Prides are some of the most vibrant and fun places on Earth

Upon first reading this article, I was absolutely irate at the gall of the author. I thought to myself, “How dare he say such jaded and false things?” and left a short and snide comment. As the day wore on, my mind kept returning to this article, and I became determined to clearly demonstrate where the bitter queen went wrong by penning the trash published on Facebook.

Pride is a momentous and grand occasion and we should be absolutely elated that it has become such a widespread phenomenon.

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which is a vital part of LGBT history and culture. By the 1980’s this marvel we call “Pride” was occurring in such far flung places as Russia, The Middle East, and Nepal which was vital in helping spread awareness to the Aids crisis occurring globally at the time. This year, Obama officially declared June to be LGBT Pride Month in a presidential proclamation. If that’s not progress Mr. Angelo, I don’t know what is.

Pride remains and shall always be relevant. Stonewall is always spoken about in both speeches and among the crowds in reverence. This is our history and it passes from generation to generation. Pride also serves as a show of numbers. The festivals show the local communities how many LGBT people and supporters there really are in their area.

This is our visibility, our million-man march. It also serves as a welcoming and accepting group of people for the youth to join and look up to. Most people’s first pride is a deeply meaningful and defining experience. More importantly, Pride serves as a stage to address current issues. Our fight is far from over. We have still yet to obtain rights for transgender individuals, LGBT rights in the workplace in many states, adoption rights, and obviously basic civil rights in other countries around the globe such as Uganda and Russia. We care for and celebrate our community Mr. Angelo. We have Pride to prove that we are unashamed.

You state “Prides have become a business, a way for corporations to take the rainbow dollar.” If a corporation has a booth that generally means they paid a fee to be there which in turn helps to put on the festival in the first place. Secondly, if the gays want the product being offered, be it insurance, solar panels, trinkets, art, or jewelry, why not let them have the opportunity to buy it? I have seen many unique and creative things at Pride such as handmade jewelry by gay artisans, art featuring male physique or same-sex love scenes (a rare find), or even corporations who were offering same sex couples things like life insurance benefitting their partners long before such policies were commonplace. If our community doesn’t want the products being offered, they just won’t purchase it.

You called Pride “stale and unimaginative.” This statement couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. Prides are some of the most vibrant and fun places on Earth. They are so colorful and full of laughter. Pride is the time where everyone goes “all out” from drag queens to go-go boys. It’s like gay Christmas!

You said “the admissions price is a rip off.” Great Prides, or large events of any sort, must be funded. The talent must be paid. There are several other expensive factors to consider like security, portable toilets, fences, permits, etc. That admission fee is each individual’s small, personal contribution to the revelry and delight of the day. If you want a free show, go see Dame Edna tell the same jokes at The Alibi every Monday night, or listen to Jennifer McClain attempt to hit notes far out of her range while she guzzles fireball. That small fee ensures quality, safety, and cleanliness for all the participants.

What really bothers me the most Mr. Angelo is that this article was written by you. You are one of the owners of the South Florida Gay News which is actually a sponsor of Pride Fort Lauderdale! I’m assuming that your ownership of the paper is the only possible reason that this garbage masquerading as a news article was even published online. More importantly, as the owner of one of the top and most widely distributed gay papers in the country, you should be a leader and a pillar of the community who champions our cause. You most certainly shouldn’t be smearing it with “unicorn vomit!”  

You happen to be a man of influence and considerable wealth with the means and connection to actually address some of the issues you claim exist. Instead, you’ve chose to whine and spread your bitterness and hypocrisy all over the Internet for the world to see. If you are unhappy with our community, perhaps you should take your sad and bitter self to Tropics with the rest of your moaning and groaning, near-dead contemporaries and complain into your cold plate of mediocre food.

You, sir, should be ashamed of yourself while the rest of us continue to have PRIDE.

— Tyler Bastys