Pride



Atlanta Pride Parade 2009, Picture from Creative Loafing

Well, I had loads of fun at Pride on Sunday. (Originally, I planned to make it out on Saturday and play guitar for a little bit, but it was all cold and rainy...so instead, I went Sunday for the parade.) I did end up giving out all of the sampler CDs that I made. Some people seemed pretty excited that I was just giving out my music to random people. Taking self-promotion to the streets, I called it. (Oh, and if you happened to get one of my CDs and that led you to this website, drop me a comment!)

Anyway, one of my favorite things about Pride is seeing parents supporting their gay daughters or sons, seeing churches that don't condemn people for their sexual orientation, seeing politicians who actually support the LGBT community. I just love seeing all of the acceptance, open love, and support.

I suppose the main reason that I go to Pride every year is because I don't see gender when I look at people. In fact, I don't really even believe in gender. I think there should be a word for that. Gender-free maybe? (Although I've only heard one other person use that. So maybe I should give this person credit? Though I'm not sure she coined the phrase? I'll get back to you on that. Haha.)  Sure, there is biology. There is such a thing as biological sex. But sex (like ethnicity) does not define anything about a person. I'm not saying everyone is completely alike, and there are no differences. But I think the main differences are individual and not based on biological sex, ethnicity, etc. It's a whole slew of things, really. Background, culture, family, genetics. Gender is a social construct. (So is race, really.) And when I look at a person, I don't want to see a black person, a white person, a man, a woman, I just want to see the person and get to know s/he for who s/he is, regardless of that person's sex, race, or biology. I realize that this is sometimes impossible, based on the way we as humans feel the need to classify and label things in our minds. Even our language is very "gendered." There is no gender-neutral pronoun, which makes us further have to put everyone in these strict categories. "Boy" or "girl." "He" or "she." I have some friends who use gender-neutral pronouns like "ze," "zir," "zirself," etc. I think that's an excellent idea, really. Maybe I'll start trying that.

And with that belief, I think that love happens without regard to sex, race, or biology, too. When I see a homosexual couple, I don't really even think to myself "oh, it's a gay couple." It's more like "Oh, it's a couple. Two people." I don't even necessarily like labels like "gay," "straight," "bisexual," etc., though I do understand why they might be necessary for some people. But basically, what I'm trying to say is, I go to Pride because I am proud to be gender-free.

2 comments

  • Chetter Hummin

    Chetter Hummin

    I really liked your blog, however I wish the world was like you describe it, but so far, it is not that simple. As you said, there is the biological sex, something that prevents males from conceiving (at least with the current technology), make it hard for us to lactate, and prevents women from, well not much, women seem to be much more flexible than men, normal male at least (not the fully testosterone artificially huge males, if you want a woman with that sort of body fill her up with testosterone and you will get much the same result). But yeah, gender is a social construct, and the roles of that social construct are fortunately or unfortunately defined by society, the same as good an evil, race, nationality, language, et cetera. In pre christian Greece, slavery was not only accepted, but encouraged, also, if a child was not though enough it was ok to kill it (Sparta), homo/hetero relationships were not only accepted but usually the norm (you may have kids with the partner of the other biological sex and share more intimate sensations with the one of your own biological sex, because that partner knows more about how you may feel the intimacy than someone from the other sex). And most of the times the partner was a minor (but not always). In the late egiptian empire, incest was pretty common, actually it was almost the norm, that way you knew that the family was the "purest". Today, most of society in the western world defines what a couple is and what is not, and it may take a while till a couple (and yes, why think as a couple too, why can´t 3 or more people live together as a group with each other in an intimate physical and emotional relationship, that is another social construct) whatever their members are, can be accepted as such, when that happens, there will be no need for a Pride week or day, when that happens, I will not be prejudge for being born in a country with many drug dealers, thus making it really hard to go anywhere in the world, while my cousin, born in the US but raised in the same place as I did, is accepted anywhere, when that happen, we should decide what what is accepted and what isn´t because, that social construct may not be ideal either, some people may be left out, and then we should create new "classes" within society, you see what happened with the communist ideal, that thing only works well in communities up to 2000 people, larger than that and many problems arise. SO to finish it, I also tend to say person instead of he or she, that way I feel that a gender neutrality is obtained (we must research german, it has male, female and neutral gender definers). Thanks for allowing me to think again.

    I really liked your blog, however I wish the world was like you describe it, but so far, it is not that simple. As you said, there is the biological sex, something that prevents males from conceiving (at least with the current technology), make it hard for us to lactate, and prevents women from, well not much, women seem to be much more flexible than men, normal male at least (not the fully testosterone artificially huge males, if you want a woman with that sort of body fill her up with testosterone and you will get much the same result). But yeah, gender is a social construct, and the roles of that social construct are fortunately or unfortunately defined by society, the same as good an evil, race, nationality, language, et cetera. In pre christian Greece, slavery was not only accepted, but encouraged, also, if a child was not though enough it was ok to kill it (Sparta), homo/hetero relationships were not only accepted but usually the norm (you may have kids with the partner of the other biological sex and share more intimate sensations with the one of your own biological sex, because that partner knows more about how you may feel the intimacy than someone from the other sex). And most of the times the partner was a minor (but not always). In the late egiptian empire, incest was pretty common, actually it was almost the norm, that way you knew that the family was the "purest".
    Today, most of society in the western world defines what a couple is and what is not, and it may take a while till a couple (and yes, why think as a couple too, why can´t 3 or more people live together as a group with each other in an intimate physical and emotional relationship, that is another social construct) whatever their members are, can be accepted as such, when that happens, there will be no need for a Pride week or day, when that happens, I will not be prejudge for being born in a country with many drug dealers, thus making it really hard to go anywhere in the world, while my cousin, born in the US but raised in the same place as I did, is accepted anywhere, when that happen, we should decide what what is accepted and what isn´t because, that social construct may not be ideal either, some people may be left out, and then we should create new "classes" within society, you see what happened with the communist ideal, that thing only works well in communities up to 2000 people, larger than that and many problems arise.
    SO to finish it, I also tend to say person instead of he or she, that way I feel that a gender neutrality is obtained (we must research german, it has male, female and neutral gender definers).
    Thanks for allowing me to think again.

  • Sara Crawford

    Sara Crawford

    Thanks for reading the blog and providing such a thoughtful comment! You are right in many ways. Society does define gender roles, stereotypes associated with class, nationality, ethnicity, religion, etc. And the fact that I try to see the people behind all of that is not going to change how the world/society works, but it does change how the world works for me, and maybe I can help some other people to see people regardless of gender, ethnicity, etc., too, along the way. It's not really about ignoring all of the discrimination that goes on. Pride is all about standing up to that, being proud of who you are in spite of how society may see you.

    Thanks for reading the blog and providing such a thoughtful comment! You are right in many ways. Society does define gender roles, stereotypes associated with class, nationality, ethnicity, religion, etc. And the fact that I try to see the people behind all of that is not going to change how the world/society works, but it does change how the world works for me, and maybe I can help some other people to see people regardless of gender, ethnicity, etc., too, along the way. It's not really about ignoring all of the discrimination that goes on. Pride is all about standing up to that, being proud of who you are in spite of how society may see you.

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