Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where Pride Began?

How's this for irony? During Gay Pride week in New York, I saw an ad in a gay magazine for the recently reopened Stonewall Inn. The slogan for the bar is "Where Pride Began." So you can imagine how surprised I was to read the following line in the ad:

"watch the 2007 parade from our doorsteps."

Watch the parade?

Yes, I know the Stonewall Inn is a bar and has to have customers, sell drinks, and make money, but how can the place "where pride began" suggest people merely watch the parade instead of marching in it? Couldn't they be satisfied with the inevitable crowds that would (hopefully) show up after the parade? No doubt there were gays who for one reason or another didn't want to participate -- the commercialization or de-politicalization of the "parade", the religious groups at the forefront -- and would sit in the Stonewall in the afternoon instead, but why encourage it? Yes, I know it's just a line in an ad, nothing that would seriously influence anyone's behavior, but ...

But then bars are about money, and parades (marches) are about pride. Years ago bar people and activists used to argue about the parade/march and various events for that day -- both groups had very different agendas.

Bars used to (still do) use sex to get customers. [The Stonewall ad is accompanied by a photo of a "hot" near-naked pretty boy (with absolutely no hair on his chest). ]

Now they use pride?

I hope the Stonewall Inn becomes the bar I hope it will become, and not turn into just another Duplex II.

Time will tell.

No comments: