Dismantling Gay Pride

Jun 8 2011 @ 3:23pm

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Jesse Bering tackles Pride Week from a linguistic and evolutionary psychologist's perspective. And he dismantles "the assumption of a largely mythical, collective gay identity":

In my everyday life, and unless you bring it up, being gay is about as salient to my self-concept as is my having brown hair or driving a Honda; I don’t feel—wait for the gasps—a particular affinity with other gay people just because they’re gay. I might want to have sex with other gay men, sure. We’ve got that much in common. But anything else, well, there just simply aren’t any shared psychological traits that bring us together in some intrinsic brotherhood.

I haven't been to a Pride event in years, maybe a decade. My view is that they can be great therapy and empowerment for those just coming to terms with being out, but can end up enforcing some ghastly, single "gay identity" memes I don't really believe in. My hope has always been that as civil rights are extended and formal equality achieved, we can move past gay and straight to human, and within that broader category have far more niches, sub-sub-cultures, individuals and experiments in living as possible. The gay pride thing is so … well, gay. It was once a gateway; now it feels more like a holding pen.

(Photo by Flickr user tinou bao)