By Mana Williams Eade 10 Minutes
This small chat is just a quick reflection on the Pride festival yesterday. Reflecting on the attitude, the nature of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community within Wellington and shares my perspective on a few things.
Let’s get something clear, I think the ability to take pride in one’s own sexuality is really quite admirable. But let’s stop for a second and recognize how sad it is that we have to celebrate the ability for people to feel proud about who they love. How sad it is that people cannot just simply love who they want without judgment, without stigma. It’s not nice that people have to go above and beyond to get the rights that they deserve, to love whomever they please. I think that it’s bullshit that people have to go through a long unwinding process of organizing a parade and a festival of thousands of attendees, like the one held in Wellington yesterday, just to show society that it’s perfectly okay to love who you want.
When will people get it in their heads that people can love whoever they want?
A process must occur whenever people see two guys holding hands in public places. As if to assume that because it is not normal the public has the authority to treat the LBGT community differently, if you haven’t already you should check out my blog 040 about stigmatizing. Historically, yesterday’s pride parade was the biggest pride parade in Wellington in over 20 years. Which proves that this has been going on for quite some time. This suggests that we haven’t changed much as a society in 20 years. We pride ourselves on making huge advancements technologically but we cannot even comprehend that one guy might love another guy? It changes the meaning of the word pride! As if to suggest that even the meaning of the word PRIDE is to be limited to social norms, but it’s ironic when a minority group like the LGBT community have to push the buck to what is and what isn’t pride. But it’s not all doom and gloom. For time’s are a changing. A time where you could ride your segway down the middle of the main road in Wellington wearing a drag queen outfit and not give a shit about what anyone thinks. See image below for more details about how not to give a shit.
Credit: Wellington Pride Festival parade. Photo/ Frances Cook – NZ Herald 2017
How do the choices of whom other people choose to love, affect us?
Do we really need to go out of our way to comment that a particular group of people are ‘weird’ simply for doing what they feel is expressing their own emotions? This calls for an analogy. The ability to love who you want is like dancing in a ballroom full of people. If you have somebody in your life that you love, would you walk across to ask them to dance with you? Is it not just jealousy when you see somebody else enjoying themselves in a way that you want? I feel like it’s never going to affect you. it’s never going to affect you unless you get too close. Unless you get involved. Unless you crash into each other. Besides, if you really love a person, does it really matter that much what other people are doing around you, or shouldn’t you be focused more on the person in front of you?
What really matters?
They aren’t there to hurt you, they are just like you. They are human. They are everyone and everyone feels the same sort of shit when they are stigmatized against. When they are treated as a minority. When you try and use authority to degrade them when you try and make minority groups feel like they are not worthy of priding themselves based on the person they love. One of the most refreshing sights from yesterday’s pride festival was to see the police presence, to see them actively encouraging the public to be more inviting of love regardless of how that looks. They were not in force and they were accepting of the people around them. The difference that the police made by being at the parade changed the image of the police force themselves. They made people snap out of their stupidity and whatever socio-political game they were playing and exposed the reality of the situation that in that space, these people are trying to show how much they want to love who they want regardless of gender. Having the police force present provided a different and warmer lens on what New Zealanders collectively ought to do, and that is to change their opinions on what is weird and realize that everybody is weird.
NZ Police presence at the Wellington Pride Festival parade.
I guess this is the second chat for today, not too long just a rant I really needed to have. I wanted to get it down as to why some people think that it’s okay to call this community of people as being weird. Otherwise, stay tuned for the next chat, it’s going to be epic!
Thanks for checking in…