Marriage, roses, graduations, and once again, Pride events and Parades in major U.S. cities, they all signal June. However, unlike the first three harbingers of summer, not all GLBT persons and their straight parents want to march or spectate at Gay Pride Parades, an annual event (http://www.gaypridecalendar.com).
One Straight Parent Grouses
A mother I interviewed in Pennsylvania who defends her son’s same-sex marriage that was announced in the New York Times told me “ I have no shame about my son being gay and married. But honestly, I think these Gay Pride Parades hurt LGBT equality. You know, the nearly nude showing off their bodies….”
To the naked eye that isn’t used to gawking at men in leather thongs, rainbow-colored Mohawks, lesbians called “dykes on bikes,” riding on motorcycles, gay clowns, the Pride Parade resembles The Christopher Street Halloween Parade in New York City.Granted it shows off the most flamboyant and far-out of the LGBT population.
But as I found out after marching in June 2011 in the Manhattan Gay Pride Parade, after New York passed same-sex marriage on June 24, 2011, and Governor Cuomo was regarded as a hero to the LGBT community, that it was exhilarating! The Parade comes in all sizes: “the so-called “twinks,”(young, slender, no body hair), the “bears,” (large, usually, heavy, very masculine), the LGBT persons in drag, but also the lawyers marching alongside the beauticians, the celebrities, the out-of-towners, the parents of PFLAG (Parents of Lesbians and Gays) and other straight allies waving their own banners. A year later, in 2012, if you can believe it, 300 Mormons, all straight church members would march in support of their gay brethren, at the Gay Pride Parade in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Other Ways You Can Be A Straight Ally
If Gay Pride Parades aren’t for you or your shy LGBT child, there are other ways you can support the LGBT community. There are plenty of resources listed at http://www.forequality.org/Ally Resources. You can choose among workplace, healthcare, faith, trans, and PFLAG categories. The bonus is you can advocate all year long, not just in June!
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.