I say move the parade downtown and let it die. If it can’t rise to the challenge, then it should expire. It’s not that I’m a self-hating fag (though that’s always a very convenient way to write someone off for disagreeing with the community), but rather that I’m completely embarassed by the total lack of any real political content, any outrage or any protest in pride. The idea that visibility is enough and that visibility is getting drunk and half-naked on corporate beer floats (or in the case of Seattle Pride— the bed of truck) is pathetic. As of this October I’ll have been out for twenty years ( I came out when I was fourteen. Where’s my goddamn watch?), and I actually remember going to marches not parades. I remember going to pride in Dubuque, Iowa in 1989. It was their second year having it. The first year the marchers had been pelted with eggs and rocks. In response, thousands of people came from all over the midwest. The event planners were in tears because they were so overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. There were a ton of protesters, but we marched without incident. And, yes, I was actually proud. We’re in an equally dark political time right now and I’m sorry to be the ultimate killjoy but this isn’t the time for a fucking parade. It’s time for a protest and that means leaving the safety of this neighborhood. I think there are a lot of people who would show up that never do if there was something to stand up for other than being the queer version of Saint Patrick’s Day.