I’m not so proud of gay pride

With regards to the article on the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer "Celebration" [”LGBTQ Celebration,” Sept. 29 Xpress], I feel compelled to announce clearly that those fringe elements don’t represent me as part of the “gay community." … My sexual orientation has nothing to do with making a public nuisance of myself and attempting to "in-your-face" my way into some kind of cultural acceptance. Are these people aware of how distasteful it is for those of us who are discreet about our sexuality (gay or straight) to be compared to those who run around painted up like harlots while screaming for some kind of sociopolitical justice? It's so asinine it defies logical argument.

I'll leave it to the reader to extrapolate this statement to religious, racial, M/F sexual “equality” seekers. Try this: Get an education, get a job, work hard and demonstrate that you're a good citizen and friend to the community who happens to be Islamic, Hispanic, female, gay, etc. Psst! We're all different, and nobody cares until you make it an issue.

— Sidney Nemms
Asheville

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37 thoughts on “I’m not so proud of gay pride

  1. Piffy!

    How is one ‘discreet’ about their sexuality? Where is the line? Who decides?

    I dislike flamboyant homosexuals as well, for the record. The feeling is mutual, i believe.

  2. Piffy!

    [b]Psst! We’re all different, and nobody cares until you make it an issue.[/b]

    Yes. Conform. Don’t rock the boat. It’s all your fault.

  3. Geez Sidney take a chill pill! I think you said it best: We’re all different. Ironically YOU made it an issue and perhaps you need a history lesson on the roots of gay pride.

  4. reasonable

    Thank you, Sidney, for your letter that I think echos the feelings of most rational people.

  5. arrington13

    Speaking for myself only, I wonder if you were at the festival? There were no painted harlots screaming for justice. There were drag queens who performed, if that is what you are referring to, but I’d encourage you to look up the historical reasoning behind drag queens. Also,the theme was One Heart, One World, One Pride which suggests that the world as whole should make efforts to co-exist equally, which we don’t live in now.

  6. Piffy!

    I am SO tired of all the boring, ‘discreet’ people. They are constantly embarrassing all of us with their milqtoast sexuality. Here’s a tip; not everyone is like you, so stop trying to draw attention to yourself with letters-to-the-editor.

  7. Ken Hanke

    Yes. Conform. Don’t rock the boat. It’s all your fault.

    Well, after all, it might frighten the horses.

  8. sidneynemms

    Piffy:’conform’ is such a relative thing. Are all those out there with tatoos and piercings still ‘non-conformists?’

  9. Barry Summers

    Well, after all, it might frighten the horses.

    Except the gay ones.

    What? What?!?

  10. sidneynemms

    …AND IF YOU HATED THE EDITORIAL, YOU’LL LOATHE THIS! My unedited letter read: “…those fringe elements DON’T represent me as part of the gay “community.” For those of us gay men who don’t nance around hissing our S’s and giving impotent fashion advice to obese women, there is NO GAY COMMUNITY.”

  11. ahuntsman

    “We’re all different, and nobody cares until you make it an issue.”

    ….or someone makes it an issue for you by denying a male to female transgendered person a job, or picks on your kid at school because he has two mommies, or kicks sand in your face because you kiss your lover in public….

    If you don’t like pride, don’t go.

  12. Ken Hanke

    That’s right — nobody cares about anyone else’s sexuality (insert big laugh here), so just shut up about it and get back in that closet and watch the miserable teenagers and other young people off themselves because they think there’s something “wrong” with them. Terrific idea.

  13. Sidney it is fine that you want to hover in the background, to go along to get along. That is your choice.

    Just understand it is because that so called fringe element has created such a ruckus demanding their dignity as fellow human beings – you really should get out more, at least look at Michael Muller’s slide show to see who you are calling fringe – that when the town folks do find out that you have had homa sex yull relations, that you are not taken out back and summarily shot.

  14. WNCAmy

    I think you get to live in such an accepting community in relative peace precisely *because* people have been willing to fight for recognition and equality. The fact that your experience is that “nobody cares” shows just how far society has come. (But there’s still a long way to go.)

  15. hauntedheadnc

    I could kind of understand the point of this letter had Asheville’s pride festival actually been a hypersexual freak show the way most seem to be… But it wasn’t. It was exactly what a pride fest should be, and I think it represented our city’s gay community and its diversity very well.

  16. Taxed Enuf Already

    I agree that flamboyant gay marchers reinforce stereotypes by society. I didn’t see the parade, but if hauntedheadnc is right, then maybe it was a good march.

    @Piffy Kat, relax. We still love you and accept your gayness. Continue your amusing gay snarkiness your Piffyness!

  17. Barry Summers

    Psst! We’re all different, and nobody cares until you make it an issue.

    Psst! In Uganda, they’re actually gearing up for a genocide of gay people, with the quiet encouragement of American evangelicals. Don’t think there are some who would love to make it happen here? Or that it would happen whether you’re “making it an issue” or not?

    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/10/21/anti_gay_fervor_in_uganda_tied

  18. sidneynemms

    Oh, for #$%^’s sake, Barry and Ken. Go easy on the hyperbole! I (no kidding) sat in traffic on the GW for over an hour on Oct 3…and didn’t see a crowd of outed femmes attempting to take flight from this cruel cruel world…and nobody’s gearing up to “cut the tall [rainbow] trees” around my neighborhood. It’s not exactly rational to try to put me in a position to argue FOR genocide or cyber-spying on roommates.

    I also take real offense at the ‘closet’ statement, This is a free-speech-based forum, and you know can get away with that here. It was ignorant, cliche, trite, obvious and bigoted. I’m not closeted because I don’t fly the flag. There’s no doubt you used that term to attempt to promote some self-loathing in me. But that debate tactic requires of the recipient both a lack of self-confidence and a respect for the intelligence of the sender…I have neither.

  19. zen

    Not being gay, i can’t say whether the event represented gays well or poorly, but what i saw when there was a celebration of diversity and a fun mix of people with serious concerns and sometimes silly pride in who they (and we) were. Since when did a streetparty celebration stop becoming “in your face”?

    Cultural acceptance comes with much work along with an ability at some point to be able to look at ourselves and laugh.

  20. Margaret Williams

    People! There are a few pending comments that go over the line, and a few that have gone through which are questionable with regard to ad hominen, potentially inflammatory remarks, etc. Respect that Mr. Nemms wanted to submit a letter to the editor, possibly knowing what vim and vigor he’d get back, did so anyway:

    Respond to the subject at hand, not attack the person.

  21. bobaloo

    Psst! In Uganda, they’re actually gearing up for a genocide of gay people, with the quiet encouragement of American evangelicals.

    And in most Middle Eastern and some Asian states homosexuality (and adultery and fornication and a multitude of other sexual acts) is punishable by death as per Islamic law.
    Funny how that’s overlooked by folks who despise Christians yet espouse tolerance for other cultures.

  22. Barry Summers

    And in most Middle Eastern and some Asian states homosexuality (and adultery and fornication and a multitude of other sexual acts) is punishable by death as per Islamic law.
    Funny how that’s overlooked by folks who despise Christians yet espouse tolerance for other cultures.

    So we agree then. Excellent.

  23. bobaloo

    We probably don’t, actually. I think Islam is far, far less tolerant of sexual “deviants”.

  24. bobaloo

    Wow. I wasn’t aware of that. Point to you. I have no rebuttal for that. We obviously agree that religious extremism taken to that kind of level is horrid.

  25. Barry Summers

    While you’re right that Islamic countries are also hostile to homosexuality, the really sad and alarming thing here is that the oppression and threats building in Uganda are happening with at least some tacit encouragement from American evangelicals and even sitting US Senators like James Inhofe. The politician in Uganda who is pushing for the death penalty for gays said in an interview that US religious leaders assure him privately that they support him:

    “The many friends that we have, especially the evangelicals, in America, when we speak to them privately, they do support us. They encourage us. But they are in a society that is very hostile, and we appreciate that. And we have said, “Do what you think is right for your conscience. But at the same time, remember that we are engaged in a spiritual battle, we are engaged in a very difficult battle, and it’s important that you come out clearly.” But we accept that they are in a very hostile environment, because America has—some of the many leaders in America have been blackmailed by pro-gay communities. But we have support in America. There are people who support what we’re engaged in. There are many, many Americans who don’t accept homosexuality as a human right, who take it as sin. They know it. But how do we treat these homosexuals is a matter that all of us are disagreeing. There are those who think that we should appreciate them, be tolerant to them, but for us here, we are saying, no, we shouldn’t. We should call a sin “sin,” because we cannot relate to the Bible.”

    Mind you, he’s talking about executing or imprisoning people not just for committing homosexual acts. If you know someone who’s gay & don’t turn him in, you go to prison as well. He said in another interview that his real goal is to:

    “…kill every last gay person.”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129422524

    And he’s claiming that the Bible and American evangelicals support him in doing so. So if I come off as “anti-Christian”, I’m not – I’m anti-genocide. It’s just a fact that America is a majority Christian nation, and some Christians here believe that this is OK. Here’s a Las Vegas pastor (whose church supports one of the most vitriolic anti-gay pastors in Uganda), after being asked to denounce the legislation that codifies the killing of human beings for being gay:

    “Why do we, as a church in America, need to say something about a bill in Uganda?”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128491183&ps=rs

  26. sidneynemms

    OK, to bring the conversation back to Asheville,and I’m aware that initially, I’ll seem a HUGE hypocrite..but I DO really dig an adult gay-friendly (though not necessarily exclusively gay, nor necessarily tawdry–but it helps) Halloween party…but I’m not finding anything huge for Saturday the 30th…am I missing something?? THIS IS ASHEVILLE!! And I will justify my apparent ambivalence by saying that on Halloween, EVERYONE gets to dress up! (Cue Lou Reed–and I mean “Halloween Parade,” not “Walk on the Wild Side,” btw).

  27. Jessica B.

    Mr. Neems, did you actually attend Blue Ridge Pride this year? I did, and was amazed and pleased at the festive, yet mellow and genuinely friendly atmosphere. Frankly, I’ve seen more sexuality being “flaunted” at Bele Chere, or even the local malls.

  28. Barry Summers

    OK, to bring the conversation back to Asheville,and I’m aware that initially, I’ll seem a HUGE hypocrite..but I DO really dig an adult gay-friendly (though not necessarily exclusively gay, nor necessarily tawdry—but it helps) Halloween party…but I’m not finding anything huge for Saturday the 30th…am I missing something??

    Initially?

  29. dpewen

    Reasonable … you and your wife make up your group … why do you live here if you cannot tolerate the great diversity we have here? Your idea of rational thinking dates back to the middle ages!

  30. shadmarsh

    I’ve been around many many people in Asheville who are gay, some friends and some not. Not once have I ever felt that someones “gayness” was “in my face.” Perhaps we live in different Ashevilles?

  31. reasonable

    @ dpewen

    d, I have no idea where you come up with this stuff. No, my wife and I do not make up our group, whatever that means. Our group, to use your parlance, is made up of scores of wonderful people right here in Asheville. Over 75 percent of my male friends are gay and over 50 percent of my female friends are as well. Same holds true for my wife.

    The difference is, my friends choose not to hop on the ol’ PDA wagon, you know, public display of affection, beyond perhaps an arm-in-arm stroll in an idyllic locale or the like.

    Call it maturity, call it whatever you wish but rational, mature people do not feel the need to wear their collective hearts on their sleeves or whatever.

    As to your “…why do you live here if you cannot tolerate the great diversity we have here? Your idea of rational thinking dates back to the middle ages!” comment I can only guess where you pulled that from and I guess you don’t really know me at all.

    So, reload and try again. Geeesh…

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