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.
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.
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.