Thursday, July 24, 2014

UBC Prof Explains Why “Gay Pride” Has Been Dropped In Favour of Just “Pride”

[Vancouver, British Columbia] As Vancouver prepares for the official kickoff to this year’s Pride Week celebrations, a University of B.C. associate professor is encouraging people to consider the meaning of the word “pride.” In an opinion piece titled “Where did the ‘Gay’ in ‘Gay Pride’ go?” published in The Advocate, Amin Ghaziani says that 45 years after the Stonewall Riots in New York — demonstrations in response police raids at a gay bars that are regarded as a catalyst for the LGBTQ movement — the term “gay pride” has been dropped in favour of just “pride.”

In an interview Tuesday, Ghaziani said the goal of the article is “to encourage people to think about how often we use just the word ‘pride’ as a placeholder for something more specific, and what does it mean when we do that. “Doing so detaches, it removes any specific community from that event. Inadvertently those communities become silenced and that’s potentially dangerous. What we want to prevent is a re-closeting of individuals that have worked so hard to be visible.” Ghaziani posits that there are two reasons why the word “gay” has disappeared when talking about pride. One is that it helps some straight people feel less discomfort about being in gay spaces. The other is that it’s used by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, 2 Spirited and Allies communities in an effort to be inclusive rather inadvertently exclusive.

Dara Parker, executive director of queer resource centre QMUNITY, said there is still work to be done because for most people in the queer community, legal equalities haven’t translated into lived equalities. “There’s a ton of work to be done and part of that is being political in our language. It is important to name and use words deliberately,” said Parker, who identifies as queer. “Language is constantly evolving, especially in marginalized communities. One of results is ‘pride’ has become synonymous with LGBTQ.”

Read more at The Province