Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pride, Take 2

It was fascinating listening to Dan (of the fantabulous The Dan & Rye Show Podcast) explain the difference between the White Party held last weekend and the Pride March, which is now held during December. I think a lot of gay men—me included—mistook the White Party to be part of the activities to push for gay rights and anti-discrimination laws. Most of the confusion happens because the White Party coincides with worldwide celebrations of the anniversary of Stonewall. Thank you Dan & Rye for the clarification.

I guess it’s not asking too much to conclude that, since June is the anniversary of Stonewall, a lot of gay men naturally assumed that the White Party could stand for something more than just a themed party. Come to think of it, why couldn’t it? Then you have to ask the White Party organizers if they want it to stand for something more. But if they choose to keep it as just a party, please don’t take it against them and to those who attended the event.

As far as I’m concerned any public gathering, whether to protest or to celebrate gay interests, any public display of kabaklaan is welcome. In a time where discrimination occurs even amongst gay folks, let us embrace events that will allow us to embrace each other and show some solidarity. And have any excuse to party, party, PARTY!

* * * * *

Tolerance, n, endurance of, or permitting liberty to, uncongenial persons, or opinions differing from one’s own; tolerate, to endure; to allow by not hindering.

Accept, vt, to receive, especially willingly; to approve; to agree to; to believe in; to treat as welcome; acceptance, n, approval; assent

In an ideal world who wouldn’t want to be accepted? But given the realities of today, it’s more likely that gay folks in the Philippines are merely tolerated than accepted. One will more likely hear the statement “Hindi natin ginusto ang kabaklaan ng anak natin, pero nandadiyan na yan” than “Salamat sa Diyos! Bakla ang anak natin! Yan pa naman ang pinangarap ko n’ung buntis ako!”

I’d have to agree with Rye that with real tolerance one should be able to live the lives we want to lead. That is, if we have real tolerance. The sad side of tolerance is that it allows for people to take on a condescending attitude towards the ones they’re tolerating. “Oh, let’s just tolerate them, dear, after all, they’re condemned to go to hell anyway. So let them go on their merry damned way.” Condescension presupposes that one is in a better or superior position than the other. Which is well and good if we’re talking about talents or skills; but if it’s about sexual preference, why should hetero be better than homo and vice versa?

I guess I’m more wary of condescension more than tolerance. Which is why I’d rather bat for acceptance than just tolerance.

Is acceptance too much to ask? Oh yes. It is very difficult to be all embracing. You might even have to end up as wrinkled as Mother Teresa to be so accepting as she was.

Well, we can dream can’t we?


rOckY said...

once upon a time the gay pride festivities at the end of june were a lot more socially-conscious with the parade taking place as one of the events and multiple events / parties from wed-sun.

i have to admit in recent years it has just become a party and not much more, which is a bit sad.

then again, meaning can also be in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. i go to pride every year since it still means a lot to me. it makes me remember my friends and think about my independence and my right to live as a proud gay man in a largely straight world.

sure, many people treat it like just a party, but it doesn't mean we all have to, right?

cant_u_read said...

hi joel!

i won't comment on what you wrote here because if i did, uulitin ko lang yung sinabi ko sa podcast. hehehe!

ang sasabihin ko lang ay, you will never know how overwhelmed dan and i are that we've received really pertinent comments from our listeners, yourself included. finally, parang nagkaroon ng saysay ang pagdadaldalan namin ni dan. tapos meron pang ganitong blog entry written by THE joel mcvie. it gives us some sort of pride that we were able to stir up the minds of our listeners.

marami pa akong gustong sabihin but i am just at a loss for words right now. i feel like a celebrity! i really do!

susulat na lang ako ng blog pag lumipas na ung high ko. basta ang point ko lang, maraming maraming salamat!

joelmcvie said...

ROCKY: If you listen to The Dan & Rye Show Podcast Episode 24, Dan clarifies that the White Party is really JUST a party.

Here's the summary: Years before there was a Pride March AND the White Party, usually held on the same day in June. The Pride March was the one with the political agenda; the White Party, on the other hand, is a celebration of gayness, aka, mag-party tayo mga bakla! A few years ago the Pride March organizers--which is different from the White Party organizers--decided to move the March to December (para hindi inuulan). The White Party remained in June.

* * * * *

I guess the White Party can be treated as just that: a party. But if you really think about it, it's a party made for and by gay folks, held in a very public place, where even TV networks take time to feature it in their light news/lifestyle portions. It's gay folks celebrating their gayness. There is meaning there already; of course, for others the meaning may not be as relevant to them as they'd wanted it to be.

joelmcvie said...

RYE: Hoy Your Kasuyness, tigilan na ang mga "THE" with all caps, ha! Hahahaha. May saysay ang mga pagdadaldal ninyo, even if they were only to entertain. That they also inform is even better.

At isa pa: celebrity nga kayo. Pramis.

rOckY said...

i guess more of the point of my entry is that on a personal level, i've come to associate a lot of meaning with Pride weekend, party or not. heck, i don't think i actually attend the street party anymore, but i do take the time to celebrate certain milestones in my life.

perhaps it's the equivalent of assigning meaning to just about anything - i could be celebrating going into my very first McDonald's and still assign meaning to it.

on the surface, it's just a party, and that one cannot deny. at the same time, there can be meaning as well and i suppose it becomes up to the individual to decide to do that or not.

i'm beginning to sound more like a romantic rather than a geek, haha. it's hard to explain in a comment, but there are just so many things that happened to me many Junes ago and Pride was the celebration of many things for me. =D

joelmcvie said...

ROCKY: Baka in love ka. Uuuuuuuuy! :-)

O baka epekto lang yan ng Transformers the movie. You've been transformed into a romantic. Romanticons, roll out! Hahahaha.

rOckY said...

haha, well today is officially my sixth anniversary with my partner, so that may explain the romantic notions. *winks*