In June of 1970, the nation's first gay parade commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riots – the nearly week-long uprising between New York City youth and police officers following a raid of Stonewall Inn.
The uprising helped bring the LGBT civil rights movement into the national spotlight. A year later, activists celebrated the uprising with the "Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day" march. The unlikely success of the "Christopher Street" parade became a catalyst for local organizations throughout the U.S. and across the globe.
By the 1980s, most major U.S. cities had their own parades, festivals and more festivals, ad nauseam. Pride month is June but there are festivals almost every other month. They have become a business, a way for corporation to take the rainbow dollar. A gay Kmart: cheap, loud, gaudy, tasteless, uncool, lame, amateurish, embarrassing and the same damn music with the same tweaker beat.
Gay Pride festivals are like viruses, no matter where you go or what you do, there is always some new strain. They are stale, unimaginative, and Fort Lauderdale, or Wilton Manors, or South Beach, or Boynton Beach etc are no exception. They should rename them the Shame Festivals.
They are great if you are coming out of the closet but after you've been to a few, they are just plain boring. Period. It's always hot, everyone is wasted and if you're lucky you can watch some fireworks. Oh, and you can definitely get laid if you want.
If you've never been to a Pride festival, they basically consist of half naked gogo boys, drag queens and corporate sponsors in makeshift booths full of trinkets. I really find them disappointing because I expect gay people to be more creative.
Instead, it’s the same old same old. The parking is a nightmare. The admission price a rip off. If I'm going to pay to enter and then pay again to buy stuff I really don't need, then those tents should be made from red velvet and they better offer a lot more than what they currently do, year after year. Pride more and more resembles one of those middle-aged gay men who was hot in his 20s, drunk and drugged too much into his 30s, still acts and dresses as if he's 21 although he's 45 with a new arm-sleeve tattoo to prove he's still with it.
And this year was no different. One of hundreds – large and small – occurring in communities all over the country. Predictable as bugs in the Florida sunshine. Here come the round of eye-rolls, but I will say it: Gay Pride is a tired, outdated, boring embarrassment that's outlasted its usefulness or relevance. It's like drowning in a sea of unicorn vomit, engulfed in an air of false nostalgia, of a past not so remote that someone is trying to contraband as history.
But it's over... for another year it's over! Praise Jesus.