As always, the Vancouver Pride parade this year was a great party. There seems to be nothing like celebrating tolerance to bring out the best in people, and though one could easily become cynical at the political and corporate opportunists who are now flocking to raise the rainbow flag, it’s hard to imagine a more pleasant way to spend a summer’s day than surrounded by happy smiling people having fun. (click on any picture to see it more clearly if you can’t read some of the writing on the signs.)
Some of the parade now has nothing to do with being gay, though everybody claims to be celebrating diversity. Some of it is just showing off and having fun, like these guys on their pedal powered walking sofa.
There is still some mild protest going on.
And the bondage faction added their usual colour….
There were eye candy hunks and babes…
But most of the Pride Parade is safely bland good clean fun.
Christianity was well represented, with several churches declaring that the nasty opposition to gay rights is all being done by the other guys. Not them.
Every political party got an oar in the water, even the one that would like to take us back to 1956. But the good guys were also represented.
I was very pleased to see the extent of the participation by intactivists such as the Childrens Health and Human Rights Partnership, who had a tent set up at Sunset Beach where the parade ended.
I got to meet Kira and Tim, and thank them in person for their efforts to end the barbaric practice of infant male circumcision. They tirelessly explained the issue, which they correctly label as “forced circumcision”, to a stream of visitors.
I also met James Loewen under his sign reading “His Penis His Choice”. James is a video blogger with the BONOBO3D YouTube channel.
If you still have any doubts about what circumcision takes away, or about what you have lost yourself, you need to watch this.
One group that couldn’t participate in the parade, but were there to protest was Foreskin Pride . You really should watch their video from last year. They had approval for nudity before the parade last year, but there were “complaints”. The Pride Parade committee to their shame found excuses to exclude them this year. As their founder said, the Pride Parade is trying to be very “family friendly” and corporation friendly, which means that in your face activism doesn’t fit any more. So sad that Gay Pride has morphed into this safe and mainstream celebration of diversity, with every politician and corporation jumping literally on the band waggon. Who could be against diversity? But please… let’s keep it family friendly. Let’s not offend anybody.
The great thing about Foreskin Pride and their campaign is that these are intact men, lucky bastards. They are stepping out to refute the claim that a foreskin is dirty, that a foreskin has no importance in sex, and that a foreskin is a bad part of a penis, claims that any thinking person will see as bullshit. It takes men who still have their foreskins to start correcting the myths and misinformation.
My first reaction to these guys was to think, why are they here? They still have their foreskin, so why should they care? Why should they be fighting infant male circumcision. Then I realized that I have no stake in the issue either. My foreskin is gone and it’s not coming back. I’m an intactavist because I see something being done that is wrong and I want it to stop. It’s not about me now, it’s about the infants who are still going under the knife. I also realized that most of the women campaigning against FGM were not mutilated themselves. They just recognize the crime and the horror. So I’m grateful that these men as saying no, my foreskin is not ugly and my penis is not dirty. The foreskin is the most enjoyable part of my body and cutting it off an infant is a crime against human rights and a crime against nature.
Foreskin Pride was banned from the parade, but they were there protesting. I hope they got more press than I can give them here.