This coming June it will be 40 years since the NY gays & lesbians decided to no longer tolerate suppression and to fight back at the Stonewall Inn. An episode that is commemorated to this day. The energy that was sparked during the riots in 1969 a year later led to the first gay march, celebrating gay pride for the first time - in public.
Nowadays Gay Parades are organized all over the world. In The Netherlands the first 'official' so-called Pink Saturday was held in 1978. Traditionally a gay parade is part of the festivities during that day.
This year The Hague will host Pink Saturday, in 2010 it is my home town's turn, when Pink Saturday is coming to Amersfoort. Looking at history, at first I was somewhat disappointed to find that we will miss the 40 year mark since Stonewall. But realizing that it really took until 1970 to turn outrage into PRIDE, I feel good about our timing.
But however logical it sounds, organizing a gay parade has become a controversial issue. In the past decades gay parades have evolved into, some say, a banale and often provocative showing of flesh, a carnaval that does not appeal to all, and not to all gays either. Some even loathe the fact that the parades give such a one-sided view of the gay community. To show that the gay world is more than that, to be taken serious by the outside world, it is argumented that it is about time we are done with them.
The Hague is leading the way. This year's Pink Saturday will see no parade. Pink Saturday will be a serious event with a program that is loaded with political debate and cultural venues.
But what happened to the energy that was the basis for all gay movements that we see today? What is wrong about celebrating, and showing the pride to be what and who you are, even today?
Let's have a good old-fashioned gay pride parade in Amersfoort! Let's show the world that the gay community is as diverse as any .... And let's challenge the straight world to see more than the - by now 'traditional' - glitter & leather. With press coverage always zooming in on the naked bodies and outrageous outfits, let's give 'em some real news: glitter, leather AND MORE.
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