The Irish have St. Patrick’s Day, Columbus Day holds special meaning for Italians as does the Israel Day for Jews and the Steuben Day for Germans. Why then did the LGBTQ community drop the Gay from their parade? And why is that the only one singled out for all New Yorkers? New York Pride implies that all residents of this city feel a special respect for the gay minority above all other minorities who live here and have their parades without our city’s name attached to them.
If we are marching in solidarity for the legislative changes that now provide equal rights for gay marriage, adoption, custody, housing and employment, why not call it Gay Rights Parade? To march in celebration of homosexuality seems as shallow as marching for heterosexuality whereas gay rights is a tribute to the effort and achievement of those who organized, campaigned and fought for the legislation that allowed gay people to be mainstreamed into every aspect of our culture.
Part of our culture has indeed elevated the gay movement by giving it preferential attention and acclaim. You can’t read the NYT in any given week without seeing several articles devoted to transgenders or gays. How many similar articles are devoted to Asian New Yorkers - a minority that has made astounding strides in education, business, research and music, to name just a few fields of endeavor. How many about Russian and other east-European minorities in our city? And how many weekly columns protesting the inordinate discrimination in access to bathrooms and transportation for disabled people throughout all our boroughs?
If we have a parade called New York Pride and gays are anxious to drop their special category, why not be properly inclusive and have representatives of all minorities participate equally? We should re-enforce the unique polyglot character of our city, the most cosmopolitan in the world, the only one to welcome people of all colors, creeds and sexual preferences where you can hear more than 800 spoken languages. That is the astounding accomplishment that accurately merits the banner of New York Pride.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here