The Instigator
m.akermanis
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
35 Points

Gay prides doesn`t lead towards more tolerant society

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/20/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,064 times Debate No: 12583
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (19)
Votes (8)

 

m.akermanis

Pro

Hello and thank you for participating in my debate, I appreciate your interest. Before start I want to mention that I am by no means homophobic person and this debate is intended to boost some discussion about Gay prides and their values.

My opinion is that so famous gay parades (or prides) that are meant to build up tolerance against homosexuals, actually does the opposite.

In countries that are famous with their intolerant and homophobic societies, seeing members of gay and lesbian communities marching through cities streets makes people ask questions - why they are doing it? Popular answer from pride organizers are - to fight for our rights and more tolerant society. But in reality, many of these prides are just some kind of `Rio carnival` filled with half-nude men and women [1] Even for people who has nothing against homosexuality, behavior like this, forces them question the purpose of aims of gay/lesbian community.

I`m not discussing moral aspects of homosexuality, but my opinion is that gay prides should be restricted in a form of formal meetings, not as an annual festivity. If there is a message - gays and lesbians are ordinary people like everybody else - why aren`t they acting like that? Why are they sending such a strong message about their sexuality?

I though that controversy was about discrimination and abuse from government and society, not about their genitals and stuff they do at home in the beds.
Nobody is forcing them to put video cameras in their bedrooms and judging the way they are making sex. Talking should be about discrimination at workplace and hate crimes but visual impressions from gay prides doesn`t show their concerns.

[1] http://www.homosexinfo.org...
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro, for the debate.

Before we begin, I'd like to note that I do not think Pro is homophobic or anything of that nature. I think his sentiments are legitimate -- As a gay person I'm often embarrassed by how "my community" presents itself as it perpetuates negative stereotypes for all of us. However, I took this debate (a) to give my two cents for the sake of discussion, and (b) to argue the very difficult side of a debate; I like a challenge. I ask that voters please vote based on the arguments and not personal opinion (as I tend to agree with Pro most of the time anyway lol). So with that said - let's begin!

For the sake of discussion, I'd like to correct my opponent on the actual purpose of Pride events. "The movement has three main premises: that people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity, that diversity is a gift, and that sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered" [1]. As you can see, the purpose of this event is not to have OTHER people be okay with our sexuality, but for OURSELVES to be okay with our sexuality.

There's a big difference between a March and a Parade. Marches are for protests; parades are for celebrating. Martin Luther King marched for black rights. Gays aren't marching for gay rights. Gays are celebrating their identity. This is not unusual, as there are Puerto Rican parades, Irish parades, military parades, holiday parades, religious parades (like Easter), etc. Moreover the images my opponent presented are harsh and unrealistic. You'll note that it was a European source with naked people parading on the streets of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Well no kidding! It's Amsterdam! People get naked in Europe all the time, and here we have nudity laws that would make it illegal for people to walk around the way Pro has presented.

Moreover, the type of "public indecency" that IS exhibited at Gay Pride (i.e. skimpy outfits) is no worse than the infamous Mardi Gras parade that goes on in New Orleans every Fat Tuesday [2]. The purpose of Mardi Gras is to have one last day of debauchery before the solemn Christian season of Lent which begins the next day. So, in that way, Mardi Gras is actually somewhat of a religious event considering it's preparation for a religious season in particular. At this event, it's common (and infamously known) to have girls reveal their bare breasts to obtain Mardi Gras beads. While this is obviously considered somewhat inappropriate, do we condemn them as a group (i.e. girls are bad - or Christians are bad), or do we simply come to our own conclusions about those specifically participating in the behavior?

Clearly it's wrong and does not behoove one to come to rash stereotypes about such a large group based on the actions of some. I've been to six Gay Pride parades and never have I once behaved like that or dressed like that. The original parade was meant to have no dress requirements because many of the transgender people wanted to be able to dress like the opposite sex. However, over the years people have decided to use the lack of dress code to take advantage of sexualizing their wardrobe.

Pro asks, "If there is a message - that gays and lesbians are ordinary people like everybody else - why are they acting like that? Why are they sending such a strong message about their sexuality?" Well again, the message is NOT that we're like everybody else. It's that we're NOT like everybody else, and that's okay - it's nothing to be ashamed about (in this case Pride, is meant to be the antonym of shame). Gays don't mind sending such a strong message about their sexuality, because they're specifically trying to focus on it instead of focusing on hiding it or feeling like the minority which they do day-in and day-out. This is supposed to be the one day a year they throw it all to the wind and go all out to celebrate and let loose.

Personally I cannot tell you how comforting it is to be walking the streets with a bunch of homos. While they may look absolutely ridiculous (and like no one I'd ever hang out with in the real world), I know they're not judging me and I know that my lifestyle and what they're seeing (me holding hands with my girlfriend) is not foreign to them. Being this open is not something we often get to do. Human psychology gives us all the need to feel accepted. Gay Pride events fulfill that want. That's why when Pro says, "my opinion is that gay prides should be restricted in a form of formal meetings, and not as an annual festivity" that he's missing the entire point. Again this event is NOT to protest anything. People aren't getting together to make some kind of huge political statement. They're getting together to party. There's a time and a place for serious bizness, but this isn't it. Groups like the Human Rights Campaign are usually the ones to make major breakthroughs in issues of gay civil rights, and have a much more formal and reputable standing in terms of organized rallying.

Pro basically concludes his argument by saying that because gays want to be treated and viewed as respectable human beings deserving of equal rights, that they should dress the part and not draw unnecessary negative attention to themselves. The fact is that gays don't think they should have to dress the part; their humanity alone should be enough to be considered deserving of basic and equal human rights. They feel they shouldn't have to conform or dress a certain way; that goes against everything the Constitution and the United States is supposed to stand for. In a nation that claims to celebrate diversity, gays are punished because they're a minority. What they do in their bedroom should be completely irrelevant, but since politics make it relevant, then I think throwing our sexuality in their faces is a big EFF YOU to society - and that's why a lot of gays do it. It's almost like the backlash of NOT having equal rights - not the fight for rights itself.

So. I've pointed out what the actual purpose of the Pride parades is, the mentality behind many participants, and the fact that an entire group should not be unfairly judged or condemned. There's no reason for Pride to make people think any less of gays even if they act a fool at the event. As I said, that'd be like viewing all women as trashy and stupid based on the activity of most girls at Mardi Gras. It's just not reasonable. So now I'll explain with my last few characters about how Pride makes society more tolerant...

For one, many people attend gay pride parades - not just gay people. In fact I'd say that 20% of attendees are probably not gay themselves, but just there to support a gay friend or family member. Involving other people in the community and opening up to them with our stories (of relationships, struggles, etc.) is a way of networking and branching out to reach more people. Second, these are generally highly publicized events. The saying goes "Any publicity is good publicity." Even if some people condemn gays for what they see, I've already explained how that is unreasonable... so if people understood that, then at least these events would open up a dialog between people and allow a conversation to emerge about gays and their status. The only way to foster tolerance is to educate people. That can only occur when something is at the forefront of discussion. Another thing - Many people who march in the parades are high ranking people and/or active groups in the community. They heavily advertise and make attendees (or viewers) more aware of their cause and services. This garners attention and interest, and more people to fight for the cause.

I've got other ideas, but I've run out of characters. I'll continue my thoughts in R2. For now, back to you, Pro!

[1] http://www.bates.ctc.edu...
[2] http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com...
Debate Round No. 1
m.akermanis

Pro

I wanted to thank my opponent for giving insight about mental aspects of gay parades.

Question : Is marching through main streets of major cities while being offended from bystanders really boosting your self acceptance? I`m arguing not as an prejudiced heterosexual beer drinkin` and TV watchin` male (sadly, but many are just like that) but as a member of society as whole.

Watching gay parades makes me ask some questions - who are they and why are they doing it? I accept my opponent`s argument that these manifestations are mainly for homosexuals themselves, but we can`t pretend that their actions doesn`t affect other people as well. I agree with my opponent that freedom of speech and freedom to express yourself (it includes sexual freedom) is one of core values in democracy.

But there are a lot of people who perceive these parades as an attack. They feel their values and beliefs are under attack because even if they are not homophobics, they have these dual feelings inside:
* Intelectually they understand that these are homosexuals and they have been around us for centuries. Now they have risen from `underground` and fighting for their rights to be accepted and no being discriminated.
* But emotional side of these people are saying - `Their actions are so aggressive and extravert that it alomost seems they want everybody to become homosexual. Ok, I am exxagarating a litle bit, but I am telling you what are those feelings non-homosexual community feels (except the radical ones, of course).

I must say that I consider myself as an open minded person and I feel very ashamed for protests that happened in my homecountry (see link in R1) and I think that it is not the way we should discuss diversity in democracy. But when I talk with other people I see that they perceive the parades this way - 'Oh, these homosexuals whant us to feel bad just because we don`t like them? Screw them!'
They feel that message from gay community is - Don`t say anything bad about us otherwise you will be called homophobic and narrow-minded person because being gay is so cool these days. And that attitude triggers defense mechanisms - total denial and hatred against dissimilar.

I understand that many protesters (religious fanatics, skinheads, KKK, etc.) will never change their mind no matter how logical arguments they will hear. But most of society doesn`t hate homosexuals - they just seem ofended when they hear about half naked gays and transsexuals marching through city streets. This attitude somehow makes homosexual community special, because homosexuallity is not as widely accepted as Independence day parades and being naked in front of many people are not considerd `normal` even in most tolerant societies.

The proplem is that non-homosexuals are majority in our society and majority hates to accept view of minority.

My opinion is that because majority of population doesn`t consider homosexuality as something great and valuable (even if they accept that these are normal everyday people who deserve same rights as everybody else), organizers should make their parades less vulgar (I`m not talking about all parades, but the most sexually visible ones, like Loveparade).

I understand that this is very complicated question because nobody knows where lies the thin line between vulgarity and celebration, but my opinion is that society should be the one making judgment, not parade organizers. I can`t pretend to be representing every heterosexual, but I think that homosexuals should accept the view of majority - most people accept homosexuality and there is no need to organize parades like propaganda for sexual freedom. I would like to see mutual respect from both sides - homosexuals (no being so showy) and society (as being tolerant). I understand that there are countries were even the modest gay parade will cause mass disorders and I think that visiting some TV show and discussing these painful questions in front of mass audience will benefit more than being an object of hate for homo phobics on the street.

Sorry for my confused argumentation, I wait to hear my opponent.
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

Pro begins, "Is marching through main streets of major cities while being offended from bystanders really boosting your self acceptance?" The answer is yes. We have no proof that onlookers are offended. If someone is "offended" by scantily clad gay men then they should probably not attend. I've also pointed out that it would be entirely illegal for people to get naked the way Pro has depicted (from the Netherlands parade).

Most people who go out to celebrate the parade are gay themselves and therefore aren't offended. On the other hand, they DO feel acceptance because they feel they don't have to hide who they are even if they choose not to dress and act vulgarly. I've mentioned how it's human nature to want to feel accepted and that's what the Pride parade is all about. It's about not feeling like the minority for ONE day a year. This event helps with "acceptance" as it even allows closeted people to embrace their sexuality because of all the in-yer-face sexuality surrounding the event itself.

Next Pro writes, "Watching gay parades makes me ask - who are they and why are they doing it? ...We can't pretend that their actions doesn`t affect other people as well." So I ask - who is this affecting? Like I said, if someone becomes offended then they simply need not attend the event. I've explained why parades exist and the mentality behind them by quoting the architects of these events themselves.

Moreover I've explained how these events are not and should not be the basis of gay rights. Gays deserve equal rights because they're human beings. Even if some choose to go crazy at these parades, it's no different then straight people still having rights despite their antics at other parades and events. Are strip clubs not an embarrassment to many straight people? Are the going-ons at frat parties not an embarrassment to some straight people? Yet we don't use these actions to undermine the equal rights that all human beings should have. Just because a straight man might like to see naked women doesn't mean he's less deserving of equal rights. Similarly, if a gay man wants to enjoy naked men, it doesn't mean they're less deserving of rights either.

Pro states, "But there are a lot of people who perceive these parades as an attack... Their actions [homosexuals] are so aggressive and extravert that it alomost seems they want everybody to become homosexual." Quite simply, this is a load of crap (no offense). Anyone who thinks this way is just an unfortunate individual with no capability for logic and reason. Since when are parades an attack? Is the Easter parade an attack on Islam? Is the Puerto Rican parade an attack on American culture? Is the Thanksgiving Day parade an attack on turkeys? Come on. Parades are for celebration - not politics. It's absolutely non-sensical to suggest that a gay parade has the intention of recruiting homosexuals (which is not even possible; you can't force yourself to be gay if you're not).

Pro notes, "But when I talk with other people I see that they perceive the parades this way - 'Oh, these homosexuals want us to feel bad just because we don`t like them? Screw them!'" Well, as I said, it's probably true that these parades are the result of a backlash based on the fact that gays are not tolerated in society. "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. Thirty years later, gays have won far greater acceptance in the world at large, but they keep doing this stuff anyway" [1].

Pro continues, "People feel that message from gay community is - Don`t say anything bad about us otherwise you will be called homophobic and narrow-minded person because being gay is so cool these days." Once again, this is BS. First, it's not COOL to be gay. Being gay is still highly stigmatized. Being gay DRASTICALLY affects your life for the negative. Second, indeed if one says bad things about someone *just because* they're gay then of course they're going to be called homophobic! Isn't that what the definition of homophobic is? Condemning someone on the basis of their homosexuality?

Pro concludes, "Most people accept homosexuality and there is no need to organize parades like propaganda for sexual freedom." I disagree. Most people do NOT accept homosexuality. If that were true, I'd be allowed to legally marry my girlfriend. If that were true, it would not be such an awkward endeavor to "come out" to every new person I meet. If that were true, we wouldn't have ridiculous laws that prevent gays from being honest in the military. So, while I WISH this were true, it's just not. These parades aren't propaganda; they're celebrations. And just as the content may sometimes be inappropriate, again it's NO different then what goes on at the Mardi Gras parades which does not cause shame for heterosexuals and Christians as a whole, nor does it affect their capacity for legal standing in the eyes of the law.

Pro's final note is, "I would like to see mutual respect from both sides - homosexuals (no being so showy) and society (as being tolerant)." That's an excellent point. However, being "showy" is not applicable to all gays, and once again heterosexuals are also showy. It's important to judge the individuals for this behavior and not the group as a whole (which I've explained). It's not gay people's job to look the part, dress the part and make straight people feel "comfortable enough" to give them equal rights. That should be automatic. If one has a problem with the events that occur at Pride, they SHOULDN'T GO, similar to how people avoid going to Mardi Gras if they don't feel like being exposed to the event's debauchery.

So back to how these parades foster tolerance:

At these events, many LGBT activist groups get exposure for both recruitment and press. These organizations have been successful in assisting many openly LGBT political candidates, LGBT teens in school and college, LGBT-headed families, same-sex marriages and relationships, and the media is becoming increasingly more LGBT-friendly [2]. At these parades, gays out the companies that are anti-gay friendly which brings media exposure to their discrimination (such as various hotels that have been known to act anti-gay). To save face, many companies have changed their behavior and policies to avoid the backlash.

Sociologist Mary Bernstein notes that cultural goals for gays include challenging dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity [3]. So, the dress and activity visible at these events help demonstrate those ideals. Most importantly, this event brings people together. History shows us that direct activism and EXPOSURE to a cause is what garners results. The pride parade makes these things possible. For instance, this year the Stanley Cup was on display at a Blackhawks themed float in Chicago's Pride parade. Support from sports teams (the Cubs also had a float) makes straight people more comfortable with offering their support, because they see other noteworthy and "normal" organizations supporting gay people as well.

These parades also reflect a tolerant society. For instance, it was a big deal when these parades were first able to be held in places like Asia. In many of these countries, LGBT organizations remain illegal, and homosexual activists face extreme opposition from the state. These parades indicate changing times and views. More in the next round :)

[1] NYU history professor Dr. Henry Thorne
[2] http://gaylife.about.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by saraandersson123 5 years ago
saraandersson123
http://homosexualbisexualtransgender.blogspot.com...

The [American Psychiatric Association] has chosen to ignore the significant medical research which has documented serious psychiatric and medical illnesses associated with those same-sex attractions and behaviors. This research and that on the needs of children for a father and a mother have been reviewed in several important recent papers from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and the University of Utah School of Medicine...Well-designed research studies have shown that many psychiatric disorders are far more prevalent, three to five times, in teenagers and adults with same-sex attraction [SSA]. These include major depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, conduct disorder, low self-esteem in males and sexual promiscuity with an inability to maintain committed relationships. It is important to note that 'homophobia' is not the cause of these disorders, as many of these studies were done in cultures in which homosexuality is widely accepted. Another recent study has shown that a high percentage, 32%, of males with SSA have been abused by other males with SSA.
Posted by DylanAsdale 6 years ago
DylanAsdale
You're right, though. I didn't read the debate closely enough. While I still agree with Pro, I think you offered better arguments.
Posted by DylanAsdale 6 years ago
DylanAsdale
That was more of a light-hearted joke than an actual attempt to provide evidence to support Pro's position.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
That's actually not any evidence whatsoever.

You clearly didn't read the debate, as my very first paragraph in R1 explained that I'm gay and agreed with Pro as well. Thanks for nothing :)
Posted by DylanAsdale 6 years ago
DylanAsdale
I'm with pro, and I'm gay.

There's some first-hand evidence for ya.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
The last pride parade i went to was probably 5 years ago in Boston. It really wasn't all that risque at all, and that was the biggest complaint among the gay people i spoke with. However there was group after group of churches. Not protesting mind you, but looking for gay people to join. I must have seen 25 different churches (mostly Unitarian) from all different nearby communities marching and carrying banners. You generally don't see that in the newspaper though. However, i really don't see the parade doing much at all for tolerance in society.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
I don't like them either, but in terms of arguments, I won.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
I'm going to have to read this through, because as much as i would like to think that the parades are helpful in someway, it's not really what i have seen, or come to believe.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Oh and Pro had 1 source which was irrelevant and barely credible compared to my 5. Pro you did bring up some great points though, many of which I agree :)
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
RFD -- Arguments to me because I'e given a handful of reasons explaining why and how these parades foster tolerance. Pro's argument is essentially that it makes gay people look bad (to see them scantily clad and acting a fool). However, I've already argued why this behavior should not condemn an entire group and gave reasoning and examples to support that. Therefore, Pro's lone argument went refuted whereas my proposals regarding an increase in tolerance were not. Overall a great debate!
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