For part one, go here: https://www.blackbirdparlor.com/blog-1/2018/06/09/the-gay-gimmick
Last year, you may have read some things here about the phenomenon known as Pride Month, particularly the events known as Pride Parades. I don't aim to make it any secret what I believe about the sensationalism, commercialism, and "Us. vs. Them So You'd Better Pick Us" that's showing up in larger and larger streaks in the LGBT community, if it can be called that any longer.
And so here I am again, still existing to annoy and intrigue people with saying what I think needs to be said.
I grew up in a time and place that made it clear to me, if I turned out to be anything other than straight and cisgender, it was a conscious choice, and therefore I deserved to burn in Hell. Over time, that mixed in with the message that I might also be mentally incompetent, and needed to be taught a lesson about Godly Sanity, particulary through the avenues of financial and psychological abuse. I've been lied to, about, and manipulated and stolen from in ways I can never fully undo.
I know what it's like. Usually, after I say what I'm about to say, people accuse me of faking it for the attention, so I can get people to listen to me. I've been told I'm worthless just as much from the LGBT population as I've been told from the Conservative Christian Party.
There's more overlap in practice than people want to accept.
The LGBT has problems of its own, unrelated to what people outside of it do to harm the community. And yet, somehow, it's never the fault of individuals perpetuating them. All reactions are covered under Universal Tolerance, except for pointing anything out that makes The Community(tm) look less than perfect.
Because it's never us, is it?
Never anything we need to change, and get a new perspective on?
All our problems are always the fault of people who hate our guts, it could never be anything we contribute to?
Several months ago, I angered an extended family member - a gay woman. In retaliation, she outed me in public, arguing that because I had a problem with it, I was ashamed of myself. The woman financially and socially secure in being out of the closet told me that there's no possible way or reason I could be private about my identity, and still be proud of myself.
I went to her other family members, and let them know what happened. I was told to suck it up, and stop being so whiny -- the same people who condemned the treatment I had at the hands of my previous community.
I learned several years ago about the movement to remove gender dysphoria from the requirements of being classified as transgender and, therefore, from insurance coverage for people who need it to survive. I will now and always argue against that contradiction -- and the vast majority of people who hear me also tell me that I need to stop being transphobic to say transgender people have a demonstrable disconnect with the gender they were assigned.
At least one physical LGBT "support" group has shouted me down and banned me for saying this mentality is a problem, and then went on to say people like me are just trying to shout over people. I've been told I want people to hate themselves before they're allowed to have their identity, and I'm not allowed to contradict it, because they already "saw through" me.
I've also, over the last few years, learned about another philosophy that because asexual people aren't gay or bisexual, they're not part of the LGBT - in the same breath as people acknowledge they aren't heterosexual. The same types of people are often those who go on about because certain people "look straight" or have "straight passing privilege," they aren't welcome at Pride. Only people who pass a threshold of personally visible oppression are allowed to be proud of themselves, apparently.
In the same vein, people who insist that BDSM should be a prominent fixture of Pride festivals, right up next to the Asexual department, and in front of people who are trying to learn more about what being "queer" really means day-to-day.
More people who insist that a biologically female "demigirl" is LGBT because she doesn't "feel like a full girl," but still identifies as one. The transgender men who identify fully as men, but still call themselves lesbian. The movement to accept words not currently within the English language as pronouns, and cry discrimination when they're questioned or not instantly assimilated. "They" is apparently oppressive to someone who is neither male nor female, now.
People who claim "gender fluid" is a separate identity, and depends on their view of themselves on any given day, sending the message that you can treat Gender Dysphoria like a mood or poor self esteem, or even as a culturally contextual gender. Every last person I've asked for a definition from has explained it as either fluctuating dysphoria (as we all know, the human mood and condition never fluctuates), or a mixture of culturally gendered tastes that influence gender expression.
Raise your hand if you've ever been told you're just a cross-dresser, or not conventionally expressing your assigned gender, not really the gender you say, because I have. I've also been told that gender is an invention to oppress people, and nothing that you would ever physically feel unless someone made you feel bad about it.
And I know I've lost a lot of readers already, because these things are more and more common. The problems are ramping up, the more exposure, and the more acceptance things get, because more people are at least willing to entertain the idea that straight and cisgender isn't the default. This is good, but people are leaving discernment at the door, all because they want to join the party.
Questions and dissent are a threat. You're not a Good Queer unless you're nonthreatening to anyone but outright bigots. You may even be called a "faker" if you question people too much, and be put on an internally circulated list of Nazis and Pedophiles for being so gosh darn unsafe with your intellect.
This is why, increasingly, I'm avoiding consistent contact with the LGBT, in addition to conservative spirituality. Neither are my community.
Pride is good. Especially when you've been told that being gay, bi, trans, or asexual is something to be ashamed of.
But if you perpetuate the things that bigotry homes in on as an excuse to call the LGBT worthless, and then complain that they use those things to call the LGBT worthless, you're due for some serious reflection. Harm isn't justified. Ignorance isn't, either.
But if your boat is sinking because of the holes you put in it, don't blame the water.
Pride is good.
Self importance is not.