Pride - gay or otherwise

Why is the (homosexual rights) movement called “Pride”?

If, as I believe, homosexuality is a function of biology/nature, and there is no choice involved, then what is there to be “proud” of? I can no more be “cured” of my heterosexuality than an homosexual can be “cured” of his/her homosexuality, right?

Would it not be silly for me to be proud of my heterosexuality, or of my caucasian whiteness, seeing as I didn’t choose either condition?

Why then isn’t the movement referred to as “Unashamed” rather than “pride”?

Seems like it would be a more accurate description. Or, am I wrong? Is there a “pride” in being homosexual of which I am unaware?

Tigerman, I’m sure we can think of some things for you to be proud of.


I’m too dull-witted to know whether you’re funnin’ with me or irritated with me (especially since you didn’t use an emoticon)… but mine was a serious inquiry.

If the or a goal is to be treated with equality, or at least to prevent discrimination, then it seems that the fact that homosexuality is a function of biology/nature will help in several respects.

First, its difficult to argue with nature (its not nice to make Mother nature angry, don’t ya know?)… and second, if no choice is involved, no wrongdoing can be implied (thus no sin)…

It seems to me that declaring “pride” in a naturally occurring and unchosen condition might well work to counter some of the gains that might be had from the fact of the naturalness of homosexuality.

Incidentally, I’m not looking for anything in which to be proud. Pride is a sin, isn’t it :wink:

Tigerman: Just in case you AREN

I imagine that pride, being a positive word, skirts the negativity of unashamed. The civil rights movement for homosexuals borrowed heavily from slogans for women, “Proud to be a woman” and for blacks, “I’m black and I’m proud.”
When there is equality, there is no need for pride. “Proud to be white” bumper stickers are kinda silly. Gays simply use a rainbow sticker, generally.
Also “Pride” is a one-syllable catchword. “Hey, are you goin’ to Pride this year?” rolls off the tongue better than “Are you going to unashamed this year.”

I know of someone who is proud to be a republican, but not proud to be gay. I think that’s very sad. First the republican part is nothing to be proud of, but also because this person doesn’t love himself enough to be proud of his own “biological” sexual orientation. Being proud goes a step above just being unashamed.

Pride itself goes beyond what the individual feels about him or herself, but delves into what society and family may deem ‘something to be proud of’.

Will you be proud of your son if he turns out gay?

No, I wasn’t joking…

Thanks for the reply…

And, no… there was no Gay 101 at my high school… but my college girlfriend was bi-sexual and she had lots of gay friends who used to come over and visit… I suppose that was my first known exposure to gays and lesbians.

No. But, niether will I be ashamed of him.

BTW, if homosexuality is a naturally occurring condition, then he will not “turn out” either homo or heterosexual… he is already one or the other.

I think my dog is either homo or asexual… and I’m neither proud nor ashamed of him :wink:

Perhaps, but he may not understand that yet.
It’s too bad you couldn’t be proud of him.
Would you be proud of him if he becomes the first half Taiwanese republican president of the United States or the first gay half Taiwanese republican president of the US?

[quote=“Alien”]Perhaps, but he may not understand that yet.
It’s too bad you couldn’t be proud of him.[/quote]

Why should I be proud of him for being what he naturally is, one way or the other?

I would be proud of him, probably, if he became President of the United States… The other things, his ethnicity and sexual orientation, are functions of nature and not a matter of his choice, and thus there is neither pride nor shame associated with them. I hope he will be a Republican, but should he choose the dark side, well, it’ll depend on how far to the dark side he goes :wink:

Should he receive attacks from those who’re less enlightened than you, would you then exhibit pride in his choice to be who he is, since it’s a biological thing, ya know?

Yes, I would be proud of his honesty and courage. But, I’d be worried, of course.

Not worried that he is homosexual… but, worried that others might wish him harm for being so. And I’d be pissed at those others, just as I am at those who make a big deal about his mixed ethnicity… while we don’t try to down-play his mixed ethnicity, neither do we make a big deal about it… I suppose we will take a similar approach to his sexual orientation, again, one way or the other. I’m not going to sigh in relief if we learn that he is heterosexual, nor will I despair if we learn that he is homosexual.

My parents are proud of me for what I’ve accomplished, blah blah blah. They’ve never said they’re “proud” of me for being gay, but neither would I expect them to. They’re certainly not ashamed, and they support me completely. Being gay, for me, is such a small part of my life and who I am, and it’s not something I “accomplished” or worked hard for. It’s not a matter of “pride” at all … it’s just who I am, yet at the same time I don’t let it define me. I certainly don’t want to be thought of as “LittleBuddha the gay guy”, and my parents shouldn’t have to think of me as “LittleBuddha their gay son.” There are many other things in my life that make me me, and although being gay is certainly one of them, it is by no means the most important one. For a lot of gay guys, their “gayness” is their defining characteristic … that’s fine for them if that’s what they want, it’s just not for me. On the other hand, I’m certainly not ashamed of my sexuality. My friends, former co-workers, and teachers all knew I was gay (some asked, some figured it out on their own, but I never went out of my way to say “Hi, I’m LittleBuddha and I’m GAY!”), and I have no problem holding my boyfriend’s hand in public. Anyway, just my NT$2.

I guess that the term “Pride” is effective in countering the “Shame” that many have tried to make homosexuals feel in the past… and present. In that regard, I suppose “Pride” might be more apropos than “Unashamed”.

Yes, this does make sense now that I think about it. Were I a black person in a nation where the majority told me that “black” was “ugly”… I’d be inclined to respond with, “Black is beautiful” rather than simply, “Black isn’t ugly”.

I didn’t really… its just more confusing now. That’s the price of objectivity :wink:

I got this off of Dictionary.Com.

“Pride n. - A sense of one’s own proper dignity or value; self-respect.” Of course, there are other definitions, but I think this one fits best why the word “pride” is used in connection with gay marches, etc… As has been said, for so long gay people have been made to feel that who they are is shameful, sinful, etc… that we want to celebrate and show the world our own value.

I’m glad, Tigerman, that you realize that being gay is a function of biology. Unfortunately, many of our straight brothers and sisters do not. They still see at as choice. And, therefore, they still see it as something to be ashamed of. Hopefully, one day, we won’t have to celebrate “Gay Pride” as no one will be made to feel ashamed to be gay.

In my opinion, though, that won’t happen until we start showing people that there is as much diversity within the gay community as there is in other communities. This means that we have to stand up, even in small ways, to the prejudice and misinformation that is out there about gay people. We need to find ways to “teach” those around us the many ways there are to be gay. And, I’m not talking about lecturing to them. Bare with me as I give an example.

I knew a women here in Taiwan (another teacher from the US) who, when she found out one of our coworkers was gay said, “I think it is more honorable when men don’t talk about that kind of thing.” When I found out she said this, I wanted to go and bitch slap her. Instead, though, I made a point of mentioning my boyfriend in front of her as often as possible. “Jonathan, what did you do this weekend?” “Oh, my bf and I went to…” Etc… :smiling_imp:

The sad thing is many of the gay men I meet here in Taiwan – foreigners and Taiwanese alike – seem to hold to that same belief. When confronted by questions of “girlfriends,” “wives”, etc… they say, “It’s my personal life” and refuse to speak about. But, how in the world will your friends, coworkers, family, neighbors, etc… become comfortable with the idea that gay people are just as normal as them, if they don’t “see” the gay people that are around them?

I’m not advocating shouting it from the rooftops, or introducing yourself as “John the gay man” or “Sally the lesbian.” Because, as has been pointed out, being gay is one part of who you are and you don’t want to be known onlly as that. But, on the other hand, why should you hide that part of yourself? If your straight coworkers can put pictures of their loved ones on their desk, talk about their weekend with the in-laws, etc… why can’t you, just because you are gay?

Good points but the main problem is the conservative nature of Chinese society. It’s not just gay people who don’t wish to draw unwanted attention. Heck, even divorced women and unmarried couples who “live in sin” prefer to hide their circumstances from nosey neighbours. Here, many think privacy akin to being secretive. I agree in principle that minorities need to vocalise, but there must be some reciprocity on the part of the educators - parents and teachers - to make being “non-standard” less of an issue. I don’t need to hold my BF’s hand in public to draw stares when we are affectionate in public, and it can just wear you down over time.

Hey, what can I say? I read Andrew Sullivan regularly :laughing:

I don’t think I agree that being gay is completely a function of biology. But neither do I believe that it is something to be ashamed of.

Your sexual preferences are at least in the large part defined by biology, but your sexuality, and how you live (whether you ‘be gay’ or live repressed) is defined by environment and choice.

To make an analogy from feminism or gender studies - your ‘sex’ is what you are born with (what organs and genes you have), but your ‘gender’ is something that is created. Gender - whether you are masculine, feminine or something else is a product of society and individual choice, and varies from culture to culture and person to person. Sexism often arises from preconceptions that people of a certain sex shoudl conform to a standard expectation of that gender.

I don’t know if such terminology to define thew difference between the biology and environment (the way you can use sex and gender) exists for sexual preferences, but it seems to me reasonable to say that there is a certain type of sexual preferences varying from same-sex to opposite-sex that we are given at birth. Then there is the role we play which is formed by society and ourselves. This is whether we define ourselves as gay, lesbian, bi or straight. Personally, as this is a social construct, I don’t find such labels particularly useful. It also follows that societies expect people playing such roles to exhibit certain types of behaviour. So if a man who is basically ‘straight’ shags another man, he’ll get labelled ‘gay’ or ‘bi’, and someone who is basically ‘gay’, but leads a lifestyle which to other peoples eyes seems ‘stright’ he’ll be called a closet queen. But it’s all about choice. How people want to fulfill their sexuality is up to them.

Edit: I just looked at my post, and wasn’t sure what point I was making. My point is this. Noone is ‘born gay’. Sure whether we prefer men or women and to what degree, is probably mostly biologically determined, but our sexuality and how we express it is a product of both socialisation and individual choice. I don’t believe in homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual and definitely not meterosexual. Everone (well nearly everyone) is just sexual. Some prefer blondes, some like long legs, some like dicks and some like tits. Some like the whole damn lot, and some are very choosy.


[quote=“Bu Lai En”]

(well nearly everyone) is just sexual. Some prefer blondes, some like long legs, some like dicks and some like tits. Some like the whole damn lot, and some are very choosy.[/quote]

Ho hum… I’m very choosy. I prefer dicks to tits on my men.
Btw, the women’s forum is far more intriguing today than this old hackneyed subject.
Tigerman, you never catch my sarcasm unless I emoticoooon my remarks, do ya?