It’s not just about the parade: Why pride still matters


I’ve been asked why it is that “you gays” need a parade. Why it is we feel the need to “prance around” and celebrate something that is an abomination in the eyes of God.

I’m told that there isn’t a “Straight Pride Parade” for straight people to profess their pride in being straight – why on earth do I need a parade to profess my sin of gayness?

I’m told it’s just another excuse for gays and lesbians to get drunk and stoned and act like idiots. You know, like the straight people do on St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras, and any given day during the NFL and college football season.

I’m told there are near naked men in and at this parade and why would we subject little children to such debauchery? You know, like the guitar man in his underwear in Times Square that millions of children have seen, or the speedos and bikinis at any beach where the children are building sand castles.

I’ve been told a whole lot of things by people who like to judge and ridicule and condemn my soul to hell.

I can’t speak for every LGBTQ person in the world, but — since you asked me about the Pride Parade — I can tell you why it matters so much to me.

This world we live in is not always easy. It’s not always filled with love and hope and peace. More often than not, it’s filled with hate and war and people who love to judge.

We are judged by what we wear, where we live, what we drive, the color of our skin, the tone of our voice, the car we drive, and, yes… who we love.

Article continues below

The debate on whether one is born gay or simply a sinner choosing to act on these horrific impulses will go on as long as time exists. What has to be remembered is, at the core of the debate is a human being simply trying to live their life the best way they know how.

I don’t know if I was born a lesbian or not. I only know that at a very young age I felt very uncomfortable in the dresses my mother insisted I wear. I hated skirts and all things frilly. I was a “tom-boy” – big-time!

When I grew up in the 1950’s , small-town America was not the small-town America of 2014. I’m sure these little towns still exist, but… children are not growing up with Mighty Mouse, Bonanza and I Love Lucy. They are growing up with iPads, Face Time and You Tube.

Children today have smart phones, and with that they have the entire world in their hands.

My world in the 50’s and 60’s was limited to family and church and school.

I knew I was different, but I also knew I should not be different. When I was in High School my mother found a note that was written to me by a girl. She was my first love, but my mother was having none of this nonsense.

Mathew Shurka on his years in conversion therapy, and forgiving his father

Previous article

Former Fla. governor Charlie Crist files brief in support of marriage equality

Next article