Another late entry, but there are reasons behind this. This post is going to encompass themes I cover on most posting days, so I thought it best to get all my thoughts together and of course experience Pride In London first hand before I could properly write about it.
So. Saturday was the big Pride Parade in London, which I got to be a part of as a marcher rather than a spectator. There were lots of mixed emotions going on for me on that day. Fear, due to recent attacks on London, awe due to the sheer amount of people cheering and waving as I walked past and… There was a little bit of anger and disgust there too.
The latter was due to some of the spectators making me ( and others ) feel like zoo exhibits. I noted one other trans guy in the parade ( there were likely many others, but he was the only one Visible as he had taken his shirt off and his scars could be seen ) and he was definitely a point of curiosity for those watching the parade.
Many people called him over, or just shouted questions at him. A lot of people took photos and pointed him out to their friends. I had been considering taking my own shirt off at Pride, but I decided against it when I caught sight of a woman screwing up her face in disgust and mimed puking as the other trans guy passed by.
Pride is supposed to be for us. For those who fall under the LGBTQ. Not for cis straight people to come and have a good look at us. As the day went on it felt more and more like it wasn’t for us at all. It catered to cis het people who wanted to have a big party and feel like they were doing a spot of activism without having to do anything at all.
Things got worse still when I headed out to the clubs that night. Gangs of straight girls squealing and pointing at gay men kissing. Straight couples taking over the dark little hidden corners. Tourists coming to peer into our safe haven and treating it like a day at the circus.
I have been trying to write this post on and off since the early hours of Sunday morning ( 3am to be exact when I staggered back home a bit worse for wear ) and all it keeps coming back to again and again is that I’m not sure if I’ll be doing Pride again next year. They had that terrible mistake with those awful posters, the organisation was terrible, we spent most of our time being herded like cattle and being shown off to the straight tourists. And a problem that happens over and over again – it was very white and very cis.
It felt less like a march and a statement of pride and more like being paraded around for the amusement of those who have no idea what it’s like to live in fear. Who don’t know how difficult it can be being part of the LGBTQ.
If this post seems tired and bitter and angry it’s because I am. This is the only marker on our calender that we can call our own, and now it seems we can’t even do that. I am tired of having to perform my sexuality and in some cases my gender for people who just came out for a party and don’t even know the slightest thing about our history.
Anyway, I’m done. I’m done.
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