I’ve never understood how someone could be proud of being gay. How can one be proud of something one didn’t work for?
You know, I really thought that in the atheist community, we were past this. I really thought that in the atheist community — despite some of the horrible racism, sexism, misogyny, anti-feminism, and ferocious opposition to social justice we’ve been seeing — we were overwhelmingly pro-LGBT. I really thought that, with the exception of a handful of nincompoops who we overwhelmingly disavowed, we understood the deep religious roots of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, and that we understood that fighting this bigotry was part and parcel of our fight against religious oppression. I really thought that no widely-read, widely-respected atheist author would be making ignorant jabs at LGBT people and LGBT culture, and posting snide, hostile, hurtful, “just asking questions” questions about us in public without actually bothering to ask any of us beforehand. Or rather, I really thought that no atheist author would do that and continue to be widely-read and widely-respected.
I guess I was wrong.
Okay. Fine. As a fully licensed and registered LGBT person, I will spell out to Peter Boghossian what, exactly, “gay pride” means. (Actually, to be precise, I will point out what “LGBT pride” means.)
LGBT pride does not mean being proud of having been born lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans.
It means being proud of having survived.
It is not easy to do any of this. Despite the many advances LGBT people have made over the decades, we still live in a society that commonly thinks we should be ashamed simply for existing. It is incredibly difficult to listen to people denigrate us, taunt us, humiliate us, bully us, shame us, from the earliest days of our childhood until the day we die — and still flourish, still be happy, still be compassionate, still fight for our rights, still retain our dignity, still love our bodies and our sexualities and our selves, still survive.
It is not easy to do any of this. It takes work.
When LGBT people talk about LGBT pride, when we attend LGBT Pride celebrations, when we say we’re proud to be gay or lesbian or bisexual or trans, this is what we’re talking about. It is a hugely important aspect of LGBT history and culture. And when people mock it and denigrate it in public, many of us take it rather personally. Experience has taught us that when people treat the concept of LGBT pride with hostility and contempt, they tend to treat us — our history, our culture, our struggles for equality and rights — with hostility and contempt.