Monday, June 24, 2013
I read a blog on the LA WEEKLY site today called Is L.A. Gay Pride an Outdated, Adolescent Mess? and it really made me stop and think. You can follow the link above to read the story for yourself, go ahead, I will wait. While I am sure there are plenty of people who agree 100% with this post, I want to provide the other side to the story. I am going to break the post down and relay my feelings on the key points that are made about Gay Pride being outdated and a mess.
"Are we coming off passe and immature by still celebrating our gay heritage as if we're a bunch of horny, drunk 19-year-olds who came out of the closet a few weekends ago?"
I would say yes, some of us are coming off as horny, drunk 19 year old guys who just came out of the closet, because that is where they are in life. Didn't we all go through that phase? This however is merely a small percentage of the people at Pride. Head to your local Applebee's on a Friday night and see if you don't see people there acting the same way. When we only look at one portion of a thing, we can find any result or conclusion that we want. You want to see drunk horny fools? Check out Mardi Gras. Notice though that there are plenty of people at all these events drinking responsibly or not drinking at all.
"A number of gay men and those in the larger LGBT community have begun to see L.A. Pride as a sad spectacle, particularly since being gay is much more than wearing trendy clothes, sporting tattoos and muscles, and sleeping with whomever comes your way."
Again, this is not just a gay phenomenon, look all around and you will find plenty of trendy clothes wearing, tattooed muscle jocks hitting on anything that moves. America loved Jersey Shore, I guess straight people get a pass.
"Yet once again L.A. Pride will bring out the go-go boys and cock rings, will be partly underwritten by liquor companies, and will celebrate stereotypes and outdated notions of what it means to be gay."
Check out any event you go to and see if there isn't a beer, wine or liquor company sponsoring it. I run 5k and half marathons and every time you cross the finish line there is a beer company waiting patiently to serve you there goods. A beer sponsor at NASCAR, why is that any different? Who sponsored the last Mardi Gras or St. Patrick's Day parade you attended? What about the last sporting event you attended, was there a beer sponsor? Why wouldn't a beer or liquor company want to sponsor an event where people drink their products? Sounds like a sound marketing plan to me.
Celebrating stereotypes? What about celebrating the people behind those stereotypes? Yes, people may have strong opinions about things they are not comfortable with, but does that make them something that should be viewed as negative? Maybe you aren't enticed by leather or drag or glittery boy shorts, but that doesn't mean that the people who enjoy these things shouldn't be able to come to Pride and be proud of who they are. If you see something you don't like, move on down the line. If you were at a music festival and the band in front of you was playing jazz and you don't like jazz, wouldn't you just walk to the next stage? Oh look, country music, you like that. Did your day at the music fest just get better? Look all around, I am sure you will find a niche that will fit your comfort levels and lifestyle. Better yet, talk to someone who maybe doesn't fit your "comfort mold", you might be surprised what you could learn about other people and maybe even about yourself.
"And then we'll wonder why certain straight folks don't take us seriously or think we're stuck in some kind of "Peter Pan syndrome" -- and we'll cry bloody murder when we're treated poorly."
Before I came out I used to see news reports of Pride events and wonder why they always showed the people covered in glitter, the drag performers, or the muscle guys in the leather jockstraps, but once I started attending myself, I realized it wasn't because those were the only people there. It was what the news stations wanted to flash on their screens for shock and ratings. Yes there is plenty of shock value at Pride, but if that is all you see, then you aren't even looking.
Peter Pan syndrome, yes it's out there, but think of it like this. Imagine being a gay youth who is in the closet. You spend your adolescent years repressing everything about yourself and when you finally come out, you realize you get to start fully living again. You have some catching up to do, maybe some people got partying, clubbing, trendy fashions or other things out of their systems as they progressed, but you are just getting exposed to these things. Why does age even matter here? Once again, be yourself. Want to wear a beanie at 50? Do it. Want to wear what the younger generation wears? Do it. Want to stay out all night clubbing? Why shouldn't you? Some people may have stuff to say about it, but just let that be their issue, not yours
"To simply maintain our right to party and hook up with whomever we wish seems so 1970s, doesn't it? So, ah, adolescent."
Visit any trendy nightclub and you will find plenty of straight people partying and hooking up with whomever they choose as well. Scan the "romance" section of Craigslist or similar sites and you will find plenty of straight people looking for random hookups. Gays didn't invent promiscuity, it is a practice in which both gay and straight men and women partake.
"Heck, let's get real: Is L.A. Pride about celebrating the special spirit of gay folks or filling the cash registers of West Hollywood nightclubs and bars?"
Why can't it be both? More importantly, why shouldn't it be both? Gay businesses need the support of the community. As gay men and women, shouldn't we want to give our money to those businesses that support us?
Having said all that, the post does have a couple of great ideas and they deserve to be mentioned as well.
"Maybe we should bring L.A. Pride back to its roots and make it once again a political statement. To highlight our contributions to society, and to reach out in meaningful ways to our straight allies, our parents, and extended families."
"Maybe we should highlight a particular battle we're fighting on the front lines of gay rights and make that the centerpiece of the gay pride parade, rather than make a straight celebrity a grand marshal, which then diverts publicity toward him or her and away from the important issues we're facing."
Both of these statements are great ideas. I see nothing wrong with adding more awareness to GLBT causes and important GLBT community members, but there needs to be a nice balance. Pride should always be about being able to be 100% yourself in a place surrounded by people who love and support you. What more can we do to make Pride a tool for equality? It is a point worth investigating.
This Pride season, get out and have fun, but remember those who came before us and all that they have done to get us where we are today!! Maybe one day when we have 100% TRUE equality around the world, we won't need Pride anymore, but until then, you can find me at Pride!
Do you agree with the original post, with me or somewhere in between? Please leave your comments below and feel free to share this post on all your favorite social media outlets. Thanks again for reading, I appreciate it as always.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Robot Roll Call:
|I gotta learn to take off my sunglasses.|
What inspires you? Leave your inspirations in the comments below. Don't forget to do all the wonderful social network magic button things you can do to this post. Thanks as always for reading and sharing.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Once again my mouth has written a huge check, but this time, it is gonna get cashed! If you are an avid reader of this blog, (psst... you should be) you know that Richard and I have been running and doing races for over a year now. I felt froggy one day in the latter half of last year and made the declaration that I wanted to do a half marathon before I turned 40. I assume that I felt there was plenty of time to forget what I said and just continue on with life as usual. Fast forward a few months and neither one of us forgot, dang it, and time was running out. Luckily Google is pretty good at finding whatever you are looking for, and I found the Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon.
This bad boy of a race occurs 6 days before my birthday so it fits perfectly into my "before I'm 40" timeline. The only downside to these damn half marathons is they are EXPENSIVE. Well the price and the whole running part. Much to my excitement, the race is offering a discount for 2013 if you register on the 13th of the month. The discount guru in me is pleased!
I will admit that I have bounced back and forth with my enthusiasm over this race, but with the new year and the start of our training schedule, I find myself pumped up about it. Live music all along the race route and just that surge of energy you get from an entire crowd of runners. The medal you receive upon finishing the race is a nice motivator as well. Completing this race will be amazing and I am sure it will feel like such an accomplishment, but there is one thing that stands out above all else. I want that damned "13.1" sticker to put on the back window of the car. Is it a little braggy? YEAH, but I have to think your stick figure family or your "my kid is an honor student" stickers do the same thing, so I'm pretty sure it's fair.
So Sunday March 24th, feel free to swing by and cheer us on. Actually feel free to just send positive vibes, I can't think of anything worse for a spectator to have to watch than a marathon. You would have to run along side the route to keep up with the action. We will take lots of pictures so you can feel like you were there. They will also have professionals to take lots of fun action shots which we will be sure to share as well. Leave a comment if you are running this race. It is always nice to see familiar faces in the crowd.
Thanks again as always for taking time to read what I have to say. Feel free to "Share" "Like" "Retweet" "+1" etc. Much love to you all!!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
I was doing a little cleaning today and ran across this rough draft of the Halloween 2012 Mongoose comic strip. Instead of tossing it out I figured I would snap a pic and share it with everyone. After all, who doesn't like a nice "behind the scenes" event once in a while? Sometimes the strips are actual conversations we have had, sometimes they are holiday or event specific and sometimes they are just random acts of hilarity. They can be his concept, my concept or a collaboration. We don't always have a storyboard on paper, sometimes we just discuss what we want and sometimes one of us just has a rough concept. I drew the storyboard for the Halloween 2012 strip with a basic panel layout and a several generalized storyline ideas and a couple of thoughts for the speech bubbles. (Check out Halloween 2011, this one was Richard's creation.) When the storyboard or basic idea is complete, Richard works his magic and creates the digital wonder that appears in the blog for all to see. As you can tell from comparing the storyboard to the final published version, there are some changes to the character positioning and even some of the wording has changed.
Monday, November 5, 2012
So another Halloween/Richard's Birthday celebration/block party/costumed extravaganza has come and gone and as always, we are better for it. This year we went as Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. If you are not aware of this amazing cartoon, hit up Netflix or whatever streaming service you use and become intimately comfortable with it. You will be glad you did. I included a reference pic and you can also follow the link above for more info. Richard made his entire costume plus my backpack and headgear. The face on his hoodie is to die for. It is amazing how much cheaper our costumes were by building it ourselves as opposed to buying the prefab store costumes. (Yeah I said building it ourselves knowing full well all i did was buy the sword.)
|What time is it?|
|Look at that face!|
Click the "Read More" link to see the rest of the story and pictures.