June 26th, 2006 (11:21 am)
It was Pride this weekend. I'm lucky to live in Toronto, where its fairly safe to be gay, especially to be a dyke. The parade does bring out vocal bigotry, however. Take the online Globe and Mail today, and the comments section. People write in to talk about how disgusting the Parade is, and why can't gays just be gay and shut up about it. They say that gays are tolerated now, so what do we need Pride for? That's not what I'd call tolerance.
It reminds me that although weve come a long way, its still a scary world out there. One person who commented on the Globe site even mentioned that he was tempted to chase a few of them with a baseball bat. These comments are vetted by the Globe before being posted. His comment was #15. By the time 109 comments were posted, number 15 was removed. It was too bad, because I thought it was good to let people see that sort of thing to remind them what ordinary people say about us, and how easily it passes the vetting process.
I have to say, though, that Pride events are becoming tiresome, old hat. It's just that I dont like being a spectator to Pride. As far as I know, individuals are not permitted to be in the Pride parade on Sunday. Its too bad. I marched in the Dyke March on the Saturday. I think its wonderful to be able to do this. I'm just surprised to see so many dykes on the sidewalk watching, instead of marching.
The Saturday (Dyke day!) is the better day. Fewer people in general, and theyre mostly women. It was not without flaws this year, though. After the march, we lined up for the 519 beer garden for an hour (! WTF??), to pay $6 for beer with too much head poured into plastic cups (with, presumably the other half of the beer thrown away), just to sit around and chat with people that we hang out with anyway. I'd prefer to do all that in my backyard. Maybe next year we'll see if there's any interest in a post-march nosh in our backyard .
And the Sunday - the main Parade day- well, there are just too many people there. I even know gay men who avoid it because it's too crowded. Some are talking about coming by on the Saturday because the crowds are smaller. I have mixed feeling about that. The reason we have a Dyke day (something I was initially against...but having experienced it, I'm all for it!) is because of the strong male presence at Pride and the consequent marginalization of the women. Now that Saturday is becoming the better day, will the men take it over?