The US began celebrating Pride Month in June almost 50 years ago, starting with the first American Pride Parade in June 1970. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride celebrates sexual diversity and self affirmation (as opposed to shame) in the face of social and institutional discrimination. Today, June is celebrated as Pride Month around the world with festivals and parades – from South Africa to South Korea, Shanghai to Berlin. Some of the largest Pride Parades held globally have taken place in – surprise, surprise – neighbouring Brazil. São Paulo has been organizing Pride Parades since 1997 and in 2006 broke then world records when around 3 million people participated.
This year, Guyana’s LGBT coalition organized Guyana’s first Pride Parade from Parade Ground to Square of the Revolution.
Unsurprisingly, the homophobes came crawling out of the woodwork to proclaim hellfire and brimstone.
Bearing this in mind, the organizers ensured sufficient security was present for the parade and the media turned out in numbers usually reserved for Presidential events. Fortunately, much revelry and no violence was had on Saturday June 2.
It was loud and colourful and fabulous.
There were around 300 people – not bad for a first!
Guyana seems to have made some small measure of progress regarding attitudes towards the LGBT community in that the expected counter protest was absent. Maybe people aren’t really THAT bothered. Or maybe all the homophobes are just too lazy.
Bystanders lining the streets seemed potentially menacing from afar but turned out to be friendly or at least not particularly antagonistic up close. Families participated, children, couples, people across the ethnic, economic and sexual spectrum danced through the streets.
Still, the copious photographs and videos on social media the next day were bombarded by condemnation from the armchair mob, albeit in the laziest way possible. They couldn’t even be bothered to say anything mildly original or thoughtful. The commentary is so mundane and predictable, you could get rather drunk if you turn it into a drinking game.
Here are some links to coverage of the parade:
Now, take a drink every time someone says:
- The world is coming to an end! (said somewhat gleefully)
- Suh how y’all gun mek babies now?
- It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve
- Not everything USA do, y’all have to do
- This act is against the nature of man.
- Soon, Guyanese women left without a man…
- When I left x years ago, there were only 2 of them – now they have a parade?
- The children!
- Burn them/Run them over/God, please send a mighty storm to murder all of them
See? Now, you’re drunk. You’re welcome.
Feature photo: Rene Chan