Saturday, July 2, 2016

Why Pride?

    One of my facebook friends posted a piece that advocates a straight pride day! The piece contained a statement "Apparently it is now intolerant and bigoted to be straight and proud in the upside down , politically correct society we live in." The proposition made me think for all of one second.

    He was directing his comment toward all the Pride parades at this time of year.

    So why Pride parades?

     I was a middle school teacher for 37 years. Some people think you have to be crazy to teach middle school kids. They are referred to as hormones at times.

     So where am I trying to go with this. Puberty kicks in. Boys develop an amazing interest in girls. I don't know about girls!!! Probably the same thing happens.

     But for a small group of kids puberty is an absolutely horrible nightmare. They know how things are supposed to work but it's not happening. Gay and lesbian kids cannot understand why they are attracted to the same sex. They become confused anxious and angry. This is something they cannot talk to others about. They are living a secret life. They feel lost . They see all kinds of  bashing those who are gay or lesbian. They are not comfortable in sharing this with family. They are cut off. They are scared.

    So with this situation support is needed . One way of support then is to have a huge parade.

    Straight people have the whole society set up to support them. The world is made for straight people.

    Now I retired 19 years ago. We were limited in what counselling could be done or people would accuse us of ,"making their kids gay." At that time gay and lesbian kids had no support from the school and definitely not from home..  Today it's different . The shoe is on the other foot and kids can be supported. Kids can be counselled. They get to understand their sexual orientation early and can make decisions based on what they know. Some of the problems they face are less severe.

     So in my teaching experience some of the most troubled kids were gay and lesbian kids who had nowhere to turn in their turmoil.

    One student wrote me that no matter what he did in school all the kids taunted him as gay. he said he date a girl and they'd still call him gay. He said at age five he knew something was different. Being a bright kid he knew what his situation was but still did not know how to handle things.
 
    One of the best books I read recently was "All Out: a father and son confront the hard truth" by Kevin Newman and Alex Newman. It's a very good read.

     So pride parades do have an important place in today's world.
   


26 comments:

  1. Yes, a good one, Keith. I've heard that taunt so often in schools, and on school yards.I'd simply retort, 'What's wrong with being gay? I have friends who are gay." It was at the time when things were slowly turning around. I grew up in Toronto, where they had gay pride, in a strong community.

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    1. Thanks. what beats me is that many people think they've never worked with a gay coworker. I understand that as the gay person is doing everything to conceal their sexuality.

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  2. "Straight people have the whole society set up to support them. The world is made for straight people." The best thing I will read today.

    We will have these parades until we no longer need to have them. Until straight people truly understand heterosexual-privilege. It is a positive stance against all the discrimination these individuals face. It promotes love and hope and pride. It is about celebrating who we are. And the reminder that we should be free to love whoever we want.

    Great post!

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    1. Thanks. To you this is a very simple issue. I wish more people had it together.

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  3. Red, I am proud to know you. Sometimes I wonder how to express the importance of the people I know through the internet, and how much it can change my point of view, but you've written it all down right here in this post. Congratulations to you for making it so clear why we all need support, especially if we are different. :-)

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    1. Thanks. there are times when some things need to be said.

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  4. So, in the summer of 2016, here in this little town, nobody cares if you are gay, straight or whatever. You are just another individual earning a living and contributing to life. Oot n aboot and nobody cares. Very Good Post Red.

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    1. I think your town cares. they understand what has to be done and what their responsibility is.

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  5. One of the best arguments against "straight pride" day was a list of countries (zero) where it's illegal to be straight.

    It's kind of like the "I'm in favor of traditional marriage" line. Guess what everyone who supports same-sex marriage also supports straight marriage. What we don't support is bigotry

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    1. I had to reread your first sentence. It's so true. Bigotry is the key.

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  6. Wonderful post, so needed in our time. I worked 17 years in a seminary and it was very difficult dealing with this issue. Now that seminary has no problems admitting gay and lesbian students but it wasn't always welcoming. It was a painful struggle for the seminary, and church at large, to change their long held position. Thanks for writing this.

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    1. It's good that the seminary has taken a leadership role in the issue.

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  7. I don't know enough about it to comment on whether they should have parades or not. I just wish we lived in a world where everyone felt comfortable to just be who they are and not be stigmatized or ridiculed for being different. What a boring world this would be if we were all cookie cutter humans.

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    1. I really like your last sentence. We have to appreciate diversity.

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  8. Congratulations Red - a very good and wise post. As was said above, I am proud to know you!

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  9. I wish everyone was as enlightened as you.

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    1. Oh I'm not have as smart as I think I am. There are times when things need to be said and I try to make some sense.

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  10. Oh Red, this is a wonderful post!
    I had that post show up on Facebook too, from a nephew. It made me so disgusted, but I had to slap my hands and move on. Ignorance is hard to fight.

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  11. Very well said, Red!

    To those who chatter on about that sort of notion or complain about Pride this time of year, I just say that if you're secure and whole as a person, the sexual orientation of others is okay with you. If you're homophobic, on the other hand, that just speaks to how insecure and petty you are as a person.

    It's civil rights, period.

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  12. I taught through many of the same years you did, Red, and saw kids hurt and tormented in the same way. I see the Gay Pride parades and other activities as sort of in-your-face evidence given that the world is changing and has changed. Soon I hope the pendulum will return to the center and love will be love and marriage will be marriage and the fuss will fade away. Thanks for bringing up the discussion.

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  13. Thanks for this post. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, "Straight people have a whole society set up to support them. The world is made for straight people."

    In other words, EVERY DAY is Straight Pride Day. Which is what I'd tell your Facebook friend. :)

    Kids nowadays have it bad enough, but they're so much more fortunate than kids were even ten or twenty years ago. And the Internet really revolutionized things, letting LGBT kids communicate with each other and know they're not alone. Thank goodness!

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  14. This is a great post. Yes, our world needs more compassion and support for people who are different from what's considered the "norm."

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  15. I must be crazy too to be able to handle middle school kids. There's never a dull moment with them. They're kids trying to be not kids at the same time and this transparency makes the whole thing interesting.

    You've got great explanation about pride parades. Enlightening!

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