DC Gay Pride Parade 2012 – ‘Faces of Pride’ Part 3

I’ve been attending Pride parades and festivals for over 20 years now. Every year is different, in every city. One thing I’ve noticed as a sea change from the early days is the switch in emphasis from AIDS/HIV (not that it has gone away, but it is now very much in the background, which is not necessarily a good thing) to gay families – the most wildly cheered groups are PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays) and the gay parenting groups. There are as always the nearly naked dancing boys with the Supersoakers, the gay bars and the leather/sm/fetish clubs, along with drag queens galore. It is fascinating to see how the movement has changed as time has gone on… now that our basic civil rights are reasonably secure and the political focus has shifted from mere survival to guaranteeing the right to thrive. There’s a certain absence of frisson, rebellious tension and erotic possibility in the air that used to be there, and I’m not sure if it is because I’ve grown up or because the movement has.


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