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Pride


Chris B
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The whole weirdness by the Daily Mail about The Beano recently meant that their talking about Pride meant quite a bit.

Someone made the point about how Beano and Dandy front pages treated queerness in 1990.

This may be a small thing, but it's made me think about how society has changed so much. There are obviously general questions about corporations supporting Pride because it's marketing for them. It does seem like society has done a lot of (overdue) change with regards to a lot of attitudes to LGBTQ+ people (while not ignoring the rising levels of bigotry towards trans people).

Personally, I consider myself fairly heterosexual, but I do look back at my younger self and wonder how much societal attitudes played a role there - when I was being more experimental and sleeping around as a teenager/young man, it felt like doing anything sexual with a guy would be a thing. Like, it'd be important or be a change with regards to who I was. I'm not overstating this - if I'd found someone attractive or interesting enough, I'd probably have overcome that barrier, but I also didn't want to waste anyone's time. But now, it feels like that barrier isn't there as much, as there seem to be fewer expectations or pressures around sexuality (and gender). So I wonder, looking back, if society had been more like it is now, if feeling like it was less of a big deal would have made me more comfortable experimenting. I'm not seeing any of this as a huge regret or anything - I just find it fascinating, and positive, to see the change in attitudes, and I find it interesting to reflect back to when I was that age.

So I'm interested in those societal changes, but also in the whole conversations around corporate sponsorship, the levels of inclusivity (and a recent alt-right attempt to create division by focusing on anyone wearing fetish gear at Pride, arguing it's inappropriate if kids are brought there), and how personal attitudes have changed.

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It's an odd one. It's good that the LGBTQIA+ community gets a spotlight on it every June, but the shameless "rainbow washing" performed by massive corporations to try and make a buck off the back of it can be a bit bothersome. Another thing I was a little concerned by this year was some people on the right worrying about "the gays" coopting the rainbow after the sterling work it's done for the NHS during the pandemic. Probably just catastrophising. 

Memories of my life of discovery include slowdancing to No Surprises by Radiohead with a male friend at a mutual friend's birthday party, then having to explain how I know I'm not straight to one of the assessors from the training place I was doing my NVQ at at the time when she asked what I was doing. 

My first kiss was with a guy at a gay night when I was at Uni, I was there with a couple of my friends, the guy bought us drinks and said we weren't allowed to leave without giving him a kiss. It wasn't unpleasant, but I also understood why some ladies prefer their men to be clean shaven rather than a little stubbly. Straight afterward I had a snog with my male friend that I went there with. I've kissed a few other guys and crushed on some guys in the past. I knew I wasn't straight, I've not had a boyfriend, but I probably wouldn't wouldn't say no if it weren't for Mrs Jazzy. Although I've realised through the years that sex just isn't my thing. Mrs Jazzy doesn't like when I talk about my Asexuality for some reason, I can only imagine how she must react when I talk about nonbinary pride on social media and trying to shift away from what society deems to be "masculine" and "feminine" gender roles. I remember her getting concerned when I was filling a form out and put "prefer not to say" in the gender and sexuality sections because there was no "none of these" section to tick That was an awkward conversation we ended up not having. 

Anyway I've ostensibly outed myself to you all here, although @FelatioLipswas party to some of this journey of self discovery last summer. Thanks for your time and patience. Sorry for just dumping this all here. 

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11 minutes ago, jazzygeofferz said:

@FelatioLipswas party to some of this journey of self discovery last summer.  

Every now and then, the username lottos on here still provide some unintentional gold. 

Great post, @jazzygeofferz - although I'm curious, why did you have to explain to one of the assessors? Just that she was surprised or something?

Edited by Chris B
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It's always a tough one having these days/months celebrating or raising awareness for certain things. You want to get involved and try and help but then people criticise it for only being once a year and why don't you care the rest of the time etc etc. I find myself caught in the middle unsure of what the right thing to do is. Especially for businesses who get a lot of flack about it.

It's tough to support all these causes all the time and constantly be on it. Just because I don't post about stuff 24-7 it doesn't mean I don't care about it the rest of the time. There's some crazy expectations from some people.

I guess we can only do what we can. I do think it's important to have these times to highlight certain things. You just have to hope the message continues after.

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1 hour ago, DavidB6937 said:

It's always a tough one having these days/months celebrating or raising awareness for certain things. You want to get involved and try and help but then people criticise it for only being once a year and why don't you care the rest of the time etc etc. I find myself caught in the middle unsure of what the right thing to do is.

These are rarely good faith arguments - there's almost always an argument against doing *something*, whatever that something is. If it is a good faith argument, it's more about making sure the things you're doing aren't just a one-off for that day/month etc. 

  

22 minutes ago, jazzygeofferz said:

The other worrying thing that happens is when 4Channers try to start the "MAP (Minor attracted person) pride" stuff to attempt to cast a huge shadow over the rest of the LGBTQIA+ movement. 

Yeah, this year, it's been kink-based. People showing pictures of kids saying hello to guys dressed up as dogs, etc - with a faux-concern 'I'm just saying this isn't appropriate at an all-ages event' approach. It's deliberately divisive and it's all about a subtle version of the "LGBTQIA+ = predatory" thing. It's also (potentially) taken out of context, and are actually pictures from a fetish leather-fair. Clearly, you wouldn't do it at a school Pride event, but a Pride march in Soho? You'd kind of expect a little bit of kink, in the same way it's in the fucking windows of the shops on the route.

Edited by Chris B
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as much as it's cynical and substanceless for most brands to just turn their profile picture to a rainbow logo for a month, that's still a far better position than we were in even 15-20 years ago. In purely capitalist terms, it means these companies have assessed whether coming out in favour of LGBT rights would be better for their bottom line than not - not just better than coming out against, but better than not acknowledging it all - and they've decided that the gays are alright. As a marker of broader societal acceptance, it's not bad at all, so long as you don't expect anything more than that from the majority of companies.

I don't tend to post much about it all myself, but then I tend to assume that anyone who knows me would realise that me being pro-LGBT+ rights is fairly self-evident. Also, while I fall somewhere on that spectrum - somewhere between the "B" and the "A", I think - it's not a particularly concrete part of my identity, so there's no point me chatting shit that would just fill up people's timelines when it's more important to let the right people have the platform. 

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Double post~

I'm lucky that I live in my own little world and don't care what anyone's preferences are because it doesn't define them to me in any way and am generally very sexualy liberaly minded, and as a result I do sometimes forget the difficulties present for people being open about thier sexuality. I'm in favour of celebrating it in an event to act as that refresher to each generation and continue to help make I more normal more widely for people who do struggle or aren't as indifferent as me or do hold prejudice or fears. 

Everything gets mullered for money, the desperate marketing in Private Eye shows you just how some will link to everything and anything to try and sell, but I'd rather a few cunts do that and have a generation grow up knowing any and all sexuality is something to be proud of from the world around them embracing it than the alternative. 

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As already mentioned, the fact we as a society are now in a position where these huge brands now feel it is in their interest to align themselves with the Pride event shows how far we have all come on the matter. Where I'm from, it still feels like we're 10 years behind the rest of the developed world on these matters, but even here companies are embracing Pride. It wasn't too long ago that flying a Rainbow flag in Barnsley was tantamount to burning the place down, as many would have simply refuse to shop there. It's still not where it should be, but much, much better. 

I've had an experience recently that shocked me. Not that long ago, I found out I had a half brother. It was on his 18th birthday that I made contact with him and while he was "out" to his mum and friends, he tried to hide it from me(despite me knowing). It really upset me, that. I'm heterosexual, and from what I can gather, this is the reason he tried to hide his sexuality from me, as "...I wouldn't understand what it's like to be gay in Barnsley!". Now, I'll be honest, I don't understand. Not in the slightest. But that's not because I think there is anything wrong with him, but in the same way I don't know what it's like to be a woman. It took months to persuade him that i didn't care what his sexuality was or what gender he identified as.

I just can't wait until the need to have a Pride month is gone all together and the ideas that not being heterosexual is "different" is gone. 

 

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8 minutes ago, IANdrewDiceClay said:

You know that cunt Dennis would have been calling Walter softy all sorts if he had the Pride flag on a few years back. Dont trust him, never will.

To be fair to him he's had a troubled upbringing and homelife, his da beat him unmercifully until 1992.

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Had to have a long think before posting this, as the last time something to do with my sexuality was posted on here, it was being weaponised as a means to humiliate me, which led to snide jibes, and jokes at my expense; precisely what I wanted to avoid at the time, because I was still in the worst throes of trying to figure it out for myself, and was feeling vulnerable at that particular point. Truth be told, I'm still figuring it out, but the process isn't causing me as much grief as it used to.

I feel more confident about posting about it on here, mainly because I've seen how much this place has changed, and how many genuinely great people have joined, or have evolved from previously problematic selves. What's encouraging is that the majority of regular posters on here have shown themselves to be open to discussion of all sorts of possibilities, and also understanding nuance: even if they dislike another poster, they refrain from referring to that poster's sexual orientation or identity, and are even supportive. 

Used to think I was bi. I went through an experimental phase (with the emphasis on "mental") from about 18 till about 23 years old; having once been a bit of a beautiful boy, it was very easy to attract the gays. I reined it in, but still dabbled in the odd thing, though it was closer to the fetish scene than any experiments in sexuality. I soon came to realise that the reason I was struggling was because I didn't really fancy men at all; at least, thus far in my life, I've not yet met any that I fancy, although I've met the odd fem-boy that's been pretty close.

As a joke, I used to refer to myself as "thermosexual" - whatever's hot is what I like. But I guess the nearest I would get to describing it would be "alt-straight" (semi-joking term): I like women, but that includes trans women as well as cis. Taken me a long time to get there, and I'm not even sure I'm "there" yet either, because I don't want to reduce any trans women to an "experiment" in helping me find out if I'm viable as a romantic partner to them, as well as a sexual one. 

In practical terms, I'm basically straight, but that's partly down to sheer laziness, not being bothered any longer to try and find out any more.

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Sucks that people tried to use that against you, @Carbomb. Nobody should be afraid to be the most honest version of themself that they can be, but unfortunately there's always that group of people who feel threatened by it and have to try and belittle it to make themselves feel more secure. 

 

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