No more wet woodies at Dallas Pride. And our world came crashing down.

Some folks are up in arms that erections in wet underwear, among other examples of “lewd” behavior, are no longer permitted at the Dallas, Texas Gay/LGBT Pride parade taking place this weekend.

Apparently, Stonewall was all about your right to sport a wet woody in public.

The Dallas police reportedly told a Pride meeting that, unlike in previous years, they were finally drawing the line at public nudity and lewdness.

And people freaked.

Gay Pride NYC, 2010. gary718 / Shutterstock.com

Gay Pride NYC, 2010. gary718 / Shutterstock.com

From the Dallas Voice:

London Gay Pride, 2013. Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock.com

London Gay Pride, 2013. Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock.com

Daniel Cates, an independent activist formerly affiliated with GetEQUAL TX, brought the controversy to many people’s attention when he posted a scathing critique on Facebook of the “new rules,” which he alleged were fueled by an “increasing number of attending heterosexuals and corporate sponsorship[s].”

“The ‘queer’ is effectively being erased from our Pride celebration in favor of the most polished, heteronormative representation of our community as possible,” Cates wrote. “It should be noted that the rioters at the Stonewall Inn fought to break OUT of the damn closet! Our movement was built of sex positivity and our desire to BE WHO WE ARE! I urge you ALL to openly DEFY the Tavern Guild!”

Well, I think sexual positivity – meaning, among other things, flashing your boner in public – was the basis of the movement for some, perhaps many, back in 1969.  I also think, however, that a lot of us no longer define a positive sexual attitude as flashing the neighbor’s kid during a parade.

Sorry, maybe I didn’t make clear that the wet erection story is real.  The cops say it happened a few years ago on a float during Dallas Pride.

NYC Pride, 2010. redswept / Shutterstock.com

NYC Pride, 2010. redswept / Shutterstock.com

I’ve never understood the need to get naked (literally, or virtually) during Pride parades.  DC’s parade this year had one float with a quite well-hung young man sporting some quite loose underwear, or a thong, and jumping up and down so his d*ck would flop 180 degrees up and down for the audience.  And while I would have loved the show in the privacy of my home, I found it inappropriate for a public parade, and I have a difficult time understand the connection between our fight for civil rights and that idiot on the float.

I got involved in gay politics 20 years ago in order to win the right to serve in the military, have a job, and get married, among others.  It had nothing to do with public nudity – and public nudity, IMHO, has very little to do with the closet. We never argued that our right to “be who we are” meant anything goes – again, at least that doesn’t strike me as the prevailing sentiment nowadays.

Now, having said that, our own Chris Andoe has written several polemical posts about San Francisco’s ban on public nudity in the Castro, and how Chris sees this as part of a larger ma-and-apple-pie gentrification of what was once ground zero for gay San Francisco, and gay America.  So Chris may, or may not, disagree with me about the larger issue of Pride nudity – and I don’t really disagree with him about the Castro – if you go to the Castro, you know what you’re getting.

But I’ve just never understood the need to get naked and, yes, be lewd at Pride parades.  I’m open to a good explanation of how this links back to our civil rights, but I’ve not heard a good one yet.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Indigo

    Or, as I point out from time to time, the 20th century is not yet dead. I’m a little impatient about that too. I say it’s time to “pull the plug!”

  • neroden

    Kids are not usually bothered by nudity, they just think it’s goofy. It’s adults who freak out.

  • neroden

    The Mayberry / Stepford Wives thing has been going on for a long time, actually. It’ll blow apart, but *before* it blows apart, we’re going to see a replay of the 19*10s*.

    That was different. That was a period of social change when the people doing the change — such as the women fighting for the right to vote — were not willing to settle for “live and let live”, but were intent on changing *everyone’s* views. We’re in that period right now, and don’t you forget it. We’re going to win.

  • neroden

    Sane jurisdictions generally stick with the “genitals must be covered” rule and leave it at that.

  • neroden

    One of my favorite slogans was “Sex is a part of life. Be prepared.”

    (thx Planned Parenthood.)

  • neroden

    New York is way mellower about nudity than Texas.

    Of course, New York has topless equality; no sex discrimination allowed in clothing law in New York.

  • neroden

    That was a really, really, really dumb move by the Pride Board. I mean, they didn’t have to select Manning in the first place, but overriding the committee… really dumb move. Manning is an actual political prisoner who revealed government crimes, and anything smacking of “we’re going along with the McCarthyists” is a VERY dumb move by the Pride Board.

  • neroden

    Pretty much true — erections happen (often with no intention), people should get over it.

    I draw the line at touching or threatening or being invasive with noise.
    As for things you don’t want to *see*? You all have eyelids, you can close ‘em.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You are right in general. In SF it is a major family event, along with all the often bizzaro fun stuff. It’s normative in our city.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Get yer fiddle tuned sourpuss.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Same here! “there were neither pill box hats nor white gloves to be seen for years.” OMG, The union Square, Saks, Blume’s and lunch at the Palace crowd. Hi Mom! :-)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Well, you do play a Strat rather than a Guarnieri, which might indicate you prefer control over passion.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You crabby downies have absolutely no sense of humor. Sour old prudes.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Exactly—in Sf at least. The whole city, everybody who comes there for fun and enjoyment. Several million people can’t be wrong.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It sure was.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    LOL! :-)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Worse that dick dangles in parades in Texas, is the regressive educational systems that turn the children into barely literate morons.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Interesting that—-a down arrow for praising advances in just law for our communities. Maybe Church lady is having a secret thrill visit today. :-)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    If the prude fits—-drape it.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    In SF anyway it’s about fun, passion, celebration and joy——for the entire city.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Well for one, hooters isn’t a street festival but the ads are everywhere. Two, it’s what some would consider to be over-the-top exhibitionism. Just because you don’t actually see the breasts doesn’t mean it’s not both of those things.

  • mirror

    LOL. No one takes their child to a Pride Parade to “expose her kid to the gay rights movement.” The history, meaning, and importance of gay civil rights is primarily going to be taught in the home, as well as in interactions between and with other gay and straight headed families in their community institutions. It is an ongoing process that continues through adolescence and beyond. I watched a tv show about Stonewall with my son and he thought I was crazy when I started tearing up. Sometimes the courage of the moment just wells up in ordinary people and it is very inspiring. Today, the vanguard of the LGTB movement is in PTSA meetings, unions, the class room, the work place, the military, Little League, etc., not that moment of embarrassment when your in-laws, coworker, or congressman sees a photo of butt cheeks at a Pride Parade and you worry what they might imagine you were doing last Saturday.

  • worfington

    You’re being far too literal here. There are people saying that pride parades have to become more conservative lest they damage what progress has been made and diminish further progress.
    But are the parades more outrageous now than in the past? Here in Seattle, they’re already more tame than they used to be. Other than the mayor and assorted city councilpersons leading the way, there is little political about it. There are corporate sponsors, lots of advertising and the clubs rake in cash hand over fist, but it really isn’t in any way a celebration of otherness as it once was. So why the big freak out now over some guys in assless chaps or wet underwear? They’ve always been in the parades. Always.
    I get the argument that gay culture shouldn’t be defined by decadence. But here’s the rub – it isn’t. It is also defined by people like John, and lots of professional teachers, doctors, lawyers, artists, etc. who are out and gay. I just don’t buy that one day of excess ruins it for those who by their nature prefer to act in a more normative manner.

  • mark_in_toronto

    Hey, it’s Texas . . . what do you expect?

  • mirror

    Isn’t that what they want in Russia – “Pretend not to exist for us.”

  • mirror

    karmanot: I’ve seen some down arrows in this thread that are very mysterious to me.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Sorry down arrow about rejecting you in the bushes during those days.

  • mirror

    The strongest argument against John’s prudishness is Stonewall’s impact and how it sparked the gay rights movement to very successfully transcend the suit and tie crowd politely picketing in the street. To win his argument, he has to de-sexualize Stonewall.

    The right to be a full sexual being is at the core of the gay civil rights movement. Never forget that there WERE places where gay people were accepted, primarily the celibate priesthood and monastery – a place in society if you promised to not be a sexual being. I would say that proudly and exuberantly celebrating ones existence as a sexual being isn’t needed anymore if no one was afraid to come of the closet now in the United States and inspiration was no longer needed.

    I think it is reasonable to argue against nudity at Pride Parades. It is shameful and disrespectful to remake history and strip the sexual nature from those who fought back at Stonewall and those who were inspired by them.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We certainly grateful that you would cover your dick and ass in public.

  • Wilberforce

    Give it up darling. The people you’re arguing are full of internalized homophobia, and they want to get naked in public in order to sabotage our movement.
    It’s the same as when they told us to ignore hiv in the 80s, as they have ignored the spread for the last 30 years. Self hatred and self destructiveness come from the oppression we all suffer. And they have been major parts of our community since day one. But they remain un-addressed by the ghetto crowd.
    These are emotional problems, which can’t be fixed with reason.

  • doug105

    Gawd had his hands full all those staving kids he’s not feeding.

  • Indigo

    That’s exactly what the alpha (monied) gays told Harvey Milk when they refused to support his candidacy.

  • Marlin Earl Bynum

    You said, “Stonewall was a fight to assemble in public spaces without fear of being beaten and arrested by police.”

    You have far too narrowly defined the whole movement and its fallout. That is like saying the American Revolution was about giving rich white men governmental power. It was that, but became much more, including queer rights, which include the right to stretch cultural norms whether it be a man dressed as a woman, wear leather, have a slave master relationship, redefine marriage, live as a bisexual in a polyamorous relationship, live as a gender queer person, live as a person in transition from one gender to another by your own definition (hormonally and surgically), live with marriage, or without marriage, live without sexual desire, or have multiple sexual partners, or live your sexual orientation to its fullest.

    Our fear of judgement from those who are more “more normal” is the greatest threat to our movement. People have always been arrested and oppressed for pushing the boundaries of society. Women were arrested for voting – a sin against God and cultural norms. African Americans have been arrested for trying to eat a meal – a crime that was offensive to society.

  • NCMan

    Where have I proposed celibacy? Can you point to that? What does being against public nudity have to do with celibacy? Is this just another of your straw men arguments? It would appear that you would never be satisfied with equal rights for gays unless it included freedom to engage in public nudity and public sex acts.

    How about we just go for equality. Then those of you in the LGBT community who want to advocate for total hedonism can join up with those in the straight community advocating for the same and work on that together as a separate movement.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Yet, and when they do, you’ll side with them on that too. It’s the logical extension of your position.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    It’s a historical reference to the homophile movement and quite relevant to this debate.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Maybe you could cut the arrogant attitude if you want a response.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    It was John who brought up Stonewall, which also wasn’t about marriage, adoption, employment, or lots of things.

  • NCMan

    there is no reference is what worfington said. Dallas is banning nudity and he takes that to mean a requirement for suits and ties???? I think I understand history just fine. you’re the one that keeps talking about straw men. Well the huge leap to suit and tie is a huge straw man.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    We complain about the right defining as *nothing more* than a sex act. We do not pretend that there is no sexual component to *sexual* orientation. It would appear that you’d be satisfied with equal rights for gays as long as they remained celibate.

  • Indigo

    Every decade redefines itself and this one is no exception. We’re seeing a taste for the Mayberry Fixation, conforming at all costs. Remember how prissy the early 60’s were? and then . . . kablam! . . . it blew apart and there were neither pill box hats nor white gloves to be seen for years. It’s actually fun to watch how those cycles replay themselves. Just be sure to keep a safe distance because when the Mayberry Fixation blows apart, there’s a horrible splatter effect. I know that sounds mean but I have no time for the fashionable hypocrisies.

  • NCMan

    the quotes are meant to denote that sexual orientation does not equate to sexual activity. isn’t that what we always complain about the right wing doing to us? defining us as nothing more than a sex act?

  • NCMan

    This whole thread is about wanting the right to parade down the street nude. Bringing up Stonewall, which had nothing to do with public nudity, was the strawman and it wasn’t me who brought it up. It was karmanot.

  • NCMan

    Because I’m talking about Marlin Earl Bynum’s expanded definition of sexual freedom which comes down to a celebration of hedonism of all sorts and is not unique to anything LGBT.

    And, I don’t know why you and Marlin are insisting that Stonewall was about the right to public nudity when it clearly wasn’t.

  • NCMan

    The position I’m promoting is that no one needs to parade down the street in the nude. Maybe it would be better if you explained your position that banning nudity has something to do leathermen and transgender people. Maybe you could just answer the question you were asked.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    If you think Lawrence v. Texas was an equality decision, I suggest you go read it. It wasn’t. It was a sexual liberty decision. But perhaps you preferred Justice O’Connor’s separate opinion based on equality, the opinion that would have left more than half the existing sodomy laws in place, including those of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Georgia, because they technically applied to straight sodomy too.

    Oh, BTW, Lawrence is understood as also having struck down criminal laws banning straight people from having pre-marital sex.

  • NCMan

    that’s right, the equality to engage in adult consensual sexual relationships in the same manner as straight people can. Now, go back and re-read what Marlin Earl Bynum is talking about when he uses the term “sexual freedom” and you will see he is talking about destroying societal norms, fighting against heteronormativity, celebrating bodily freedom and nudity. None of that has anything to do with Lawrence v Texas. None of that has anything to do with Stonewall or the origins of the LGBT movement.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Our movement has succeeded at a breathtakingly rapid pace beyond anything anyone could have predicted in 1970. Objective observers are astonished at the speed of change. The fear that some overt sexuality at pride parades will destroy the movement has proved baseless.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Who the hell is elevating anything to the pinnacle of who we are and what we’re fighting for? Total straw man.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Since no one has said this issue is more important than the right of assembly in public places, you’re knocking down a straw man.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    You really need to learn some gay history.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    You apparently don’t understand the history and implications of the position you’re promoting.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    LOL! Yeah, when Lawrence took his conviction for criminal sodomy to the Supreme Court, it had nothing to do with sexual freedom. Give me a break!

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Q.E.D.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    On the contrary, I’m taking your argument to its logical conclusion, and I’m basing it 40 years of experience with this attitude of straight-acting, gender-appropriate conservative gays trying to blame their oppression on other gays not be conformist enough. At the end of the day, that cock in your ass means you’ll never be conformist enough either.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    You mean you don’t even know what you’re hear lecturing us all about? OMG

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Congrats on having nothing useful to say because you know the Tavern Guild has gone beyond what the police required.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    And all you ever do is post:

    “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaaaaaa! I’m calling the teacher!”

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Says you because that’s what you want.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Please identify who it was who gave you the power to define the entire movement for all of us. If you’re unaware of the sexual freedom thread that runs through the history of the movement, that’s your lack of knowledge. And since we’re talking about sexuality, you can keep your NOM-inspired quotation marks.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Hmm. So it’s tyranny when you see any expressive activity in public that you haven’t consented to see?

    What you seem to have a dream about is having the entire movement fashioned around servicing your own interests.

    Keep your sexphobia in the privacy of your own home. It’s offensive to see.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    God, I love you. :-)

  • NCMan

    I know what Stonewall was. And, it had nothing to do with fighting for the right for public nudity. Stonewall was not a fight for hedonism. Stonewall was a fight for the right to assemble in public spaces without fear of being beaten and arrested by the police. It’s a little more important than the oppression of having to cover your dick and ass in a public parade.

  • xumatthew

    This is an interesting conversation. As a gay man with a husband and son, we have always taken our son to the parade. And while we do live in St. Louis and our pride parade is rather tame, I’ve been to the NYC pride parade and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my son to that one either. I guess there is a line for me with regards to full nudity, but a speedo or buttless chaps…who cares? My son is 14 now. He loves the drag queens, he’s bored by all the corporate marchers, and he rolls his eyes at the boys in speedos. I don’t think anything he has seen is damaging. And honestly, if it was just corporations and churches and groups marching- I wouldn’t go. It would just be boring (it’s already headed this direction). I don’t go to any other parades in St. Louis other than Pride and Mardi Gras. And I haven’t taken my son to Mardi Gras because of the drinking and obnoxious people. The outline of a penis…dear god…half the population has one. I just don’t understand…

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Whenever someone insists on using the word “queer” instead of gay or
    LGBT you can be sure they are more interested in anarchy than in
    equality” If it weren’t for anarchy there wouldn’t be equality. Brush up Stonewall and Act Up and get back to us.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Me either, you have to further into Virginia to have that thrill. “Parades are the pinnacle of who we are”, in my opinion—-legislative law is the only true marker of who we are and the closer we achieve full equality that pinnacle becomes normative. We have made enormous strides toward that goal(s) in my lifetime. Parades are about theater these days. I celebrate the outrageous, the dissident, the free bohemian artistry of street theater and exhibitionism. I am however a rather conservative presentable old man these days and haven’t flopped anything in public since my debut on Fire Island forty years ago. :-)

  • NCMan

    I don’t think it was ever about sex. The first prides were political protests fighting for the right to not be beaten and arrested for being who we are. It wasn’t about nudity. It wasn’t about sex. And, it’s gay pride, not queer pride. Whenever someone insists on using the word “queer” instead of gay or LGBT you can be sure they are more interested in anarchy than in equality. Nothing in all of that sexual revolution / radically different / etc, etc, etc is specific to being gay or LGBT. There are just as many, if not more, straight people advocating for that. As I said, that advocating for hedonism, not gay rights.

  • Marlin Earl Bynum

    You said, “The LGBT movement is not about ‘sexual’ freedom.”

    For me it about exactly that. It is about celebrating the reality of each of us a sexual creatures. Human society, especially through false religions and moralities, have worked diligently to destroy the free expression of our natural selves. The sodomy laws are literally about sexual freedom. Lawrence v Texas is about sexual and body freedom. Do others, the government, have the right to enter your sex life? The natural marriage people are not upset that we are creating legal unions. They are angry that we are men having sex with men. Gay teachers like me are loosing our jobs, because we come out publicly, because people are angry because I have sex with men in my private life.

    By extension, the shame that these laws and ideas bring upon us as individuals and as a community are not based in reality, but in lies and untruths. If you don’t want to celebrate a holiday in a way others do, then don’t do that. I as an atheist, don’t bow down and worship a baby Jesus, during the winter holiday season, but I don’t demand others don’t. Being queer is about breaking sexual and shame barriers. We should push the limit do society, because that is how we gain freedoms. My nudity harms no one, but is only offensive in your mind. In the same way there are people who will get sick seeing me kiss a man I am with.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    How about dismissing you…” I no prude, but….”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Some of us are habitually habituated to cultural terrorism. Anyone who is respectable pass the age of 60—-missed the 60’s.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Exactly. Just imagine the horror of someone flopping about at the all you can eat Wendy’s Buffet. So inappropriate!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Nah, I covered that already.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    rothfl……

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    6 year olds have boners? How can you tell? You are talking about the straight family gentrified Castro of these days? Catch up. It ain’t that way anymore—unfortunately.

  • Marlin Earl Bynum

    It is about more, but not only. Queerness is about being different. After living for forty-two years under the lies of oppression, I now know as a fifty-year-old man the reality of sexual rules and oppression. Being queer is about demeaning the right to be radically different. Queer Pride should celebrate our sexual revolution that should include the freedom to be nude if we want. Nudity is an expression of who we are. Look at how women are told they can’t show their breasts, but men van flap theirs all over the place. This is the same kind of oppression. It is an outside morality oppressing those who want to celebrate their queerness. My nudity, or lack there-of will not give you any smells that you have to take with you, much less cancer -what a silly metaphor. We are the ONLY species on the planet that have shame about our bodies, and our sexual lives. It is hypocrisy of the highest kind for us to claim it is okay to be gay because over 400 species have gay activity, but then claim we can’t be naturally seen, because 100% of all species that I know of dont wear clothes. The queer movement is literally about braking the rules of society, and allowing people to become all they are. There may be places and times for different norms, but a gay pride celebration should NEVER be about oppressing people’s power and differences.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Ask Dallas Metropolitan Churches to pray the wood away?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I don’t recall seeing them at the 1963 March on Washington :) The difference is whether we elevate this behavior as the pinnacle of who we are and more importantly what we stand for, why we are fighting, why we are here.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And the irony is that we’ve struggled for years with prejudice in part because people think we want to slap our dicks around in public in front of children.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    What bullshit, All kinds of folks come to the SF Pride parades because they are fun, otherwise they stay home. The old Sister Mary Nudie Scolds are the Indulgence Order. My god, you prudes are a pain in the ass.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s the thing, I think it might have once been about sex. Now it’s about equality.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s not about queerness. It’s about flashing your dick to strangers who haven’t consented to be flashed. That’s not freedom. It’s the same thing as smokers making me smell their second-hand smoke. That’s not their freedom. It’s actually tyranny, if we want to get all ‘freedomy’ about it. I have a dream that civil rights is about a lot more than the right to slap your cock around in public in front of children.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It’s both. And it’s NOT a huge problem.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Anyone with a brain in SF that hasn’t heard of Folsom and its culture in probably dead and buried.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You would go there.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It’s so true, nude trolls are esthetic terrorists.

  • NCMan

    The LGBT movement is not about “sexual” freedom. It’s about equality. Being gay is not the equivalent of being hedonistic. In fact there are probably more straight hedonists than LGBT hedonists. I dare say you would be advocating for free expression of sexuality even if you were straight. It has nothing to do with being gay or queer.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, I often wore a harness under my three piece suit in the ‘professional’ environment. Then one day I forgot to take off my C ring and it rolled down my pant, rolled across the room and came to a full stop with a clank. Nothing was said, but class enrollment doubled in just one semester.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Dang Right. It takes we old veterans of the culture wars to smack the prude out of these assimilationists.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    A woman breast feeding her child causes the dropping of fans and groaning of fainting couches in this pathetic sexually disturbed country. Meanwhile “Double Divas” ascends the cable ranks and cable porno is a major cash crop. I say celebrate the free-expressionists, let the boring beougeoise nanny nags stay at home at watch Lawarence Welk. In San Francisco families gay and straight join in the celebration of such diversity. The kids of City administration join in. As far as I know not one child has been traumatized a dune wiggle or a boob flop.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    BS

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “we need to put on our “family values” front” Oh no we don’t. In SF at least our family values front is actually in the parade.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Amen to that!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    ROTFL!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Apparently you’ve never experienced white trash sitting on a front porch dressed in a homemade beer tab bikini.

  • mirror

    God, is it prehensile?!?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “turned away by businesses” Come to think of it, that did happened once when I handed in a resume with my flapping wang-doodle.

  • Marlin Earl Bynum

    It is strange to me that you would advocate against queerness. If you don’t want to parade areound in the nude, then don’t. The queer movement is about sexual freedom. It is about destroying many of the so-called societal norms. Whie I believe we continue the fight for marriage, non-discrimination, we also have to continue the fight to free people from sexual norms that are merely religion and false morality oppressing the free expression of sexuality. So yes, this is a fight for equality and equal rights. If you, John, want to be heteronomative that is fine, but that is not the whole of the queer movement. Being free sexually and bodily, is just as much a freedom. I am a great fan of your site, but I think your ideas on this are sadly a step backward. If people don’t want to be free sexually or bodily then don’t attend these events. If you don’t want your children to witness or participate in sexual and body freedom, then don’t bring them. But please don’t go around preaching your moral and pseudo-religious arguments to control other’s freedom, even if you don’t want to exercise them yourself. In doing so you are reflecting the worst kind of Amercan oppression that continually rises in this nation.

  • Fireblazes

    Screw that. I just wanna have fun.

  • mirror

    Hey, what have you got against LGBT Equality Day?

  • Fireblazes

    One of my all time favorites: Erections in Underwear! Woodies happen, Get Over It!

  • Mike in Houston

    And being a troll won’t get you anywhere either.

  • mirror

    prude. my friends now are all prudes. my life partner is a prude. I tell myself I’m not a prude, just repressed, but I’m probably just ashamed of my prudish behavior because it goes against the way I was raised. Why should everyone have to devote all group public activity only to actions that on the surface support a more successful presentation at congressional hearings? Even if they find it boring?

  • NCMan

    where in the dress code for Dallas did it say anything about not allowing transgender participation? you’re just making shit up as you go along.

  • NCMan

    tell us please what rules the Tavern Guild is putting in place that goes beyond what the police said they will enforce. then point us to the proof of it.

  • NCMan

    Why do you believe the choice is between nudity and suits and ties?

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Now that’s a fair enough point and I appreciate how you made it without calling people “prudes.”

  • NCMan

    I don’t see anything in the dress code that represses leather attire or participation by transgender persons, do you?

  • mirror

    “”

  • mirror

    Instead of trying to take over Pride Parades, maybe the prudes should organize their own repressed “good for you” parades – something like “LGBT Civil Rights Parade,” or “LGBT Equality Day,” etc. (…and no atheist floats, or controversial shit like that) Then see which version gets the most support from the community.

    The word “pride” in Pride Parade seems to me to be about not apologizing for having an internal life that doesn’t conform to the outward demands of the white straight patriarchal society. No more apologizing.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    And who appointed you to the same position? All you ever do is shout others down with snark and rude insults if they dare to challenge the absolute supremacy of your views.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Every time John tries to make this perfectly reasonable, valid point, the Anti-Bluenose Brigade comes roaring in and wildly accuses anybody with the slightest difference of opinion of rank prudery and Debbie Downerism. All I’m doing is questioning the excessive conflation of gay rights with unrestricted public libertinism. Flapping one’s wang-dang doodle all over the place is not a right or privilege widely enjoyed by straights but invidiously denied to gays. Gay people and those perceived as gay are fired or not hired in the first place, turned away by businesses, mocked, bullied, beaten and kiiled when they are wearing ordinary clothes and comporting themselves just like everyone else. That’s where the fight should be focused. Free sexual expression is an entirely different issue and is not an exclusively gay concern.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    The law also regards adultery as a crime in lots of states and relevant to divorce settlements. So much for gay couples having open relationships. That’s to be condemned as “cheating” because straight people say so. Your version of equality sounds a lot like compliant submission.

  • pappyvet

    EXACTLY ! And thank you for that Becca. It’s a shame that folks like Skeptical Cicada didn’t get it and are too busy attacking. That comment really dug deep

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Oh, my, “compulsion” and “exhibitionism.” Trying to win your argument by medicalizing other people and belittling them as psychologically ill. Wow, that’s persuasive.

  • WarrenHart

    There are laws on the books now that address public nudity and public lewd/sexual behavior etc… All I meant was that as long as those laws are applied to everyone equally. Equal treatment under the law, whats wrong with that?

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Actually, the Tavern Guild went way beyond the police. You’re dissembling. Sorry that Texas is a right-wing shit-hole. Being a collaborationist won’t get you liberation

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Lol! You got yours, so now everyone else should tow the line so nothing upsets your conservative rights quest. Nice, hypocrite. You have your memories, and that’s all that matters, huh?

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Poor repressed southern gays think if you bash enough of your own brothers hard enough, fundamentalist bigots won’t notice that cock hanging out of your mouth. They will.

    Demands to ban leathermen and transgender people from southern “pride” in 3…2…1….

    Fuck, just rename it southern HIDE.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    It’s always been and will continue to be both, and more.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    We dealt with your oppressive attitude years ago in this movement when people like you wanted everyone who wasn’t straight-acting, white, and conservative banished from pride. YOU go have your Log Cabin pride if you want to order other gays out of your sight.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Nor I, and I suppose you’re right: if the homophobic bigots demand to regulate what grown adults do in the privacy of our bedrooms, it seems only fitting at times that we say, “Fine. We’ll bring it OUT of our bedrooms. Happy?” A defiant symbolic action that simultaneously serves as celebration for the LGBT(etc.) community AND deliberately seeks to freak out the fundamentalist prudes.

    After all, what is a protest if not to make someone feel uncomfortable, right? And make no mistake: The early Pride marches were indeed all about protest.

    Maybe that’s all it comes down to: Knowing when we have to put on our suits and look ordinary, and when it’s necessary and appropriate to let our freak flag fly.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Then you’ve just given straights authority to force all their sexphobic bullshit down your throat. Do you want to be the wife or husband? Because they still gender their marriages too, and you just want to be treated exactly the same.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    And I say no one appointed you the emperor of the gays. Sorry other people not doing as you order is so upsetting to you. Go join the religious right. You already have their attitude.

  • Greg

    I’m certainly no prude and have nothing against nudity or consensual sex in private venues, but when gay people exhibit such behaviors in gay parades and other public venues, it simply reinforces negative stereotypes. It does nothing to forward our fight for equality. I say to my fellow gays- grow up, act like and adult and a responsible citizen in civil society!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    I might be less in inclined to disagree with John’s reactionary position if we hadn’t just spent the las t 40 years fighting the demand of straight-acting white gay men that everyone else pretend not to exist for them. Their modern incarnations in Texas are now repeating all that garbage and blaming everyone from leathermen to transgender people for Texas being a bigoted shit-hole.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    So just confine breasts to designated areas then?

  • sanfranguns

    I’ll say it a million times. I’ll take nudity and lewdness over your awful children any day! If we could all ban things that we don’t like, kids would be first on my list.

  • WarrenHart

    As long as the rules apply to everyone equally I don’t have a problem with it. I just want to be treated the same as everybody else.

  • worfington

    It has nothing to do with what I want. I’m not gay, I have no say in the matter. I’m simply asking why pride week has to become a political pander fest to be “effective”. The parade has always been newsworthy, and granted sometimes for its lewd, lascivious qualities. And yet, here we are, 40+ years after stonewall and there are legally married gay couples, out gay cops, doctors, lawyers, etc. I don’t think that anyone can make the argument that the wild pride parades of the past made that happen any slower. (Or maybe someone can. Go for it.)
    If, after reflection and struggle, the gay community decides that pride now means suits and ties and parades with baby kissing pols at the front, that is for the gay community to decide.
    I’m just trying to get to the “why”

  • worfington

    Your response makes little sense to me. Pride has, until recently, always billed itself as a sort of gay mardi gras. It’s historic roots in stonewall and gay liberation not withstanding, it has always been more prurient than political. (Granted, in the 70’s the prurient was political, far more so than today). And I do understand the argument about making it more mainstream, and hence allegedly more politically effective. But is that necessary? Is it actually politically “effective”? And for whom?
    Dignity is, frankly, an overrated attribute. It’s a curtain behind which one can hide their discomfort and disdain.
    I’m waiting for a better answer.

  • chris10858

    IMHO, if that is what you and others want, then perhaps there needs to be a separate bacchanal pride parade where straights and gays all show up to be wild. I am of a younger generation and while I would probably want to attend that crazy parade, since so many Pride parades are now being covered on the news, we need to put on our “family values” front.

  • chris10858

    Great article and commentary from John. If I were to attend a Christmas or Thanksgiving parade down on Main Street in some small town, I wouldn’t want to see someone’s topless grandmother shaking her stuff on a float. Just because it’s a gay pride celebration doesnt mean it is an excuse to go all hedonist/exhibitionist/voyeur.

  • NCMan

    You need to read my comments more carefully and in context. I’m in agreement with you. It was StraightGrandmother who was equating the civil rights of gays with the free speech rights of porn. I was arguing against turning Pride Parades into porn rolling down Main Street in the middle of the afternoon.

  • Bill

    It needs to be dignified. It isn’t billed as mardi gras. It is billed as a gay civil rights event. If you want it to be taken seriously, then the participants need to act like it is something worthy of being taken seriously.

    If you want a gay party or a Romanesque festival, then have one. But don’t coopt a civil rights event and turn it into a party.

  • Selya

    In the NYC parade, I saw a man with his bare ass exposed and a $20 bill taped to the interior of his butt cheek. Another man was being whipped by a woman. That is porn. Don’t tell people to disbelieve their own eyes.

    This crap has nothing to do with being gay or with gay pride. It has to do with a small number of people who love attention and who have identified this parade as the one opportunity hey have to expose themselves in broad daylight in a major city. It is their chance to be the center of attention. You may tie your identity to this conduct, but that doesn’t make it baggage for all gay people.

  • Lila

    Says the reactionary who insists that everything remain as it was 43 years ago.

  • StratplayerThePrudishPrude

    Who is talking about “all times and all places”? The discussion is about nudity in PRIDE festivals. From the sound of your comments, you want it limited to people’s basements, with the lights off and the windows painted black.. or just the castro, because there it’s time all the time. But now you say you “LIKE” wild, over the top naughtiness at pride parades and other such events. What’s different with most pride events and the one in Dallas? Why are arguing against wild, over the top naughtiness there but turn around and say you like it, in pride parades and other such events. Which is it? Do you or don’t you? can’t have it both ways (you could.. but you’d also be a Republican… which you might be and that would explain a lot.)

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Look, do you have a substantive argument to make or is cheap snark the only thing in your wheelhouse? How about actually engaging your opponents instead of just dismissing them?

  • usagi

    Which is essentially the same set up that SF Pride has (both solicit donations at the gate points). There are also open businesses at Folsom (although some do close for the day since it’s tough to get stuff in and out of your storage unit around that many people).

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    I don’t think you understand. I LIKE wild, over-the-top naughtiness at pride parades and other such events. I just don’t demand the absolute, unfettered right to indulge my every whim and desire at all times and in all places. I suspect that even you draw certain lines when it comes to your own public deportment, unless you are a complete egocentric narcissist. I should hope you’re not.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Of course. But how does women being sexually objectified at Hooters rationalize indulging someone’s compulsion to engage in over-the-top public exhibitionism? I fail to see the connection.

  • NCMan

    Restricted access means there are controlled entrance points you must go through to enter. You have admitted that there are gate monitors telling people what they are entering.

    A Pride Parade is completely different. There are no gate monitors or entrances. And, there are open businesses along the parade route where patrons of those businesses are forced to walk in order to do business.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Women are still objectified sexually there. And no they’re not topless but you certainly see a whole lot.

  • Me

    As a parent, I ask you… why are you afraid of sexuality? Is sexuality not a natural component of the human experience? We do use it to procreate, not just for recreation. Will you have the talk with your kids about sex or will you simply hope it goes away or leave it to “the professionals” (teachers – who are often times bound by our own ridiculous laws of what is or isn’t proper teaching material for kids). The reason why there are still so many teen pregnancies and cases of STDs among teenagers is that parents are afraid of discussing the big bad sex stuff. If you take the time to talk to your kids about sex, there’s no need to worry about they will think as you would/should have all your bases covered. Or do you think your kids will never have sex so that talk is not necessary? As a parent, and for your kids benefit (not mine, I am prepared to discuss sex with mine frankly) I urge you to stop demonizing the human body.

  • worfington

    I will agree that public nudity does not necessarily have anything to do with gay civil rights. Even so, what is inherently wrong with a little bacchanalia? Why is it wrong, once a year, to have a public celebration of the flesh?
    I grew up on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, which is our Castro / Christopher St.
    When I was young, my friends and I (all straight) always went to the pride parade because it was a little shocking. It was taboo. Slightly naughty. Our prurient interest was piqued.
    And society needs those sorts of celebrations, and in fact has always had them. Historically, such celebrations have been much more shocking than the tame boner flipping John describes above.
    Why does the pride parade have to be “family friendly”? Why can’t it be a wild, one day, wet woody, topless dykes-on-bikes, Romanesque festival of pleasure? Why does it have to be suddenly so damn serious?
    Not a rhetorical question. I would like an answer. Why can’t there be a slow moving bacchanal once a year?

  • usagi

    I suspect the people who’ve wandered in not realizing what was going on despite being told by the gate monitors might disagree with you (and the crane with the caged dancing boys is usually visible from Market Street and the 101 deck). There is no visual screen from the entrance points to the fair other than the backs of the stages where there are stages. “Restricted Access” implies that there’s some sort of ID check or admission process to enter. There isn’t.

  • pappyvet

    it is indeed very frustrating. But if we are to fracture over this then there are those who will be enjoying the spectacle even more than we enjoy the Pride parades.

    Becca, I do not for a moment believe that you are even in the same neighborhood as boring.
    And my Husband and I are anything but vanilla. So perhaps I have grown old,but like yourself I have grown old in the Quest. There are forces against us now who were silenced after Stonewall but like a cancer are waiting for any opportunity. I’m not saying crawl back into the shadows,far from it. But if what it takes is a legal brief instead of a wet hard on then let the battle begin. Time to take the bullet out of their gun. If I have to wear undies under my chaps,thats fine I think they’ll get the message. I am just not willing to sacrifice the memories of all my friends who died a horrible death over an issue that could bet met with more metal. Many of these are the ones who were writing letters and papers and making endless phone calls so that we could all have Pride Parades. So lets keep the baby oil handy but the armour handier. And if we must put the oil on the shelf for a time to win the greater prize,so be it.

  • Ninong

    Great picture with Anita Bryant in the middle of that group! I remember back then when we were fighting against the Briggs Initiative. For you of the younger generation out there, back in November 1978 there was a public statewide referendum in California up for a vote (it FAILED, 58.4% to 41.6%) that was strongly supported by Anita Bryant (her first defeat). It would have banned any gays or lesbians (and possibly anyone who supported them) from working in public schools in California.

    It was an extremely nasty campaign. Just as bad as the Prop. 8 campaign funded by the Mormons and the Catholic Church. But the Briggs Initiative failed. The campaign against it was led by SF Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first elected openly gay politician in the country. Later that same month Milk and SF Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White, who did only a few years in prison because the jury believe the fairytale Twinkies Defense. White later committed suicide.

    So that photo above was probably from the summer of 1978.

  • Mike in Houston

    Tempest in a tea-pot.

    Dallas isn’t San Francisco (Folsom). Dykes on Bikes wouldn’t be allowed to ride topless like in CA.

    The only thing that the DPD did was reiterate that they would be enforcing current laws about public lewdness (aka making sure that people are ‘street legal’ in their attire). Nothing new here, except a particular “activist” is trying to gin up a controversy (probably to settle some scores with the Dallas Pride organizers).

  • NCMan

    It has an entrance and it is blocked off from general view. You can’t just happen to be in attendance by accident.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I know. I’m a former Bay Area resident, and attended Folsom a few times. Great fun.

  • usagi

    Incorrect. Folsom does not have restricted access.

  • Ninong

    The 2013 San Francisco Gay Pride Parade included representatives of the Military Services Recruiting section for the first time, as well as Mark Zuckerberg and several hundred of his FB co-workers. It has always included local politicians, so that’s nothing new.

    What it (thankfully) did not include was Bradley Manning. Apparently some on the organizing committee wanted the military to give Manning a weekend pass or something so that he could be the grand marshall of San Francisco’s 2013 Gay Pride Parade. WTF???

  • NCMan

    And, did Edith Windsor appear topless? Did the politicians feel a need to march in assless chaps? Were the marching bands marching in he nude? No? They didn’t? And you still felt they were able to make their political statements while keeping their clothes on!! Imagine that. No one had to “rock out with their cock out” in order to make their point.

  • Ninong

    Well, it was intended as a hypothetical question, as in, if I had a 4-yr-old granddaughter. However, you’re right, there are still lots of places in San Francisco where people can go nude if they please, including the 2013 San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, contrary to what Chris Andoe wrote in his article that John linked. If anyone doesn’t believe me, just image-Google “2013 San Francisco Gay Pride Parade nude photos.” Lots and lots of examples of full frontal nudity — mostly men but a few women, too. Make sure your filters are off so that your browser can pick up nude photos.

    I left there 15 years ago but even going back to when I moved there 35 years ago, there were nude beaches all up and down the coast. And every one that I ever went to operated pretty much along the same unwritten rules — clothing optional section and cover-it-up section for people with young children who didn’t want them to see nude grownups running around with their stuff swinging in the breeze, often fully erect. The clothing-optional areas required you to walk further down the beach from the main entry point. That way there wouldn’t be nude people parading past the family section. Or, in some cases, it was a matter of which way you turned after you hit the sand.

  • emjayay

    Once again, lots of people including straight people bring their families already. They know what they are going to see, which is all kinds of representations of gay people, not to mention marching bands and politicians.

  • emjayay

    The growing number of straight people, often bringing the kids, know what they are going to see. They are there to endorse by their prescence the equality of gay people and open mindedness about sexuality and enjoy the atmosphere of diversity. Not to mention marching bands and baton twirlers and drag cheerleaders.

  • emjayay

    I guess you didn’t go to the NYC parade this year, which was full of various ethnic gay groups, political groups, marching bands, politicians, EMT’s, etc. The Grand Marshall was DOMA-killer Edith Windsor.

  • pappyvet

    Thanks for the comment,not at all what I was talking about.

  • emjayay

    Don’t take her to the parade, or the federally run clothing optional part of Baker Beach.

  • emjayay

    I think we went to the next level a long time ago. At least 35 years ago actually. PFLAG, gay park rangers, gay cops, politicians, etc. have always been part of gay pride parades, along with the other stuff.

  • Ninong

    There’s still the annual Folsom Street Fair, where anything and everything goes. It’s a virtual showcase of anything and everything to do with S&M, including actual public performances. So there’s still that to provide stock shock-footage to the Fox News people.

    I like the current rules in San Francisco. People can still go nude at the beach, or in parades (like the Pride Parade), or in street fairs and festivals. That’s more than enough opportunity for them to release their inner child. LOL

    In San Francisco the public nudity advocates were mostly, but not exclusively, gay. They were, however, almost exclusively the sort of nude people you would not be thrilled to bump into.

    P.S. — Even Berzerkeley banned public nudity two decades ago.

  • dula

    US Pride parades are not political anymore. They are simply a weekend mardi gras thing. You can’t really judge it like it’s a demonstration of some sort.

  • pappyvet

    Here,Here !

  • pappyvet

    Having attended many a Gay Pride and Halloween event in SanFrancisco I have truly enjoyed the “We’re here we’re queer, get used to it,” pulchritudinous display of we’re not gonna take it anymore unity. But I think it’s time to go to the next level and exercise some true power and authority in this world.
    Gay Pride means more than nudity on the streets and I think we should focus our efforts. If I want to wear chaps or a thong, it will be for my Husband. The memories of the past are really marvelous,but also tragic, and I believe it is time to focus on where we are going and how we are going to get there.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Oy… talk about mixed feelings on this issue.

    I for one hate how especially in America, there’s this constant struggle between hyper-sexualizing everything, while at the same time a perverse imposed prudery such that an accidentally flashed nipple can result in massive FCC fines. Or how it’s the least bit controversial for a woman to breast-feed her baby in public. I mean, I cannot imagine a more normal, natural human activity than for a mother to feed her infant, yet we have to pass laws to ensure she’s not arrested for indecent exposure.

    I remember the first time I went to a nude beach and how, once I got over the initial weird feeling, it suddenly felt natural. And yes, there were fat people and too-skinny people and ugly people and kids and oldsters and so on, all right alongside the ‘beautiful’ bodies. It didn’t matter. The clothing taboo was shattered.

    Then we have the Pride parades… I know things have changed, such that now when there are news stories about same sex marriage equality, the mainstream media now (gasp!) actually shows ordinary-looking gay and lesbian couples getting married in courthouses and county clerk offices. However, not that long ago, their go-to footage was always Pride parades, and often it would be the lewd, raunchy, or simply images guaranteed (and intended) to portray gay people as totally out of control oversexed weirdos.

    As long as it was just us, in a way a public-private party with nobody but us paying attention, no harm done. Liberating free expression. Letting it all hang out (no pun intended). But then it became clear the bigots would want to use our own celebrations against us. Like I said, at least mainstream media has tended to move away from exploitative imagery — but the homophobes still go there whenever they want to spread some anti-gay propaganda, especially when trying to fight pro-gay legislation.

    Hence the mixed feelings. I guess ultimately, are we talking now about two cultures: The LGBTs who simply want to assimilate into mainstream society and, even if we don’t like all of its constraints, nevertheless adhere mostly to the norms. And the folks who want to shatter those constraints and norms.

    And while I myself see myself now falling more into the former category, I definitely spent some time in my 30s in the latter — and more importantly, I have to wonder if the only reason I have the option, as a woman married to another woman, is because there were brave souls who broke through those social barriers in years past, in such a dramatic fashion.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this issue is going to go away, the growing divide between boring folks (like myself now) and the flamboyant free-expressionists. So what happens? Do the boring assimilationist gays disavow the free-expression gays or vice versa? Does the LGBT rights movement fracture along this line? It’s beginning to feel like it’s about to.

  • emjayay

    The decidedly working class Coney Island Mermaid Parade routinely includes nudity and semi-nudity – mostly mermaids but also mermen, if often painted green or silver or something. It also includes various marching bands, politicians, police, kids, and classic American cars.

  • Ninong

    John,

    Sorry, but I guess I missed Chris’ post on public nudity in the Castro, but I will take issue with one thing. You said, “if you go to the Castro, you know what you’re getting.” I think you have been misled about the Castro as a neighborhood. Families live in the Castro, too. Even gay families… with children.

    I guess I’m just not as liberated as some of the younger generation, but I wouldn’t want my children or grandchildren exposed to nude middle-aged men with their dongs flopping around in public.

  • kmcdevitt

    That’s fair.

  • kmcdevitt

    I AM leery of “slippery slope arguments,” as you suggest. I’m just expressing my discomfort with the issue, and the difficulty I have in finding a solution that avoids judgment and recrimination.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    I disagree about a few people being able to pull it off. We have this standard of beauty that’s ridiculous. Let the old men and women let it all hang out (literally) if they’re so inclined. We are too scared of aging and non-model/perfect bodies. Nothing is wrong with a normal guy or girl showing what they got.

  • NCMan

    if you’re going to use the “slippery slope” argument, then I guess all bets are off and we would have to allow people to actually engage in public sex on the floats.

  • ronbo

    Keep raining. At least you are consistent.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Yes. Every time you take your child out into public you are going to possibly see something that could shock or scare a child. You have to have conversations with them about this stuff. Would this hypothetical mother let her children play violent video games? Probably. But to see two men in speedos grinding up against each other is somehow going to damage them forever? Please.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Nah, my sense of humor is just fine. You just overestimate your own wit. Your little quip was as old as the hills. It’s been done a billion times before. Next thing you’ll be talking about pearl-clutching and fainting couches. Yawn.

  • Tillyosu

    Yea but the point is in public, not everyone IS GROWN UP. Are you going to tell some mother who may want to expose her kid to the gay rights movement by attending an event like this that her kid needs to “grow the fuck up” if he’s shocked an confused by the behavior of some of the participants?

  • kmcdevitt

    I agree; that post is always very effective.

    http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/2013/06/watching-defectives.html

  • kmcdevitt

    I actually don’t care for public nudity, if only because so few people can pull it off. Nevertheless, this sort of ‘assimilationist’ stuff does make me a bit uncomfortable. Especially when it comes from members of our own community. It doesn’t take long to get from “No wet speedos” to “Those drag queens are just disgusting, and did you SEE those leatherfreaks?!?”

    I appreciate the fact that we are more accepted, as individuals and as a community, and I want to be respectful of others, but it saddens me to see some of the comments on this, and similar stories. Our alternative culture is, frankly, awesome and has contributed to our greater culture in some pretty unexpected ways; I just don’t want to fetter ourselves, our feelings, or our unique identity. I understand all the arguments, and I’m not claiming that they do not offer valid points. I just don’t wanna be so quick to jump on the wagging-finger-of-disapproval train.

  • ronbo

    I require that you first say, “I’m no prude; but….” It’s the identifier.

  • NCMan

    no one in Dallas is attempting to ban Daisy Dukes and halter tops.

  • ronbo

    We know you are in a bad mood and your sense of humor is in the shop.

    Please don’t go to the Pride parade. No one likes it when you bring the rain.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    In defense of public nudity in pride, I will say that 40 years ago gay men and women were so deeply persecuted and ridiculed (compared to today) that nudity was likely a big slap in the face saying “fuck you, we’ll do what we want.” Is this attitude as pervasive today? No. However, sexuality is still a big part of who gay people are (obviously) so you’re going to get a lot of people who want to take ownership of their body and flaunt it, grind it and do whatever else as a backlash against the oppression. This aspect still exists and endures, as does prejudice.
    Also, “pride” parades of any kind are sexually charged. If you go to the NYC Puerto Rican pride parade, you’ll see women walking around in skimpy outfits and lots of physical interaction among people, i.e. it can get pretty naughty. Looking at say the St. Patrick’s day parade, you’ll see women in cute little outfits jumping around showing off their dance moves and legs, etc. It’s less obvious maybe, but still sexually charged; just in a different way.
    My point is that people are sexual and parades give them an outlet to get out there and be an exhibitionist or a voyeur (depending). With gay people, sexuality has always been at the forefront of the issue because we are proud of our sexuality. Obviously, there’s more to it; but that’s where it stems from.
    If were a little less uptight about the human body in this country and celebrated it a little more, perhaps we’d all be a little happier. Just saying.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    I don’t know know. Hooters has billboards everywhere, and I’ve seen women walk around in daisy dukes and halter tops that expose quite a bit. No one says anything to them. People in this country are so prudish. They’re tits. It’s not chemical weapons.Grow the fuck up.

  • kladinvt

    I stopped attending Pride parades a few years back when they just seemed to be devoid of all meaning. All I saw were corporate sponsors trying to grab “gay-dollars” or floats promoting this or that bar or hook-up service. Pride used to be about visibility and a fight for equality, instead it’s been co-opted by capitalism.

  • Kalil

    Sexual titillation is sexual titillation. I don’t see being topless as making much of a difference.

  • NCMan

    There is a difference between a porn movie and a pride parade. Porn movies are not displayed on a screen that is attached to a float and driven down Main Street in the middle of the afternoon.

    If an organization wants their Pride Celebration to contain adults only displays, then they should go about organizing an event similar to the Folsom Street Fair which has restricted access.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I will comment on this later. I have never been to a Gay Pride Parade, and I am a huge supporter of your civil rights.

    I have never watched a porn movie either, but I respect the Civil Free Speech Rights of people who do that.

    I guess you kind of have to figure out if you want me to attend your Gay Pride Parades or not.
    Yes & No are both valid answers I think.

  • kimberly537

    my Aunty Savannah recently got a nice 9 month old Mercedes SLK-Class Convertible just by some part-time working online… visit this page w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  • John Masters

    I don’t think it’s about “respectable,” but showing respect. As a couple of commenters stated, we now have families with kids. Let’s be able to bring them to a parade of all things. If you want to see nude go go boys, fork out the cover and go to a club. Go ahead, ronbo, call me a prude if you must, but I’ve often seen things at gay pride parades that make me wonder…and we all know which video scenes the religious right will show over and over ad naseum. One year, let’s not give them something to run repeatedly. I don’t think the Dallas PD is being unreasonable at this point. We’ll see more on parade day, but it sounds like they’re trying to be fair and give advance warning.

    But I agree with Joe, I’ve never understood why pride was about some right to run around downtown naked and acting lewd.

  • Drew2u

    Not to belabor the point, but lewd is a subjective term, as being defined by someone in the Dallas police department, and subjected to revision as that person sees fit.
    BJ Lincoln’s post above is also what I’m getting at. But as I said, I’m not really one to be speaking about the topic, but I hope to at least spark some sort of introspection (for or against) either way.

  • BrandySpears

    Someone might see your dirty pillows.

  • NCMan

    My comment meant that Dallas isn’t banning the things that Joe’s annual post talks about, such as drag queens, which wouldn’t meet any definition of lewd.

  • Drew2u

    From what I recall the article was about essentially questioning why Pride should exist in the first place and “why do they have to dress and act like that?”.
    Myself, I think Drag Queens are lewd, even though I know both drag queens and kinds. But with that said, I don’t want to ban that.
    Isn’t Folsom also looking at public nudity ordinances either this year or last year, also? I guess it really depends on what kind of celebration each Pride wants to be about and educate the appropriate age-level of attendees. If one wouldn’t take a child to a 21+ party at a bar, then one shouldn’t take a child to a similar event, if that’s what the event advertises to be.
    Is Pride like a county fair or a city’s annual parade or is it adults celebrating being adults? (Do some Pride parades throw condoms to the audience because that’d be both public-health-advocacy as well as hilarious!)

  • climate3

    I think people have sometimes mistake Pride as a big party and a time to NOT think about what we need to do as a community in order to secure equality. THAT is a huge problem.

  • NCMan

    I think Joe Jervis’ annual post is about issues much more important that nudity and lewdness. It would be a shame to bring it out in defense of those.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Bad analogy. Hooters isn’t a street festival and the waitrons aren’t topless there, anyway.

  • caphillprof

    People got in the gay movement 40 years ago for a much broader agenda than serving in the military, having a job and getting married. Dallas police are simply a boring protestant backlash and should be challenged. They don’t shut down Hooters.

  • Chris

    Well Dallas is not New Orleans, so any comparison is moot. Different municiplities are permitted to have different laws, so demanding that Dallas obey New Oreleans rules is a little silly

    Parades, by definition, are public events. We have gone to great lengths to be allowed to raise families. As a result, many families, often headed by gay people, attend pride events. There is no compelling reason that nudity needs to be displayed in public as a symbol of pride. Personally, as a gay parent, I prefer to be able to let my child attend.

    Every gay club in the world will be filled with go go boys, and half naked patrons in an environment that allows that only those who choose to do so see it. Parades are public space and the public should really be allowed to use that space without being afraid to take kids.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Actually, I don’t. You know nothing about me.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Actually, I don’t have to admit anything of the sort.. ’twas not all that clever. Pedestrian snark.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Nude and lewd are 2 different things. As an artist, the human body is an interesting and beautiful thing. I do think there is a time and place for it and it’s not on a float. Lewd behavior is more subjective. One can fully dressed and engage in suggestive behavior that should be reserved for a beer bash or in private.
    I never understood the need for either at a Pride parade. I am drown out by the arguments “It’s part of our culture”. Drag is and is my favorite part. Love the leather. Big cuddly Bears. Dykes On Bikes.
    I agree there is a more diverse crowd. Over the 30 years I have been going to Pride events there has been a growing number of str8 people having fun. I have seen some events become family friendly so bring the kids, dogs, grandma & grandpa. With the growing crowds comes the need for sponsors who are happy to support our population. It takes money to run the show.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Is there a Mardi Gras event in Dallas in which tits are flashed for beads? If there were, perhaps you’d have a better point. Dallas is not hypocritical for failing to extend New Orleans Mardi Gras standards to the Dallas Pride Parade.

  • Drew2u

    Regardless ya gotta admit it was a clever line. ;)

  • ronbo

    You set yourself up with the primary identifier: “I am no prude…” Just admit it, you get queasy when ladies on TV talk “freshness” or mention “magnum” – even if it’s an ice cream treat. This almost makes you sick: 8=======D ;-0

  • Drew2u

    (plus how do you enforce a ban on erections? “Gee, officer, it just jumped up in front of me and I don’t know what to do about it. Care to help it go away?”)

  • NCMan

    I’d like to see an actual definition of the rules that are to be enforced in Dallas. I saw one explanation that listed only a few specifics. It stated that nudity, bare asses, bare breasts, erections and “dancing in tight underwear” would be banned.

    I have no problem with banning any of that from a general public parade EXCEPT “dancing in tight underwear”. What the hell is that about and how would it be any different than dancing in swimwear?

    If you can’t celebrate your pride without showing parade-goers your ass or your dick, I think the problem is with you and not the Dallas standards.

  • Drew2u

    Would reading Joe Jervis’ annual Pride post be relevant in this case? (just curious)

    Still, it’s kind of heartening in its own way that it seems like Pride is turning from “the Gay Mardi Gras” to a family event. But I can’t really attest to anything on this topic as I’ve never been to a Pride parade.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    Well, that didn’t take long. *eyeroll*

  • ronbo

    “I’m no prude” Hmmmm. Isn’t that supposed to be followed by “I’m going to get jiggy with a nice cup of tea and go wild with a splash of milk”

  • ronbo

    You kids stop having fun! I’m going to keep your baseball since it landed in my yard. Don’t make me get the hose.

    Happy 105th birthday.

  • Me

    Mardi Gras. Is there a ban on hetero nudity during Mardi Gras? Are people up in arms about tits being flashed for beads during Mardi Gras? Why are people afraid of sex or of those able to enjoy sex, sexual content, nudity, etc… The human body is not gross, it is beautiful and all this puritanical “put it away” mentality goes against our very own nature as sexual creatures.

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    If pride in one’s alternative sexuality means flopping one’s boner up and down like a 6 year-old in front of a mixed crowd, then you can count me out. There’s a time and place for everything (the Castro, as John says, is one of those places where it’s always time), and one can still push boundaries in broader public contexts without being tasteless and infantile. Trust me, folks, I am no prude or bluenose. Not even close.

  • Indigo

    Because we’re respectable now so we’re bound to the Laws of Respectability just like it sez in the Bible. Dagnabbit!

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