by Reid Fitzsimons
In less than six months the rainbow flags will unfurl and people dressed in their statement-making finest will be marching: June and another Gay Pride month will be upon us. Though certainly aware of events occurring under the moniker of Gay Pride, somehow until recently I was unaware that an entire month is devoted to this concept, despite former President, Bill Clinton, declaring such back in the year 2000. I’m not sure where I’ve been, though admittedly it wasn’t until 2015 that someone explained to me the intrigues of America’s premier family, the Kardashians, even though they’ve had a culturally vital TV show going back to 2007. Furthermore, I learned there was a relationship between Bruce Jenner and the Kardashian clan. You might recall that Bruce Jenner, now in his mid-60s, garnered fame and fortune many years ago through his athleticism, and more recently found additional fortune and fame through the less strenuous enterprise of declaring himself a female. I’ve been thinking that photos of this recent incarnation of Bruce Jenner remind me of something and it finally struck me- the poor guy looks a little like Norman Bates when he dressed up as his long-dead mother.
In the not-to distant past Barack Obama decreed that homosexuality and the military were fully compatible. This was not the eminently sensible policy in which one was welcome to be in the military as long as they did not feel compelled to share their personal sexual inclinations and the military had no particular interest in learning them, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Barack Obama’s vision revealed itself to be a descendant of the 1960s creed of Let It All Hang Out: it became almost an expectation that one’s private sexual preferences were to be revealed, the more “in your face” the better, as long as they were homosexual or otherwise non-heterosexual. Hence we quickly were treated to homosexuals in full military uniform enthusiastically marching about in events called Gay Pride parades, with the full blessing of the progressive military hierarchy.
Perhaps I am too old for my own good, but I’m pretty sure I recall from Army basic training in 1976 it was assumed and understood that the uniform was not to be on display at activist political events, or non-activist political events for that matter. Mixing the military with politics is something for dictators and despots, not democrats, though our soon-to be ex-president is not as sympathetic with this concept as might be desired. But I guess the rules have changed- if the Girl Scouts can be exploited for progressive political purposes no reason the US military can’t follow their lead.
“Pride” is one of those many words or phrases that have evolved so that it is no longer actually defined but user defined. Similarly “Hate” no longer really has much significance and can be applied equally to a conservative Christian who has devoted his or her life to serving the poor but doesn’t become giddy over the Obergefell decision as it does to a KKK member lamenting the loss of the good old days of segregation and lynching. “Hateful” or “hate-filled” are now pretty much used to describe anyone who fails to savor the progressive soup de jour. In these and all cases the impact of the word or phrase is diluted into essential meaninglessness, like a spoiled teen who HATES her parents because they won’t buy her the latest smart phone.
Until recently the word “pride” implied that some effort was required, along with an assumption that whatever was involved went beyond triviality; one could not, for example, use the word “pride” in the context that the new belt they purchased went well with the new shoes. In the old days, there existed a spectrum of descriptions that fell short of “pride,” loosely running from “I’m not ashamed of” to “I’m perfectly satisfied with.” Using myself for several examples- I am a 58 year-old white male, relatively tall (6’3”), generally inclined toward heterosexuality, and weigh in the low 180s. So here is the breakdown:
I have no sense of “white pride” but am okay with being white.
I’m perfectly happy with being tall, though I hit my head on things
more often than most.
I am not proud of being in later middle age, it just is.
I have no sense of “heterosexual” pride.
Examples of some things in which I do feel pride to varying degrees:
My weight- as a younger adult I peaked at 230 and, especially in the past 4-5 years, was able to obtain and maintain a favorable weight through consistent exercise and a reasonably healthy (and philosophically vegetarian) diet.
Having obtained a pilot’s license.
Having, in partnership with my wife, established and maintained a small hands-on charity in an impoverished village in rural Honduras, Central America.
Being able to apply self-taught skills in such areas as electricity, carpentry, and plumbing to helping others, such as getting the water pump running again for the old widow lady next door or installing electricity in mud houses in Honduras, a hope for people which would otherwise always and only remain a dream.
The underlying theme here is effort and accomplishment of some sort. Hence, I cannot relate to the concept of Gay Pride. The progressive consensus in regards to the origin of homosexuality is “Born This Way.” While I’m not sure if the science supports this or if it ever will, there is a regrettably inherent preface to this, an “I can’t help it” or “it’s not my fault.” If a homosexual is “born this way” then pride cannot be part of the equation, no more than a really handsome guy can be proud of his good looks. Even if homosexuality is a choice, pride is false at best: could anyone imagine some reprobate heterosexual guy legitimately feeling pride because he’s opts to hit on girls with big breasts?
Ultimately Gay Pride is symptomatic of homosexuals not being accepting of themselves. The unfortunate corollary of this is seeking, and demanding, affirmation from others, often manifested politically and culturally. Contrary to the social justice narrative that conservatives enjoy nothing better than cruising by gay bars and yelling, “faggots will burn in hell,” the vast majority couldn’t care less: conservatives don’t see a person as a mere singular entity but as a sum of many parts. In other words, as someone once said, a person should be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. It is both ironic and troubling that progressives cling to such limited, and even superficial, criteria to define people.
Yes, it is true that conservatives reject the idea that one’s homosexual inclinations should give them special standing or protections under law or policy, but this might actually be considered an issue of fairness. Likewise, conservatives resent activist homosexuals targeting Christians for financial ruin in order to “make a statement.” This is not because of “homophobia” but simply reflective of a basic conservative tenet of live and let live. A society cannot really be successful and humane if tolerance is a one-way proposition: a truly compassionate and mature homosexual will no more go to a Christian baker and demand a cake for a gay wedding than a compassionate and mature Christian will go to a Jewish or Muslim baker and demand a cake that states, “Jesus Christ is the True and Only King.”
Though it may never arrive, I’ll look forward to the day when homosexuals no longer feel compelled to march in Gay Pride parades shouting, “We’re Here, We’re Queer, Get Used To It,” but simply are accepting themselves: “I’m okay with this aspect of who I am.” The day when they no longer need and insist upon extrinsic sources for their personal affirmation- it will be nice to finally have a respite from all the marching, shouting, and statement making.