Tag Archives: gay travel

PRIDE. (Or, Misery, Loneliness, and Dread.)

pride

So, I just got back from my trip to London, and I’m very disappointed to say, it was horrible. And making everything even worse is that now I’m back in New York City and WorldPride is going on, so gays are everywhere.

…Having just read what I wrote above, I think I need to clear something up – I am gay. Not a homophobe.

Let me explain where the problems are coming from,

So, I was in London on a press trip for Pride. It was me and two other reporters from the US. Then, the big part of the trip was the flight back to New York City for pride. On the flight, the 3 of us US reporters were seated amongst 30 gay UK reporters.

The 30 UK reporters all knew each-other. The gay media scene in the UK isn’t that large since the country isn’t that large. So, all the UK guys were sassily cliqued up with who they knew, and didn’t take the time to introduce themselves to any of us.

NYC Gay Pride March 2018

To make it even worse, to celebrate Pride, the plane started playing “gay music” to celebrate. Britney, Madonna, Cher, Ariana – all singers that I really don’t give a shit about. In only a few minutes, the plane stopped functioning like a normal flight. Everyone had gotten up in the aisles to dance, mingle with their friends, and drink.

It was the stereotypical bitchy sass-fest you’d imagine with a group of gay men. The UK reporters loudly gossiped about the bad parties they had gone to, the lame gays they knew who obviously weren’t as cool as them, and bragged about the trips they had gone on (which…HELLO! We were all reporters who had gone places! Who the fuck are you bragging to exactly?)

One of the US reporters found a UK reporter he knew, and gleefully jumped up and ran over to his group to join in on the “fun.” And throughout the entire 8-hour flight – a flight that was supposed to be celebrating pride, equality, and the LGBTQ siblinghood – How many of those reporters do you think ever took the time to introduce themselves to me, or ask who I was… The answer is zero. 

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And that’s the problem with PRIDE in general.  PRIDE has nothing to do with Pride. PRIDE has nothing to do with friendship. PRIDE has nothing to do with equality.

PRIDE is a status symbol. Gays wearing a rainbow shirt is like a straight guy wearing a Patriots jersey. It’s social signaling, saying “I’m on the team.” Attending PRIDE parties is like attending a football game, it’s for fun. Nothing more. There is no moral high ground to PRIDE.

It’s a bunch of people dressing up and partaking in the gay societal norms, snapcahtting, instagramming, and tweeting all along the way…for one reason alone. To say, “I WAS HERE. I DID THIS. I’M COOL. I’M TRENDY. I’M PART OF THIS.” 

New York City Gay Pride Parade 2015

When we landed, they put all the reporters in a bus and took us into Manhattan. In the bus, everyone howled and raved about the flight…

“Did you see….OMG they were so smashed, I was like, Gurl!”

“OMG! It was so nuts. I literally can’t believe it!”

“And OMG…. was like, hogging so much aisle space when he was dancing, I was like, honey, this a cramped space, you need to be more aware, like OMG, right?”

And so on…

All the reporters who had gotten sloppy drunk, were now thrilled to have something new to talk about. AND OF COURSE, when retelling the stories of the sloppiest people, they never included themselves. It was always someone else who was the sloppiest. Someone else who didn’t partake the way they should have, someone else who just didn’t get “how it goes.”

I felt like I was back in high school. I couldn’t believe grown adults were acting like children.

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The band PWR BTTM has a song that says, “When you are queer, you are always 19…” And I think that’s true. It seems like the gays are always so immensely immature. Like they’re always trying to be the popular girl they never got to be when they were young. All that hiding and lying they had to do in their youth explodes when they finally come out as adults, and then, they live forever, trying to be the Regina George they couldn’t be when they had the chance.

I was supposed to cover WorldPride with that group of reporters. In fact, we got put up in a very fancy hotel. And were given swag bags that had some very valuable things inside (like gift cards loaded with $100).

But I just couldn’t handle it. 

LA Pride Parade 2018 (Photo by Chris Tuite)

If any of you have read this blog before, you know that growing up, I was treated like shit. And to spend a weekend surrounded by people like this… people who would gleefully throw someone under the bus if they knew it would give them publicity… I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I was on the verge of crying when I walked into the hotel room. It was gorgeous, on the 16th floor, in downtown Manhattan. The entire room was just stunning, with a bathroom anyone would kill to take even one shower in. I looked through my swag bag… and saw all the expensive things inside. I felt horrible for giving all of this up. The amount of money that must have spent on it made me feel sick, for being privileged enough to just leave it all there.

But then I thought about having to stay there the whole weekend. Stay there with those people. Stay there listening to non-stop gossip about people I didn’t even know. Nonstop social media obsession, snapping pictures of every moment to be seen by their adoring “fans” online. Could I really do it?

The answer was no. When everyone went up to their rooms, I quietly checked out and left.

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And now, here I am. Alone.

This was going to be my first PIRDE. But instead, I’m going hide from it. It’s hard knowing that everyone can find such pleasure and happiness in things that don’t mean anything to me. And it’s even worse that since I’m gay, everyone thinks I’m SUPPOSED to love this.   Everyone talks to me like this is the fucking super bowl for gay people, and want to know how excited I am.

But I’m not. In fact, I hate it. I hate that everyone gets to have fun except me. I hate that once again I’m on the sidelines. I hate that my personality has once again not clicked with yet another group of people. I hate that when you’re gay, society tries to box you in, forcing you to only assimilate with other LGBTQ people. Because I don’t feel that they are my people.

At no point during that flight did i ever feel represented. At no point did I ever feel welcomed. At no point did I ever feel included. Or even wanted. The reality is that gay people are just like straight people – We’re diverse. There is no one lifestyle that we like. So, to assume that all gays want to wear rainbows, listen to Madonna, and get smashed as they gossip like 1950’s housewives is bullshit. And what’s even shittier is that the gays willingly jump into this lifestyle like there’s no other way to live.

 

So, from me to the world, I kindly say, fuck all of you.

~ The Dark Horse

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