represent the needs of the community. And truthfully, there are tons of mainstream, heteronormative homos. There are more of them than there are of us. So when Pride rolls around each year I just take it with a grain of salt. Does the overall organization and event of Pride really feel like something I can relate to, that inspires me and makes me feel safe? Nope. Does it serve a purpose for that more mainstream community? Sure does. And I don't have anything against the more mainstream homos. How can I? We are all just trying to find our way in this challenging world, and there are so many different paths, none superior to another. So come back out from under that rock and keep on heading out to the events that make you feel good. Organize and support other organizers. And if you are up to the task, maybe consider all the value in an event like Pride for those who so desperately love it.

  8. oh ps- I'm not saying that all events should be for the needs of the mainstream homo! Oy! I AM saying we can and do organize lots of more radical events that do NOT have corporate sponsorship and DO make us feel safe. And we can allow mainstream homos to have their events.....

  9. Why do already segregated [from "the Mainstream"] groups have to further divide themselves? For example: We have the Mainstream. Within that, the LGBTQs exist. I had hoped that the LGBTQs would be accepting, both Ls of Gs of Ts etc, and of different types of Ls. Following? But the more I've become connected with the LGBTQ community, the more I've realized that Lesbians are not always accepting of Bisexuals. (Capitalizations are just for clarity's sake). In the opinions of many, not just lesbians, Bisexuals aren't "gay enough," are just in it for more sex, or because of an inability to "decide" which sex they're attracted to. WTF? (I speak from personal experience, as someone who is bi.) For all the crap today about "I don't really like labels," there sure is a lot of pressure on bisexuals to define ourselves as either gay or straight. I fall for the person, and their personality, and their values, not their specific body parts. But I digress...

    What I intended to comment about was this: it is sad that some people here are commenting about "the mainstream homos" and the non-heteronormative homos. Why do there have to be different factions of homosexual people now, critiquing each other? I think I was most bothered by the phrase, "we can allow mainstream homos to have THEIR EVENTS." WHAT??? So now there are events for THOSE homos, and others for THESE homos, and the two don't want to overlap?

    And finally - remember that there are people at the heads of these corporations, making various good and bad decisions in the name of the company - AND THEN THERE ARE THE EVERYDAY PEOPLE, the employees just trying to get by like you and me, the people who very likely have very different beliefs, values, and privileges from the corporations' head hanchos. For instance, OHSU is not solely a place with a monkey lab where everyone tortures monkeys and hates monkeys and gives money to testing on monkeys. There are a lot of wonderful things that happen at OHSU, and a lot of people who have nothing to do with the monkey labs - a lot of everyday (since "normal" is such a bad, heterocentric word) people who are trying to keep it all together in this world. For events like Pride, it doesn't matter to me so much what the corporation supports or does, it matters to me that the employees are there, saying "WE support Pride." Even if they're not gay, or god forbid, "not gay enough."

  10. Wow you all should look up the word hegemony and read on the concept of social surveillance...



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