We’re coming up on summer in the northern hemisphere, which for many places means a Pride festival. Now, I’ve got a lot of opinions about my local Pride festival, but I can acknowledge on a very pragmatic level that, if nothing else, an event of this calibre generates some nice business (and by extension, revenue for the city). This means that whatever my city spends in preparation for the Pride festival is almost surely covered by the enormous profits raked in by the city’s taxation.
Back in 2015, Edmonton decided to paint three whole crosswalks with a rainbow in preparation for Pride. In a recent Facebook post, the City reported that the crosswalks would be renewed for another festival.
Three crosswalks, which might take an hour to paint each (if that), and $200 of paint. Not a terribly expensive gesture. And I guess it’s nice that the government is conceptually supportive of your rights and whatnot but Edmonton still has gaping deficiencies in Queer support networks and I’d love for city council to put their money where their mouth is. And the Pride festival is kind of dominated by cis gay white dudes and corporations and the comfortably middle class so the whole political rebellion thing is kind of losing its edge these days… ehh, I don’t think anyone cares.
I mostly have an excuse to wear thigh-high rainbow socks.
Anyway, so the city spends ~$200 on a throwaway gesture of support. How do people respond?
“Why aren’t you fixing potholes?!” (with paint?)
“Keep your sexuality to yourselves!” (you first, straight people)
“Why do you need Pride?! You’re not criminals anymore!” (…feel free to look at the rest of the comments)
“No one cares.” (says the person who went on the article to comment)
“Something something gay agenda.” (k)
“Jesus–” (that’s nice)
I think the best argument I saw was that we need a straight pride because heterosexual Jews were prosecuted in the Holocaust. Suck on that, atheists!!
Again, I’d like to see some bonafide welfare allocated to Queer youth, but whatever, this is a fraction of a drop of the entire bucket in the city’s budget, and the festival has got to be a major cash cow for the city anyway.
For what it’s worth, I get to miss this year’s parade because I’m going to a bachelorette party… for a straight acquaintance. I plan on attending in full rainbow regalia regardless.