I briefly contemplated writing something for this, developing the theme that there is no uniform ‘Pride’ but rather lots of different days happening concurrently. Once you accept that the day is what you make of it and (ultimately) what you want it to be, I think it’s a lot easier to relax about the aspects of it which you may fight problematic. And everyone finds some aspects of it problematic.
Of course, the most common complaint is one which is mentioned by Stephen Kay in this piece:
I got a festival of hedonism tucked away in a fenced-off corner of a park, seemingly structured around stereotypes of gay men from 20 years ago. Fine, if you’re into drag queens, bubble-gum pop and binge drinking, but not much fun for the rest of us
The gay community’s problem with effeminacy and camp is one which better people than I have written about at length but, with specific regard to Pride, I can never understand why so many gay men (it’s always men) look for their identity in the people around them. Does the fact that there are gay men who love “drag queens, bubble-gum pop and binge drinking” have to particularly say anything about you as an individual just because you also like men? I don’t think so. Stephen goes on to complain that “Now we’re a demographic to be marketed to.” Again, a complaint which better people than I have tackled but it seems odd to complain that there are people different from yourself at a Pride event and then bemoan the fact that commerce treats all gay people as a homogenous mass.
Surely true equality is when we stop worrying about what other gay people say about us as individuals? It’s not something straight people seem to get vexed about. If your sexuality is merely an aspect of your being (an important aspect, undoubtedly, but an aspect nonetheless) then treat it as such and don’t build your personality around it and the ‘representations’ of it.