Activist Kevin Kindred Channels Larry Kramer's Rage for Pride Vigil

Posted by Wayves volunteeer 25/07/2013

By Kevin Kindred

"I'm very privileged to be someone who is occasionally asked to speak about and for our queer community here in Halifax. And this time of year, I'm often asked to speak about Pride. And I want to tell you, I'm getting sick of it. Not the talking, but the asking. Especially when the questions reflect this kind of low-level, subconscious hostility to the idea of what Pride represents.

I'm sick of being asked why Pride changed from being political to something else. As if the act of asserting our presence in the community, of saying we're here, we're queer, we're part of what makes this city great--as if that wasn't a political act. As if a protest sign and a feather boa aren't just different ways of demanding to be seen and heard in our communities.

I'm sick of being asked why we have to flaunt our sexuality during Pride. As if we should just take for granted that repressed attitudes about sex are a good thing, that our bodies and our pleasures are a toxin that can only be accepted by the mainstream if tightly controlled. As if we need to learn about healthy sexuality from straight people, rather than the other way around.

I'm sick of being asked by privileged white middle class queers why we need Pride anyway, because their life is going so well. As if that privilege was written in stone, and weren't dependent on constantly asserting our presence and our value as part of the social fabric.

I'm sick of being asked what's left to fight for, in a world where queer people can be silenced by their state in Russia, or murdered by their state in Iran, or murdered by their own communities in Cameroon, or harassed on the streets in Halifax or bullied to death in high schools all across North America.

And I'm sick, especially sick, of being asked whether Pride is just an excuse for a big party. As if it's uppity to expect some celebration in our community, as if celebration isn't as inherent to human dignity as equality and liberty are. As if to celebrate were a conceit, or a luxury, instead of an obligation we owe to ourselves and to those who can't see a reason to celebrate in their own lives."

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