I’m hesitant to discuss this issue because it’s a local and personal look into a broader state of the culture. I wasn’t aware until last week, that June is Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and the last Sunday in June is celebrated as Gay Pride Day. And it’s even official – Obama declared on May 31, “by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2011 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.” Who knew that a very small percentage of the population, whose primary identifying factor is their aberrant sexual behavior, had their own month?
I didn’t. I knew the LGBT community had parades and festivals in the summer, but I didn’t know it was as widespread as a whole month until I received an email last week from upper management at my company. This email invited me to participate in the local parade, attend a city-wide, company sponsored picnic and attend a corporate luncheon to not only “celebrate… diversity and inclusion here at [tech company]”, but also to “show your PRIDE”, “demonstrate your PRIDE”, “celebrate LGBT and [our LGBT associations] highlights” with PRIDE clearly being linked to the LGBT agenda – “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month” and “[our LGBT association’s] Pride Month”. We were told we should bring our friends and families these to these events in this email that went out to nearly 40,000 employees in our area.
There are multiple issues here. First, we’ve let liberals and progressives redefine an amazing word. Diversity used to mean coming from diverse backgrounds. Working at a company that hired young and old, men and women, Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, black, white, red, yellow, green, blue, whatever. Now it’s only synonymous with hiring from the LGBT crowd. I contacted someone in our human resources department about my concerns about this event. I was assured that attendance was voluntary and that everyone was welcome included. But from the announcement it’s clear that some groups are more included than others, even though the purpose of the event is celebrating “diversity”, it’s only about celebrating one type of diversity - the LGBT lifestyle.
The second issue is the double-standard, not just of my company, but society in general when it comes to LGBT events. We’ve all seen the pictures or heard the stories about the public sex acts that have occurred in San Francisco during “pride” parades. In my city, as in many others, the “pride” parade is anything but family oriented. Online slideshows at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for the 2010 parade and at DailyKos for the 2009 parade paint a picture of an event that is celebration of one thing and one thing only – the LGBT lifestyle and its aberrant sexual behavior. The links above, depending on where you work, are probably not safe for work (especially the DailyKos link). If the LGBT crowd is so concerned about keeping us out of their bedroom, why do they insist on pushing what happens in their bedrooms out into the open? My company, as do many others, have very strict guidelines about obscenity and pornography at work, yet have no problem promoting, as a family event, a parade that includes phallic mascots, naked bicyclers wearing only body paint and parade participants handing out condoms. None of that behavior would be condoned in the office. For some strange reason, cities do not enforce public nudity laws during these events. And many companies, out of fear of not appearing gay-friendly, hawk their wares or sponsor floats to be seen as active in the LGBT community, despite the obvious sexual nature of the events. Are we as a culture that afraid of a small vocal minority? Are their bright colored costumes and rainbow flags really that distracting?
The third issue I have with “pride” month is how the LGBT crowd has co-opted a civil rights idea, Black History month, and created a cultural focus on aberrant behavior. With Black History month, we teach our kids about civil rights heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks, and the contributions to society of great men and women like Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Louis Armstrong, Arthur Ashe and Billie Holiday. And we celebrate the various music and foods that African-Americans are known for. But what are we celebrating during “pride” month? In Seattle, in the gay pride parade, they are celebrating “Leather Pride,” the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” and the “All Male Burlesque”. How have those things contributed to the betterment of society? Is aberrant sex really all you’ve got to offer us?
My recommendation to corporate America – stick to making good products and being inclusive in hiring. If some group isn’t happy that you are simply willing to hire them, despite whatever makes them different, who cares. They’re nothing but a bunch of drama queens anyway – seriously, look at the pictures, they love attention. Drop the insane sponsorship of perverse antics to win a couple of gold stars from a vocal minority that has had more than its share of the spotlight. You don’t see other special interest groups out lobbying for companies to support events that cater to a specific sexual lifestyle. We all know that if a conservative group, be they Christian, Jewish or Muslim, wanted corporate sponsorship for some event that focused on traditional marriage, it wouldn’t happen.
And one more thing, challenging a big corporation on an issue like this doesn’t always pan out so well. In the case of Dr. Frank Turek, who didn’t even confront Cisco, he got fired because someone found out, outside of work, that he had written a book that made the claim that redefining marriage hurts everyone. So if I show up here in a week or two looking for a job, you’ll know what happened.