What you said about what we said last week
For the past three years, Washington City Paper has published an issue around D.C.’s Pride Week to celebrate, critique, document, and talk about the city’s LGBTQ community. This year’s Gay Issue featured standout writing and photography by staff and freelancers. In response to Arts Editor Christina Cauterucci’s critique of the corporatization of Pride, readers basically fell into one of two camps: “RIP Pride” or “Deal With It.”
Steve, repping the first group, seconded Cauterucci’s basic premise: “Yes, this Pride Parade used to be a blast but now its the wrong type of drag. Hetero girls primpin’, get their drinks on like its Oktoberfest; every animal rescue and dentist in town has a parade car/van; the entire DC Council shows up to politick. What happened to the crazy days? Damn, I miss that shit!” Ugh, seriously. And don’t even get us started on the drunk animal dentists primpin’ their politicks from their vans.
But Rock Creek Werewolf raised a very fair point: How do you pay for Pride if not with big, corporate bucks? And what’s the harm? “Anyone who dislikes the corporate sponsorship of D.C.’s pride parade and festival is more than welcome to donate the tens of thousands of dollars required to provide the necessary road closures, fencing, outreach and organization to the 100’s of LGBT orgs and performing groups that participate, advertising, website management, bathroom and sanitation, waste removal, and police and private security (made even more important in the wake of events like the Boston Marathon bombing).” Oh shit, Rock Creek just raised the dual specter of terror targeting and waste removal.
Not to be outdone, Shetler Somerset appeared to Not Get It: “Back then, as I do now, I believed that businesses marching alongside gays was a sign of success. I thought: Isn’t that what the entire gay rights movement was about? What does the gay establishment really want? To be accepted or ignored? To be a part of the American machine, or part of Cuba? You can’t have your cake and eat it to. No wonder more and more Americans believe gay rights is about privilege and not acceptance.” You hear that, gays? You and your queer cake will find yourselves in Cuba if you keep nagging the hegemony for stuff!
That’s Not Gay Enough
In response to our Loose Lips column on the absence of any out gay Councilmembers, LMNOP had a sharp rebuke: “Either this was written by and for straight people who want to feel good about how liberal they are – and/or – our city’s gay advocates have been courted so hard by straight CMs that they forgot the importance of being in the room and at the table.” Rick Rosendall, the very GLAA president whom LL interviewed for the piece, replied, “To clarify, I’m not particularly worried about discrimination in jury selection. I just mentioned that the issue is one of the items being tracked by the State Equality Index put out by the Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Federation. DC has already checked the boxes on almost everything else. The DC Council is expected to legalize surrogate parenting agreements this year, and to adopt LGBTQ cultural competency standards for licensed healthcare providers.” And that is this week’s master class in giving everyone something to disagree about. Happy Pride Week, everyone!