Jack Tame: Pride celebrated as it should be

4 comments
The LGBT crowd are better people to party with. Photo / AP
The LGBT crowd are better people to party with. Photo / AP

The nightclub spread across two or three floors. Different spaces. Different DJs. The queue stretched down the street.

It would've been 40C inside and when I asked my friend why it felt like a bikram yoga studio, she replied, "Dude, that's kind of the idea."

Given the heat, it was startling how many people were dressed in leather. Gay, straight, transgendered and cross-dressing, of every ethnicity. Some had their shirts off.

Others wore enormous platform heels and shimmering dresses. People danced in groups or couples. Others danced on platforms above the crowd.

I saw someone attached to someone else with a dog collar and a lead. As you do. It was some time after 2am in New York and people surged to the beat.

In short, Pride weekend was fantastic.

Even for a fairly conservative guy from Christchurch, it was fun and clever and accepting and everything a Pride celebration should be.

New York, of course, is the kind of place where LGBT celebrations are usually pretty robust. But given the events of the past few weeks - particularly the massacre at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando - there seemed a particular enthusiasm among New Yorkers to properly celebrate the occasion. Would you call it defiance? I don't know.

People in the annual Pride parade chanted "F*** the NRA. F*** the NRA!" as they marched along Fifth Ave.

And although as we climbed the stairs to a crowded gay nightclub my friend acknowledged feeling a bit uneasy, I felt more uncomfortable at having missed the dress code memo. I need not have. It was not a judgmental crowd.

A few days after Pride, a spin-off on Twitter's trending list that piqued my alarm: #HeteroSexualPrideDay.

Yep, it's just what you think it is: a heterosexual version of LGBT Pride: if gay, bisexual and transgendered people have a special celebration and a parade down Fifth Ave, straight people should rightfully have the same.

The idea, obviously, is embarrassing. No doubt the genius that hashtagged it first was the same muppet to suggest Black History Month should have a White History Month equivalent.

Or perhaps one of those sad talkback loonies who complain white, straight, middle-class men are becoming a persecuted minority.

The good thing about the LGBT community is that it fosters more than its share of creative and expressive individuals, many of whom weren't afraid to tender some advice for the inaugural Hetero-Pride celebrations. I like the black-and-white rainbow pitch for #HeteroSexualPrideDay's new logo.

Generally, progress towards LGBT equality has improved significantly in the past few years. People of the same sex can marry in however many countries. How's that coming along, Australia?

Just consider the massive corporate sponsors to show up at this year's Auckland Pride Festival. LGBT celebrations are no longer fringe events.

But perhaps the word "celebration" is where the people who seriously fancy a heterosexual equivalent end up in the dark. Today's LGBT Pride movement is a direct result of persecution.

In the same way we mark women's suffrage and various countries mark Black History Month, any celebration today is an acknowledgement of shared oppression and suffering in the past.

So as a white, privileged, middle-class, straight man, I will not be celebrating #HeteroSexualPrideDay. I doubt many people will.

If anything, the hate in Orlando and the subsequent #HeteroPride prove society has only come so far.

And honestly, I think I'd prefer to hit up another nightclub with the LGBT crowd, instead. They really know how to have fun.

Jack Tame is on NewstalkZB Saturdays, 9am-noon.

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 26 Sep 2016 20:31:07 Processing Time: 496ms