I would like to submit that the true issue is not the parade in and of itself, nor is it the homo or heterosexuality. The true issue is identity and longing for unity and trust. We all have an issue with identity. This is one of the most fundamental questions in all of human thought: what or who am I? On the same coin we all desire unity. Another similarly fundamental question is: am I alone? In my less than professional opinion these are to two most important and most basic desires of mankind. We desire to know ourselves, and we desire to know others.
This has been danced around throughout these comments, and I think this is where the beat drops. Whenever anyone takes up an identity (notice the word takes) in seeking for said unity they are all at once diminishing that unity. It also seems that if we are to truly seek unity we must spend our identity, or in other words take on the identity of another.
In this conversation the identity in question is homo or hetero, but the same is true regardless of the particular class of identification, as +Ceri Oldam
stated above. No matter the classification, once it is made, there will always be a counter-classification: black, white; rich, poor; homo, hetero; homophobe, heterophobe (homophobe-phobe).
Here's the rabbit trail -
With direct relation to the parade, which is so perfectly sub-named "Pride," -- a dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character
-- there can almost be no better example of an agent of division. As I explained above - hopefully clearly and logically - taking any identity immediately places one in opposition with others that have taken a different identity, truly it even places one in opposition with those that have taken no identifying position. All of which in itself ruins the true idea of unity for which we all long so deeply. The problem many straights have, particularly the homophobic, is that they are often unwilling to unify with those that identify themselves as gay. The problem gays have, particularly the homophobic-phobes, is that they will not sacrifice their identity for unity with those that identify themselves as straight. There are also those in the inverse situation such as gays in the closet that have sacrificed identity for unity, or straights that have taken on unity with gays by sacrificing their identity. Admittedly, I have not heard of many in that latter situation but felt I ought to leave the door open for equality sake (notice the difference between equality and unity). Turn back to the parade. The fact that there is a parade to identify with gays in itself refutes the very purpose many have explained for it, which is unity. The parade is a cry for unity that is made by the voice of distinction and separation. It is a person wearing a red shirt of identity and black pants of persecution standing in a crowd of many colored shirted people yelling to be a part of the crowd. In truth each colored shirted person in the crowd is yelling to be a part of the crowd, yet still truthfully they are all wearing black pants but are too focused on the color of their shirt to notice the commonality they share.
Back to the highway -
How then, do we gain a knowledge of ourselves and not insight disunity? Remember the note we made early on about taking up an identity, assigning ourselves and identity, making proud distinctions from others in an attempt to find unity with still others of the same identity? This is what we ought to not do. We ought to stop looking at each others shirts, notice that we are all wearing black pants and start looking at each other. We ought to accept the insight +Trey Motes
stated very early in this thread. His four words are the best of this entire thread: "we are all human." In truth we have all been given the common identity of humanity. Some may choose then to ask from whom was this humanity given, so they might decide if they want to yet contend with it's validity and worth. While we are making distinctions, I will make one myself. I consider myself a Christian. While I do not have the understanding and so do not dare teach or impose my beliefs on anyone as an answer to the last question, my beliefs tell me that we are all made in the image and likeness of our (my if you prefer I do not include you dear reader) creator. For me, that places humanity as the greatest of identities, regardless of religion, race, mental capacity, or sexual orientation. Many would say, or at least think that it simply is not enough to be human with everyone else. To them, no amount a parading, protesting or partaking will give them the unity they seek, because it is not, in fact, unity they seek. Out of pride, they seek self recognition and distinction. They ought to not say a word about receiving persecution from others, because when one makes oneself among those that seek to be distinct, opposition arises out of necessity. These people are the direct contributors to the contention as they, like +Rikki Kuykendall
stated, do not contain the same amount of humanity, or rather do not consider their humanity or the humanity of others a thing to be valued.
If you are gay, I have nothing against you, for in my view I have done many worse things. I see more fault in myself than I can make right and so have no place or authority to see or show fault in another. If you want to participate in the parade, I have nothing against you. I would only hope that you understand the distinction you are making, even under the guise of wanting unity. If you are searching for identity but can't obtain it without sacrificing unity, humble yourself and see that we ARE all Human. Is that to say that in accepting and loving others simply for being human you will not still have disunity or struggle with identity? No. There are still many out there that are agents of disunity for the pride of their identity, and they will always try to pull you from where you are to themselves to further their pride in having done the pulling. If you are lacking understanding about God and the value of humanity, I would suggest looking into the bible and Christianity, because it helped me in ways that are by popular opinion not appropriate to mention here.
If you've made it this far, congratulations you've finished the marathon. Thank you for reading.