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Gay Pride in West Hollywood

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At the risk of inflaming opinion, I felt it was worth posting this article from an online source called The Onion. This is the first time that I have ever heard or read actual quotes of negative reactions to Gay Pride parades. Also note the use by one of the parade organizers of the pejorative term "breeders." In case you didn't know it, that is the term used in some homosexual communities to refer to heterosexual couples who conceive and raise children. Apparently this particular gay pride parade was just this last Saturday, April 21. Granted that all homosexuals are not like this, but are we wrong to continue to insist on no avowed homosexuals in scouting?


For those who are interested in the original article, with color photographs, you can visit the site at




WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA--The mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians, a hard-won civil-rights victory gained through decades of struggle against prejudice and discrimination, was set back at least 50 years Saturday in the wake of the annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade.



Above: Participants in Saturday's Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade, which helped change straight people's tolerant attitudes toward gays.

"I'd always thought gays were regular people, just like you and me, and that the stereotype of homosexuals as hedonistic, sex-crazed deviants was just a destructive myth," said mother of four Hannah Jarrett, 41, mortified at the sight of 17 tanned and oiled boys cavorting in jock straps to a throbbing techno beat on a float shaped like an enormous phallus. "Boy, oh, boy, was I wrong."


The parade, organized by the Los Angeles Gay And Lesbian And Bisexual And Transvestite And Transgender Alliance (LAGALABATATA), was intended to "promote acceptance, tolerance, and equality for the city's gay community." Just the opposite, however, was accomplished, as the event confirmed the worst fears of thousands of non-gay spectators, cementing in their minds a debauched and distorted image of gay life straight out of the most virulent right-wing hate literature.


Among the parade sights and sounds that did inestimable harm to the gay-rights cause: a group of obese women in leather biker outfits passing out clitoris-shaped lollipops to horrified onlookers; a man in military uniform leading a submissive masochist, clad in diapers and a baby bonnet, around on a dog leash; several Hispanic dancers in rainbow wigs and miniskirts performing "humping" motions on a mannequin dressed as the Pope; and a dozen gyrating drag queens in see-through dresses holding penis-shaped beer bottles that appeared to spurt ejaculation-like foam when shaken and poured onto passersby.


Timothy Orosco, 51, a local Walgreens manager whose store is on the parade route, changed his attitude toward gays as a result of the event.


"They kept chanting things like, 'We're here, we're queer, get used to it!' and 'Hey, hey, we're gay, we're not going to go away!'" Orosco said. "All I can say is, I was used to it, but now, although I'd never felt this way before, I wish they would go away."


Allison Weber, 43, an El Segundo marketing consultant, also had her perceptions and assumptions about gays challenged by the parade.


"My understanding was that gay people are just like everybody else--decent, hard-working people who care about their communities and have loving, committed relationships," Weber said. "But, after this terrifying spectacle, I don't want them teaching my kids or living in my neighborhood."


The parade's influence extended beyond L.A.'s borders, altering the attitudes of straight people across America. Footage of the event was featured on telecasts of The 700 Club as "proof of the sin-steeped world of homosexuality." A photo spread in Monday's USA Today chronicled many of the event's vulgar displays--understood by gays to be tongue-in-cheek "high camp"--which horrified previously tolerant people from coast to coast.



Above: Members of the Laguna Beach Leatherdaddy Association make their final pre-march preparations.

Dr. Henry Thorne, a New York University history professor who has written several books about the gay-rights movement, explained the misunderstanding.


"After centuries of oppression as an 'invisible' segment of society, gays, emboldened by the 1969 Stonewall uprising, took to the streets in the early '70s with an 'in-your-face' attitude. Confronting the worst prejudices of a world that didn't accept them, they fought back against these prejudices with exaggeration and parody, reclaiming their enemies' worst stereotypes about them and turning them into symbols of gay pride," Thorne said. "Thirty years later, gays have won far greater acceptance in the world at large, but they keep doing this stuff anyway."


"Mostly, I think, because it's really fun," Thorne added.


The Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade, Thorne noted, is part of a decades-old gay-rights tradition. But, for mainstream heterosexuals unfamiliar with irony and the reclamation of stereotypes for the purpose of exploding them, the parade resembled an invasion of grotesque outer-space mutants, bent on the destruction of the human race.


"I have a cousin who's a gay, and he seemed like a decent enough guy to me," said Iowa City, IA, resident Russ Linder, in Los Angeles for a weekend sales seminar. "Now, thanks to this parade, I realize what a freak he's been all along. Gays are all sick, immoral perverts."


Parade organizers vowed to make changes in the wake of the negative reaction among heterosexuals.


"I knew it. I said we needed 100 dancers on the 'Show Us Your Ass' float, but everybody insisted that 50 would be enough," said Lady Labia, spokesperson for LAGALABATATA. "Next year, we're really going to give those breeders something to look at."


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The Onion is a parody, not a real news source. Check out today's main page of the Onion for articles on the Primates Choice Awards, the 2001 Charlie Horse Research Appropriations Act, etc. I have seen others cite the Onion on various message pages on the web, because the authors do a great job of copying real journalism style.


That said, there is accuracy to the underlying facts in the article, which is what makes the parody so effective. Sections of the gay/lesbian community are definitely not appropriate for children, or for many adults. However, the same can be said for segments of the straight community. We would not want any of these segments involved in Scouting. But no group would like to be judged by its fringe elements.

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Actions do speak louder than words.


Wake me when the nightmare is over.



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Bob Russell makes two very good points. First, the straight community has its displays too, although probably nothing quite as outrageous. One need think only of the way sex is used advertising, the showgirls of Las Vegas, and Madonna masturbating on screen. (Remember when Madonna used to refer to the mother of Christ?)


Second is the question of judging a group by the actions of its fringe elements. I guess the unanswerable question for straights is the extent to which gay pride events represent just a fringe, or represent the attitudes of the larger gay community.


But we lose the larger point of the original posting, which is how the gay community can expect the straight community to accept it when these antics are put forward.

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I do not belive the antics of the fringe element of the Gay Pride movement represent the attitudes and behaviors of all gays any more than the antics and behavior of ultra-consevative, right-wing bible thumping TV Evangelists who get caught in their own sex and monetary scandals represent religion in our country


Every movement has its lunatic fringe, somethimes the fringe gains control, but it always remains the fringe, and a lunatic one at that

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Hey OGE,


As always, your comments are welcome. A difference I see is that the Jimmy Swaggerts of the world are renounced and fall from grace very swiftly once their antics become known. The only clergyman who has gotten embroiled in scandal recently to rise again swiftly with no obvious reform is Jesse Jackson, but then he is a somewhat special case. When religious leaders engage in bizarre behavior they are not applauded. I don't see that happening in the gay community.


By your reasoning, where is the lunatic fringe in the scouting movement?

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Actually, when I wrote my response I was not referencing the Boy Scout movement at all, the Lunatic fringe I was talking about were the out of control Gays who ran the parade. And as far as your comments about what happens to the renounced Preachers you are right, at least they did get renounced. I just wouldnt want the entire population of gay americans painted with a single brush from West Hollywood.


And as far as the Lunatic Fringe in Boy Scouts, I am not sure I could identify any, so maybe I overstated that

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Well, I believe that the LAGALABATATA would probably represent a good majority of people of that nature and even be recognized by some national organization of people that believe in that stuff. I believe considering it a fringe of the group would be inaccurate. Ask yourself, what would people of that walk of life dream about- fantasize about? Got a good picture in your mind???


Nonetheless, I dont like radical comparisons. Id much rather people see others as enthused and not necessarily fanatics. My fellow Christians can thump their Bible all they want, and if they do it with peace in their heart, they will have no fear come the Judgment Day. Let there be no doubt that there a lot of enthused individuals in the gay rights movement. What we need are more enthused people in the moral rights movement!


Disregarding acts by gays just because some straights act improperly is wrong. Lets use humans as our yardstick and not differentiate by group. It seems people always try to lessen the standards by calling attention to others faults. Humans should deem homosexuality as wrong just as they should deem adultery as wrong. Lets not say its okay because some others in a different group have screwed up as well. Remember, Scouts never threw a stone, but by golly they certainly better remember the 10th point of the Scout Law and be brave enough to stand up for their beliefs!


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So, Mr cjmiam, while you and your Christian friends read your bible and wait for judgement day, just what do I and my fellow Baha'i scout do who earned the "Unity of Mankind" emblem?, or the Buddhist scout who earned the "Sangha" emblem, or the Hindu Scout who earned the "Dharma" emblem, or the Islamic Scout who earned the "In the Name of God" emblem, or the Jewish scout who earned the "Ner Tamid" emblem, or the Meher Baba Scout who earned the "Compassionate Father" emblem, or the Zoroastrian scout earning that religion's emblem, that of the "Good Life".


See, the point is, just as you think you and your friends are right to read the bible, all these buddies of mine have little idea of what the bible is, but are as religious.


Perhaps you have never known any Gay friends, or had friends who were Gay but knew better than to tell you. I have been around the Gay Community for many years and have known some real "screamers" (the in your face, act as outrageous as possible type) and truly neurotic "closet cases" (gays who wont tell a soul and try to pass as normal)


And from this breadth of lifestyle, you are going to take one incident, from one town and as I said before "paint everyone with the same brushb?


I love Boy Scouts, I love everything they teach and the way they stand up for what they beleive. Boy Scouts do beleive in diversity as the veritable wealth of religous emblems attest. But just as ill behaving Islamics should not reflect upon the entire culture, it is a mistake to beleive all Gays are just as a few are.

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I think it is a mistake to tie BSA policy to the teachings of any major religious grouping such as Christianity, or the beliefs and biblical interpretation of any particular subset within that grouping. BSA national seems to look at the issue this way as well, although that makes it harder to articulate a viewpoint. Not that I disagree with the Christian scriptural views on homosexuality as I understand them. These are important ideas that are taken very seriously by a lot of people. It is worth noting however that there are some branches of Christianity, and now reform Judaism, that think that homosexuality is perfectly OK. So scriptural interpretations can change over time.


I am not aware of any other major religious group outside Christianity that has a favorable view of homosexualtiy, or even thinks it is OK. OGE, perhaps you have some different knowledge on this subject you could share with us.


My objection to the attitudes exemplified by the event that I posted originally is the dedication to a purely hedonistic life style that I consider a dead end. There is little that is new under the sun. The attitudes of major religions towards sexual morality in general did not arise overnight, and have been maintained for centuries for good reasons. I would not presume to throw such things away lightly based on rather limited knowledge or what may be currently fashionable. It is one thing to be tolerant in one's approach to other adults in every day life. It is yet another to put examples in front one's own sons and other youth.

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I have no knowledge of any non-christian religion that tolerates or does not not tolerate homosexuality.


I was responding to the comment that people who read the bible will be safe on "judgment day". I guess I got off track from the Gay theme of this posting, but I get irritated when I get christianity shoved at me like there are no alternatives. Many fine moral, religious people live out exempolary lives and have never read the bible.


What happened in West Hollywood, if reports be true, was a disgusting and perverted spectacle, but I still insist it would be wrong to say all gays are like the perpetrators of these actions

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Okay! My account is working. You guys are in trouble now...


OldGreyEagle said - "I was responding to the comment that people who read the bible will be safe on 'judgment day'. I guess I got off track from the Gay theme of this posting, but I get irritated when I get Christianity shoved at me like there are no alternatives. Many fine moral, religious people live out exemplary lives and have never read the bible."


I have two comments to make concerning this statement:


1) Anyone who believes that reading the bible will make you "safe" on judgment day is not a Christian. "For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved." (Romans 10:10). Man is saved by Grace through Faith. Jesus makes one righteous, not one's reading habits.


2) Being a Christian means giving glory and honor to the one and only true God. Being an example to others is desirable but not mandatory.


It's not fair to knock Christians, especially if you're not representing them fairly.


In response to - "What happened in West Hollywood, if reports be true, was a disgusting and perverted spectacle, but I still insist it would be wrong to say all gays are like the perpetrators of these actions."


This is a fair statement, but it still doesn't make homosexuality right. If there was a "Pedophile Pride Parade", I'm sure you'd see similar behavior. Nevertheless, pedophilia by itself is rather disgusting and perverted. In short, we are talking varying degrees of immorality. Wrong is still wrong. Claiming to be a Christian is only wrong when it's not true.


Thanks for listening to my perspective.


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I know the answer to your question, but I'm afraid it would offend you. If you really want to know the answer, pray about it and seek His face. If you think you already know the answer, then why ask me?



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