So Who Needs Pride? Has the Celebration Lost Its Luster? Can't We Skip It This Year? Wouldn't It Be Better to at Least Tone Down the Outrageousness? No, No, and Absolutely No. Here's Why

Article excerpt

"We live in two Americas," John Edwards famously observed. True enough, especially when we're talking about LGBT America. Gays in the big cities put a premium on our freedom to live openly--we'd never put up with the indignities small-town gays endure. Yet in those same small towns, we joke that while urban gays dismiss us, we're doing the real work of advancing our cause in the world outside the bubble.

Our two gay Americas react differently to Pride Month. We squabble about what the occasion means and what it ought to mean. Some urban queers feel that Pride's day has come and gone. Parades bore us; they're hot and loud and tacky. Not another bazaar full of rainbow T-shirts! No more drag queens on roller skates! Can't we come up with something new?

Elsewhere, of course, Pride is new and then some. We put ourselves on the line to make it happen. We wrangle with homophobic local governments for permits to assemble. We outmaneuver "Christian" organizations who want us to stay home. We strike a blow just by showing up. …