Not everyone feels welcome at pride. Here’s why.

Not everyone feels welcome at pride. Here’s why.
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Who is pride for, anyway? It’s supposed to be a celebration of the entire LGBTQ+ community, a time to feel a sense of, well, pride in who they are. But not everyone feels welcome.

LGBTQ Nation readers shared on Facebook that they feel excluded from pride events for a variety of reasons. One of the most common? Being bisexual.

Bisexual readers said they not only felt like there wasn’t a place for them at pride, they shared that they experienced biphobic harassment from the other community members they’d come to celebrate with.

“It was a while ago so my memory isn’t perfect,” Thomas Ashley Beynon recalled. “The announcer on a mic asked a large group to shout out if you’re gay, then lesbian, bisexual and then transgender. Not many people (under 5) shouted for bi (few more for trans but not much) and then he joked something like ‘greedy bisexuals busy somewhere else’ or something equally disheartening.”

Allucard Wolfe noted that they’d been slapped by a twink for sharing that they are also attracted to women, adding that they “expected that from my father not a young gay guy.”

Bisexual folks in straight relationships said they often feel invisible at pride, or they get treated like they don’t belong.

“I don’t fit in anywhere because I’m Bi,” Amanda Schmidt said. “I’m in a straight relationship right now, so people think I’m straight or they claim I’m a lesbian who is not ready to come out. I really wish people could understand.”

One bisexual reader said they’ve given up on pride altogether.

“I went to my second and last Pride five years ago,” Erika Statler explained. “Being a bisexual woman, I was shunned, snickered at, treated like I was diseased, and generally made to feel unwelcomed. I subjected myself to this treatment two years in a row before I gave up on trying to enjoy a celebration that is meant for the LGBTQIA community — only minus the B, T, Q, I, and A.”

Some would argue that the celebration doesn’t include the “L” either.

“Well, at least in my area and (I’ve heard from others) many other places in the United States, there aren’t any Pride events for lesbians,” Sarah Barowski wrote. “We exist, dammit, and deserve to feel pride and not shame about our sexuality.”

Other queer women said they were discouraged by the lack of community between different groups.

“Being a bisexual woman in a lesbian relationship excludes me from many things in our local PRIDE. It is mostly geared to homosexual males. Drag queens, or butch women….and my lady and I are both femme,” Sara Freeman-Phillipp said. “It feels odd to belong to a group, yet not. We have a local gay bar, but as is our PRIDE events, it is also geared towards homosexual males. Our local gay men also seem to not want to socialize with lesbians. Do we truly offend that much??”

And if people can’t tell that you’re LGBTQ, they may treat you like a tourist.

“As an old white disabled lesbian who very often is taken as a straight. Is interesting to watch people treat me as just some straight tourist there to see the drags,” Yolanda Rochna wrote. “Hate to tell y’all but I was marching in D.C. for our rights back when a lot of y’all were in diapers. San Francisco Pride was a case in point. Dismissed or down right sneered at. Was very disappointed as I had been looking forward to that Pride.”

Ethan Everest shared: “My wife and I feel very unwelcome at pride. I’m an ftm and she is cis woman. We look like a straight couple but are not. It’s sad. Don’t judge a book by its cover. So, we don’t participate anymore.”

Others experienced exclusion at the intersections of their marginalized identities.

“Usually only ONE or maybe two porta-potties for handicapped ppl out of like 20. Also all the prime parking is reserved for VIPs when disabled ppl NEED those spots. Also Pride is expensive as hell,” Wendy K. Rasmussen said, adding that’s why they haven’t attended in the past decade.

And then there’s the racism.

“Me and my partner are an interracial couple, i.e. he is caucasian [and] I have a naturally light brown skin. We went to pride once and I got racist slurs from other caucasian gays,” Shane Ciaran wrote. “How is it right that racism exists within a population who receives discrimination already…”

Others said pride just wasn’t their kind of party — whether it was too radical, or not radical enough.

“I know that the whole idea is that it’s about our sexual desires and trying to be treated equally but when I see old men with thongs and everyone flashing themselves, it doesn’t represent me,” Morales Norma said. “Not every gay person wants to hang their dick out we just want to walk and show people that we are normal.”

And on the other hand…

“As an openly poly, atheist, anarchist who doesn’t believe in marriage for anyone, I usually feel exclude from most activities in the community as soon as I open my mouth,” shared Jerrid Wolflick. “It infurates me that we had the opportunity to create a new vision for society and instead we bowed to heteronormative system.”

Others just want something less boozy and porn-obsessed.

“Not really a flag waving alcohol drinking partier and I usually avoid it because it’s always blazing hot,” Danyel LaFear wrote. “Been to Orlando pride and Chicago pride and both were just too hot, alcohol was too expensive and I always end up leaving early. Also honestly I feel like a lot of these events are more geared towards men.”

Sean Usher objected to “the overwhelming amount of muscle men and the obsession with porn promotions,” adding that “it sometimes feels as if it is one big circuit party and not an event to celebrate diversity.”

Have you ever felt excluded from pride?


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