Let me begin by saying I’m not Irish – something my Irish partner Susan tries daily to not hold against me – and I do not understand the need for all the St. Patrick’s Day tomfoolery.
That said, it is beyond my scope of reason to believe that there is not one Irish LGBTQ person in the city of Boston who wouldn’t love to march in their annual parade and celebrate their heritage and their service in the U.S. military.
However, when the LGBT Veterans for Equality asked to enter Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, they were denied.
According to The Allied War Veterans Council, who is sponsoring the parade:
“It is our intention to keep this an Irish Celebration, dedicated to our Men and Women serving in our Armed Forces. We will fight to keep our parade and its traditions.”
This Veterans Council went on to say the following:
“It is our intention to keep this parade a family friendly event. We will not allow any group to damage the Integrity [sic] of the historic event or our reputation as a safe and fun filled day for all. We strive to hold the largest and most entertaining St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Country.
“God Bless our Troops and God Bless this Country!”
Okay then, all you Boston and surrounding area LGBTQ active duty and retired veterans, this Parade and their traditions obviously are not dedicated to you or your service, and to have you march in their parade would take away the whole “family friendly” vibe that comes from green beer, shamrock hats and those nasty little leprechauns who are such good examples for children to follow. Just so you know…
Since the LGBT veterans group was denied, the Catholic groups have taken away their threat to not march and will be there in all their religious, bigoted glory because, after all, it is all about it being “a safe and fun filled day for all.”
Openly gay people have been marching in St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Dublin and other Irish cities for years, but this is about what it’s always about here in the U.S.:
“The fact that they need to identify themselves as openly gay veterans is kind of where the stalemate lies. I don’t know why that’s so important in this parade,” says parade coordinator Tim Duross
Maybe it’s important because it’s who they are – They are Irish, they are Veterans, and they are gay.
The fact that you don’t understand this, well, that could be where the problem lies. Either this parade is for all Irish people, or it isn’t. Period.