Sunday, September 30, 2007
our first gay pride in durham.
there are two events, or non-events, that i found most disturbing about gay pride in durham... a few things that i found less disturbing... and some things that i found endearing and quite moving. i'm going to explain, in that order, to the best of my ability.
first... the protestors.
it is not at all shocking for there to be religion-based protests at any LGBT event. i think i can safely say that we, as a group of people that continuously have the "words of God" thrown in our faces, we have developed a united face of indifference & amusement. however, for myself, and maybe for some others, i find this to be a mask. and yesterday i could not keep my mask up. it is so extremely offensive to me that these protesters USE the one time a year that we as a people, and here in durham a people with NO RIGHTS & PROTECTIONS, UNITE TO CELEBRATE, as a tool in their misguided projects of religious zealotry.
what got to me yesterday was the PREACHER W A MEGAPHONE, the white PREACHER with his African American Congregation... many of them under the age of ten... standing across the street from our Parade starting point... going on some long long long tirade about Gender. Apparently we are just confused... we think we are MEN... THAT'S why we want to FUCK WOMEN! and if we just realize, through God's love... and his amazing logic.. that we are WOMEN... we will want to FUCK MEN.
i started photographing them. applauding them. i wanted to make THEM the spectacle. i wanted to actually throw rocks at the preacher and save the children. but mostly, it broke my heart, a little, to be demonized.
but sir... i don't think i'm a MAN at all! i am a woman who loves to FUCK WOMEN. so that means GOD and i are okay, right?
it became so infuriating... to be made this spectacle... and then the flip.
the actual parade seemed to be geared completely towards NORMALIZING us... straight-washing us.
o, hey, look straight citizens of Durham... we aren't deviant... no no no... we are JUST LIKE YOU. there were more churches in the parade than anything else.
fire with fire?
and imagine what it would be like to be Transgendered in the place... i really can't imagine. i can try... i do try... but it just makes me cry.
even with all that... and more that i'm forgetting, right now, in my fury...
it is a very sweet parade.
a lot of people. a lot.
i saw JD from Le Tigre walking around... there was the Cowboy from the Village People... hehe.
and we walked around for three hours. and went home. and that was it.
no dyke march. no drunken party in the streets. no DRINKING AT ALL in the streets. no running around the castro looking for BJ's. no naked women running around with dildos... NO NAKED ANYBODY.
about 15 drag queens. MR. GAY. no MS. Dyke though. don't know why.
[dykes on bikes.]
a ton of gay families.
am i disappointed? a little. i mean... i'm missing the Bay Area. i'm missing being one of a very large & identifiable group. i'm missing my freedom of movement.
the things is... there's a lot i can do here. to make things better for myself. and maybe there wasn't so much left to do in San Francisco. but here... there's tons. like... even adding gay bashing as a hate crime.
there is also tons to do in Poetry. [there is one Poetry teacher at Duke. they don't teach Poetry. really. they don't.]
and for Dogs... [ high kill shelters, unneutered pitbulls running rampant, chained up dogs everywhere]
so maybe in the 5 or 6 years that i am here i can do something about these things that disturb me greatly.
and maybe Durhamites won't take it so personally when i notice these things... because it isn't all yr fault Durham... you are an amazing city with an amazing capacity to LOVE artists & queers...
YR LAWS MUST CHANGE &
DUKE MUST TEACH MORE POETRY.