Every year, just as June starts to arrive, we have The Discourse. Specifically, the “Kink at Pride” speech, which is as tedious and uninspired as, say, listening to Republicans talk or holding a Straight Pride Parade. All over social media, members (and outside) of the LGBTQ + community are arguing over exactly what pride is, with some of them very clearly disregarding our history and the impact this month has had on our community.
So let’s discuss it.
Kink belongs to Pride because Kink was there during the first Pride. While June has become a beautiful celebration of our visibility, dignity, and ourselves as a queer community, it would be wrong to ignore the fact that the parade started out as a protest and the kink community played a part. huge role in organization and participation. in this protest. Actually bisexual activist and leather fetishist Brenda Howard is known as the “Mother of Pride” not only for coordinating the first walk, but also for suggesting the idea of a week of celebration and events.
Kink at Pride is also a must as Pride is a celebration of all queer sexuality, expression and identity. The fundamental purpose of Pride is to be an inclusive event, to celebrate all people under the LGBTQ + umbrella – not just the “palatable” ones. Yes, that means fetish and kink. No, that doesn’t mean that people in leather jockstraps are going to have public sex on the street. (Unfortunately, the whole world is not San Francisco.)
A mainstay of the fold is that it is both secure and consensual. One point critics like to make is that kids who go to Pride haven’t consented to seeing certain outfits. However, by voluntarily showing up at an event that has historically revolved around subversive sexuality, this argument has no merit.
Pride can be a lot to a lot of people, but it’s at the heart of liberation, sexual positivity, and visibility. Depending on the conversations you choose to have with your family, pride can be a family event. He can to be. It doesn’t mean pride will twist and regulate itself to fit your personal standards of morality.
What hurts young homosexuals is shame, internalized hatred, lack of community / information. And yes, predators too. But I firmly believe that we can make pride a SAFE space for sexual positivity and visibility. We can hold people to account without censoring ourselves.
– Intangible boy (@atty_boy) May 28, 2019
Yes, minors go to Pride. No, there is nothing inherently “dirty,” “harmful” or “shameful” about the types of sex and sexuality that are celebrated with pride – and there is nothing particularly NC-17 that takes place during a pride parade. If you’re worried about explaining sex to your kids, but aren’t restricting their access to things like HBO or beauty pageants, you may need to re-evaluate exactly what shocks you and why.
Finally, Kink belongs to Pride because to regulate Pride in any other way would be dangerous and damaging for all of us, but especially for those in our community who are most at risk of being overlooked and excluded because of classism, racism, fatphobia and of transphobia. . Desexualization of pride could be particularly damaging to sex workers, destabilizing their right to exist safely and happily in our community, as well as the important and valuable work they do.
The LGBTQ + community is large, nuanced and complex. Its beauty lies in its acceptance and celebration of diversity. Many of us have felt marginalized in a society that generally values and supports heteronormativity; and our community is the place we have built for ourselves to find respect, understanding and appreciation.
Neither of us has the right to reject each other. To regulate pride on the basis of prejudice or standards of purity would be an absurd misunderstanding of all that our community has fought so hard to overcome over the past century. And these are exactly the kinds of tactics that donors, policymakers, and anti-gay organizations use to try to infringe on our rights.
So, yes, the “Kink at Pride” speech has to end. Kink is owned by Pride, and always has been.
Top Image: Leo Vals / Hulton Archive via Getty Images