Apparently during Pride in Toronto you can take tours. These tours include things like witnessing a same-sex marriage. Is it just me or does this feel like it’s one step away from reducing gays and lesbians to attractions at a themepark, or worse, a freakshow? How is making, literally, a spectacle of same-sex unions going to help? I suppose you could argue straights taking these tours are already converted to the cause, but it feels to me like anyone taking a tour of LGBT culture is coming at it from an “us and them” standpoint. Perhaps I’m unfairly imagining the tour being like something at Disneyland with people in costume performing skits of “everyday life in Gayville” at various stations the train stops at. Mr. Gay’s Wild Ride — take a swing through the happiest place on Earth!
This is the problem I have with Pride from a purely strategic standpoint. One hand is trying to convince the haters that gays and lesbians are just like them while the other is throwing a party that celebrates every negative (at least in the minds of homophobes) stereotype associated with the lifestyle. There’s a mixed message being communicated to the straight population. We want to be integrated in mainstream society with all the same rights, sharing the same values; and We’re nothing like your so-called “mainstream” society.
I feel changes in negative attitudes could be achieved quicker with a more unified messaging. But I also understand we’re not talking about a small, specific regional population with a unified identity such as Quebec. There can be no consensus about what “gay” means to everyone who identifies themselves as living somewhere under the rainbow.
But surely making same-sex marriage a fairground attraction is the wrong way to go about it.