I attended two Pride-related events in my town recently. One was the Pride parade and festival. The other was an allegedly female-centric Pride-related music and entertainment event.
I have grown used to the fact that the general Pride events have become more and more male-centric over the years. This was a complaint of lesbians decades before the recent spate of transgender activism made it leaps and bounds worse. The fact is, males are heard, represented and attended to much more than females are, in activist and special-interest communities as much as in the world at large. LGB events have always been male events that women were welcome to show up at, never equal-time events, and certainly never the other way around. Lesbians are, and always were, the redheaded stepchildren of the gay rights movement.
Thus, the Pride parade and festival was over-represented by males. Females who appeared to love females stood at maybe 25%, by my estimate, while drag queens, males who dress in women’s clothes, straight people and other gay men made up the difference, in more or less decreasing order of prevalence.
In the straight group are the “queers,” those people whose claim to alternative sexuality lies in their strange hair color, their custom-designed “gender” configuration, and/or the fact that they once fantasized about a mixed-sex threesome. “My partner is coming, but they can’t make it til later,” said one straight woman who didn’t want to sound straight. As an online acquaintance said recently, “When did the movement stop being about civil rights and start being about what parties you’re invited to?” I don’t know that I’ve ever heard it said any more articulately than that.
In this atmosphere, I actually felt conspicuous holding my girlfriend’s hand, like some sort of minority within a minority community. Even in the midst of the current “queer” explosion, the younger lesbians don’t seem to be holding hands as often these days, as if they have a reputation for “inclusivity” to uphold that precludes showing affection to their own partners.
But it was the “female-centric” Pride event that really disappointed. Here, about 50% percent of participants were females who love females–still a bit low, for a female event–but you wouldn’t know that it was even that high by the entertainment, which was largely provided by female impersonators. That includes both the kind who say they’re women and the kind who don’t, a distinction which, we will see, simply doesn’t matter to lesbians in any tangible way.
A drag queen emceed the show. First up was a lengthy and dull skit about marriage equality in which, for whatever reason, male actors played the women. It was classic drag-show fare, flamboyant and overwrought with a heavy-handed capitulation to the patriarchal institution of marriage. The kind of thing that gay men like.
Next was a male person in a dress, presumably transgender, reading bad poetry. What happened at this point is truly remarkable. The crowd, it would seem, wasn’t paying enough attention. Note that this was a walking around, socializing, drinking, dancing event, not a sit-in-chairs-and-face-a-stage event. Nonetheless, the lack of attention irked the organizer, who temporarily took the mic and straight-up berated the crowd. “This is the one night that’s by us and for us!” she screamed, apparently unfamiliar with the concept of irony. “It’s important that we pay attention!!” she continued.
But wasn’t it her job, as coordinator, to hold the attention of her audience, to give them what they wanted? Did it not occur to her that there might be a reason why the women present were bored by the physicality and perspective of males, who after all, also dominate all the other events that aren’t “for us”?
And finally, the most ill-advised act of all. An unfortunate-looking trans-identified male in a sparkly skirt with thinning hair, broad shoulders and narrow hips sashayed slowly onto the stage to the tune of some stale ballad. He then yawned, climbed onto a bed onstage, and removed his top to reveal a boob job with pasties–because women go to bed in pasties, amirite–before lying, arching his back, pulling the sheets up and simulating what porn has told him female masturbation looks like.
The whole act was badly conceived and poorly acted in addition to being a clear turn-off to its intended audience.
Let’s recap: After a number of performances by gay men, a straight male exhibitionist pretended to masturbate in front of a room full of lesbians.
That’s the state of gay rights today. That’s the state of feminism.
And should some women happen to find this type of thing masculine and lame–like the hundreds in the club that night who apparently did–creating their own event that better represents their interests is no longer an option. Because those events will be attacked and sabotaged for not catering instead to other people’s interests.
Women, take it. And pretend to like it.
Isn’t that always the message.