voyager12

Charlotte Pride

1232 posts in this topic

Well, its next weekend at Gateway Village in the atrium. A nice venue. The new organizers did not want to deal with OSA members wandering through Marshall Park and preaching like last year. I was at the event all day last time and they did not bother me one bit. I do not agree with it but they have a right to their opinion and I just ignored them. This year, event organizers are looking for volunteers to act as enforcers at the entrance to the atrium. If they spot OSA members preaching they are supposed to confront them/and or call the police. I know Gateway was picked because its private property and there is more control regarding access but we are not going to be able to stop them from attending and walking through such a big space. I am just worried that there is going to be confrontations which is all the media will focus on of course and it will detract from an important community building event. I guess we shall see.

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..... I am just worried that there is going to be confrontations which is all the media will focus on of course and it will detract from an important community building event. I guess we shall see.

This is what the media does in this city. If there are no confortations, they won't even bother to report on the event because they don't want to be accused of supporting Gays & Lesbians. They are too scared to take any stands on anything.

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Well, that is true. You never read about gay anything in this town unless its us against McCrory,James etc etc. Its like its not worth running unless there is something "juicy" to exploit. I do give Creative Loafing some credit, they have run some informative community based pieces. If the festival goes off without a hitch and is a great inspiring newsworthy event we will probably get a magnifying glass size blurb in The Observer, if there is a riot, front page above the fold :lol:

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I am just worried that there is going to be confrontations which is all the media will focus on of course and it will detract from an important community building event. I guess we shall see.
To be fair, they (the media) do it in every city. You do have to admit that Pride does pull in the fringe element of the gay subculture. Seriously, how often do you see a large group of lesbians walking around topless (not that that happens here, but I have seen it in Washington and St Petersburg), or men dressed in chaps with nothng on underneath but a jock strap walking around a medium sized American city on a Sunday afternoon? I have to be honest, if I was a videographer for TV, I'd be drawn to the wild and over the top as well. I'm not saying its right, just that its human nature to be drawn to the shocking. Edited by Miesian Corners

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Incidents of people behaving indecently happen at all types of events not just gay ones. Mardi Gras, college Spring Break trips, music festivals, holiday shows, to name just a few. But when the same happens at predominantly gay event, then its portrayed as representative of the entire gay community which is false and insulting.

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Really? Why is it all I see on late night TV are advertisements for "Girls Gone Wild"! "Spring Break Madness!" or "They'll do anything for Beads!"

We're drawn to it dude. We like seeing freaky. It's human nature.

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Incidents of people behaving indecently happen at all types of events not just gay ones. Mardi Gras, college Spring Break trips, music festivals, holiday shows, to name just a few. But when the same happens at predominantly gay event, then its portrayed as representative of the entire gay community which is false and insulting.

I agree. Most people in the gay community are ordinary folk. We don't fit into the images presented by the media at all. When all that's portrayed of us is "debauchery", "decadence", and "no-morality" I am also insulted. This portrayal of the gay community in this light by the media is also helping to hold back our fight for additional rights and recognition.

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I by no means am saying its right for the media to do, I am saying that it sells better at 6 and 11. Who wants to watch a bunch of bankers standing around buying rainbow flag magnets?

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It comes down to context and how we are viewed by mainstream society. Straight people running around half clothed and or drunk at a public festival or gathering and acting crazy is looked on as harmless fun. Not as those "straight" freaks. Gays and Lesbians partying and getting at little wild is "freaky and "immoral". This double standard has been the City of Charlotte's rationale for their grudging " we hate allowing it but we don't want an ACLU lawsuit" dragged out approvals to use public Marshall Park in the past. The people behind this year's event were sick of literally fighting City Hall and this prejudice and the OSA presence so they moved it to the BOFA owned atrium. The corporate sector is light years ahead of most local governments in this country when it comes to equality and fairness.

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Straight people running around half clothed and or drunk at a public festival or gathering and acting crazy is looked on as harmless fun.

There is a lot of mainstream society that does not condone people getting drunk and stripping in public. Sexual orientation does not have anything to do with it.

Honestly, I think people who what to go to the event, go and don't worry with what everyone else thinks. The vast majority of people don't care and for the ones that do, well... they are bigots. I decided long ago that I won't let bigots determine how I will live my life. You can't control how others think. Aside from that, Gay pride events are a lot tamer than they were 25 years ago so I don't expect there will be any problems.

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I would tend to agree with you. As I said in my first post, OSAers swarmed all over last year's event with bullhorns screaming hellfire and damnation and preaching in my face, I completely ignored it and had a great time. I think the idea of posting sentries to confront them instead of ignoring it like last year is a mistake and could lead to altercations.

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I went to Pride yesterday and for Charlotte I would have to say it was one of the best Pride's ever. An estimated 5000 people were there. I think we are at a place now that we can build off of this and make it better and larger next year. The protestors really were not that bad. You couldn't hear them unless you were in the concessions area getting some food. They had cute signs out saying "Don't Feed the Protestors"

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I definitely agree with you. I was pleasantly surprised. It worked out very well I think, its a great location and the overhang help keep the heat down just a little. The OSA presence was less intrusive than last year, the new organizers did a great job. My only issue was not being able to see the stage from a little farther back, its need to be elevated or just made more visible to all next time around.

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Operation Save America: A Christian group based in Concord that specializes in protesting homosexuality and abortion.

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I believe they are an offshoot of Randall Terry's Operation Rescue. Their leader, Flip Benham expanded their portfolio from abortion to gay issues when they moved to Concord.

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I would have to agree. It was the best Pride to date in Charlotte. I'm already looking forward to next year and I know for sure I couldn't say that last year. The whole vibe was more positive. My partner and I both got a chuckle out of the Don't Feed the Protesters signs and the whole timbre of the event was more positive than ever.

I am looking forward to the day when we take over Tryon for the weekend (like they did in Seattle for the first time this year in Seattle Center and along 4th)! :P

Hey a boy can dream, can't he?

I was talking with one of the vendors at Pride and we agteed that it was nice that Charlotte doesn't really have a "gay gheto" like other cities which makes Pride and it's related success all the more critical.

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Gay Pride events almost always grow year-to-year. As being gay becomes more "okay", Charlotte's events will get larger and larger.

Seattle's was teeny at first and finally grew enough to get it downtown, and out of the predominantly gay neighborhood (Capitol Hill) It amazes me how many heteros come out with their families, and kids and strollers and support the homos!

Glad to say, Seattle's Gay Pride events are generally low-key sans all the raunchiness and public sexual expression seen in other cities' events.

But let's face it, even the wildest Gay Pride events in San Francisco don't come close to the Sodom and Gomorrah seen in New Orleans during Mardis Gras! lol

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Haha, good find.

The first Gay pride event that I attended in Charlotte was in 1986 in the parking lot of The Scorpio when they still had a swimming pool there. (haha) I went because one of my friends was running a booth for Gay Parents of Charlotte and invited everyone he knew to come. Despite the fact that one of the organizers, a 6.5 ft tall muscular guy went up onto freedom drive in broad daylight in nothing but a thong and hightop shoes, not many people came to the event. They had planned for a big crowd so there was a beer truck down there but I doubt there were 200 people if that many. So later they announced "We have a special on Beer, It's free". And everyone proceeded to get drunk in the 95 degree heat. Probably not the best organized event in history, but it was still a lot of fun. Sounds as if it has come a long way since then.

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Despite the fact that one of the organizers, a 6.5 ft tall muscular guy went up onto freedom drive in broad daylight in nothing but a thong and hightop shoes, not many people came to the event.

Despite or Because?

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Despite or Because?

Haha, I guess that is a matter of opinion. Let's just say the objective was to draw attention to the event.

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But let's face it, even the wildest Gay Pride events in San Francisco don't come close to the Sodom and Gomorrah seen in New Orleans during Mardis Gras! lol

Not everyone thinks that Mardi Gras is a good idea. It's pretty much an excuse for people to leave their morals back home and go wild...not really a great idea.

I think I'd aspire to be better than something on higher moral ground than Mardi Gras.

Haha, I guess that is a matter of opinion. Let's just say the objective was to draw attention to the event.

:)

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