The most pronounced and visible part of a group is often seen as indicative of the whole, especially when it comes to social categories. Sometimes this is irrelevant but, when it comes to a particular subject relevant in June, it can be especially harmful.
I'm not proud of Pride month. It's the month where people pro-LGBT most easily forget to stand up for integrity, and grasp at any amount of validation they can get, even at the cost of real human respect. Attention is more important than building true, lasting effects in the world around us, it seems.
Here's where most people are either confused, or have accused me of pretending to be LGBT so I can corrupt people with my supposedly anti-LGBT opinions. If you have to look to Coca Cola, or the local travel agency's Pride float to feel valid, the community has failed you, and given ammunition to those who wish you would just be "normal." If the LGBT is only valid when supported by corporations and businesses, why should anyone consider it an innate part of the people around them? Pride only for the sake of showing off isn't real pride.
Pride started as a march, to show the public that the LGBT is made up of real people with real lives, goals, and needs. That people have a right to exist and be treated as anyone else. Modern American Pride Parade is a showcase of commercialism, pseudo-activism with hungry exhibitionism underneath, and no one is supposed to pull it apart to look inside because that's when you get called a homophobe, even if you're not straight.
Now is also when, if a reader is still with me, they tend to start asking about the attendees. What about the people who do, in fact, need whatever positivity they can get? What about the good parts?
Why can't the Pride Festivals be revamped to include only the good parts? Why must we tell people to ignore the virtue signaling and corporate sponsorship, because of the kids or otherwise unsupported who attend? It's mixing the message. Getting people to go along with commercialism because they're told they can't have the positive aspects without it. Classic marketing.
Having seen life both outside and inside the LGBT community, if it can really be called that, I do have a less common perspective on current events. It's often what gets me told to be quiet and sit down... by LGBT people. It's what prompted people in the past to tell me I'm lying so people will listen to me. The kind of thing that gets people told they don't belong in the "queer club" unless they can learn to support their "community," regardless of their reasons for disagreeing.
No, I'm not proud of pride. Until something changes, you shouldn't be, either. I'm not going to apologize for saying so. I prefer to turn my efforts to supporting people because they're people, not because of the flag they're wearing as a cape, or I've been convinced to go along with something because I want to feel included. Pride is about the people, not about advertising.
Pride isn't about doing your darndest to make people uncomfortable, because you know people are going to validate your lack of human decency and call your punching bag some type of -phobe. It isn't about taking your gender or sexuality and putting it at the forefront of your identity, to make up for your insecurity about the rest of your life. You exist. But other people do, too. Show the haters how much better you are, not because of your gender or sexuality, but because you refuse to stoop to their level and create artificial boxes to keep your associations "pure."
I'm not a part of the LGBT "community," though I fall into the LGBT category. I don't have to pull out my rainbow ID card to gain access to being treated respectfully, or have a right to be considered as well as anyone else.
There's too much polarization, and on purpose, and to the fault of people on both sides. It's not a homophobe or transphobe problem and, no, spiteful retaliation against what people can't change about themselves is never okay, no matter what that thing is.
You're not special just because you're not straight or cisgender. Companies in June in the United States make a lot of money by telling you that you are.
Take pride in existing. Use your influence for good. Show people that differences are a part of life. You matter because you're you, and you don't have to scramble for a qualifying term to set yourself apart. Descriptions can help quantify life experience, but they're too often used to manipulate people into going along with things because they want to feel like they matter.
And then they're told they don't matter without it.
True Pride should be teaching people that they are whole.
They don' t have to be part of the whole.
I'm proud of you for existing through all that you have.
I don't have to know if you're straight or not, because you deserve some pride either way.