I got a chuckle out of the Buffalo Pride parade held Sunday. I’m not sure why it’s funny. I think it’s funny because to me it’s icky, and my reaction to icky things is to laugh, albeit nervously.
I have nothing against gays; I know several and two of my dear friends are of that persuasion. Nonetheless, the extent to which some gay extroverts express their gayness is definitely over the top. Some of the statements in today’s Buffalo News article were funny in their own right. To quote Kate Elliott from today’s article: “Buffalo’s a super gay city,” she said. “I think Buffalo’s becoming more and more progressive, and it’s a comfortable place for us to live and for us to produce art.”
Huh? Oh, maybe she’s an artist. I get it. I thought she meant they “produced art” the way we heterosexuals produced kids and so it got icky for me.
When I was in Provincetown, Massachusetts – gay capital of the East Coast, I think – I was just a bit put off by the sheer number of openly gay couples holding hands, kissing, or dressing in drag. It was just too much overload for me. At the Greek Festival on Saturday I saw two lesbians in a nice embrace, holding hands. Perhaps because they were a solo couple surrounded by hundreds of straight (or at least no other outwardly gay folks) it didn’t bother me nor did it seem out of place. Or perhaps it was because one of the girls had a face like a pincushion from all her piercings, and I was distracted by them.
Whatever. The groups that participated in Buffalo Pride had the courage to band together and embrace their gayness (and each other) despite derision from the religious right, indifference from some onlookers and ridicule from others. They are not a small group by any means, and in numbers comes strength.
I can only hope that other grass-roots groups that want to be noticed look to Buffalo Pride as an example rather than as a joke. They accomplished something on Sunday that few other groups in Western New York accomplish: They got noticed.