Uncle RJ Invited to Answer Questions for Cousin Butchie #1
Hello Faithful Readers,
This is Cousin Butchie. Over the past few months, there have been some questions sent my way and I have felt that they could be better answered by my elderly Uncle RJ. It's not that I can't answer these questions. It's rather I believe that someone who has been gay longer than I've been alive might have a much better understanding of the questions and the people who are presenting them.
So... here goes... I introduce Uncle RJ who is proud to have me for a nephew...
Dear Uncle RJ,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write to an older person like myself. My son is gay and his father and I have taken all of the steps necessary to be accepting and understanding. I guess that we are not only parents but allies as well.
This year we attended the NYC Gay Pride March. It seemed like something which would increase our bonding with the LGBT community, and our son was thrilled that we were planning to be there. We marched with PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and our son marched with a group of Catholic LGBT people from Catholic parish groups in the area which have supportive ministries. In NJ there are two that we know of-- one entitled "In God's Image" from Sacred Heart Church in South Plainfield and the other Most Precious Blood in Monmouth Beach. Various NY groups either marched with them or with their own respective parish groups. It was a joy to see these LGBT people who live in the realization that Pope Francis has made some wonderful inroads in appointing leaders who are welcoming to the LGBT Catholics. We were told that ten years ago, NJ would never have had such a place in the march, but they would probably be associated with DIGNITY. a group of people who paved the way for the progress we have started to see. WE OWE THEM ENORMOUS THANKS FOR PAVING THE WAY AND KEEPING MOST OF ITS MEMBERS IN AN UNWELCOMING AND UNLOVING INSTITUTION.
Okay, my husband has been watching me type and has told me to get to the point. That point is something we have not been easily able to ask our son or his friends.
What we saw at our first march was somewhat shocking and disconcerting. There were marchers dressed in so little clothing that very little was left to the imagination. There were lesbian motorcyclists in very abbreviated "tops" and others who appeared to be men. Then there were the boys and men on floats waiving to the crowds. They wore shorts which showed a great deal of the male anatomy. Others wore clown outfits and were balanced by the NY Gay Firefighters, the NY Gay Officers League and the politicians from NY made their appearances. It seemed like a fun event.
This was the first year that the entire parade was televised, however I understand they had a slight time delay so that they wouldn't show some of the oddities or anything considered indecent.
More than a few co-workers told me they saw the march on television. I let them criticize the things they disliked, but I truly agreed with them. Is this the kind of image the LGBT people want to send to the entire country? I see no reason for the extreme explosion of flesh and some of the antics on some of the floats.
Why is this necessary? Am I supposed to support it because my son is gay?
You certainly put a lot into one letter so I am not surprised that Cousin Butchie passed this to me.
The way people act at the gay pride marches/parades is often a shock to the spectators seeing it for the first time. I don't blame you for your reactions. You were seeing people conduct themselves in a different way than you had expected or even thought possible. However there is a fairly good reason for this.
In New York, going back to the first gay pride march in 1970, there has always been a major threat to gay rights existing in our country. It was a time when lgbt people had almost no rights. The legal system had not been accepting, the politicians were slow to help improve our civil rights. Then we faced the pandemic of the aids crisis which was killing thousands of our young and older gay men as the government was ignoring the health crisis for so long that those people suffering the ravages of aids had to form their own organizations and outreach groups to make an attempt to nurse our own sick brothers and sisters... as the nation seemed blind to what was happening.
Slowly, far too slowly for so many, the nation started paying attention to the need to help the sick and find medications to stop the virus in its tracks--- and to educate the younger people to avoid further contamination and death.
So... We now have a background which explains why lgbt people so often act the way they do at the pride marches. The way I see it is as a devil may care spirit of celebration of the progress we have made so far as a people free to love in the way we choose to live and love as we were created-- in god's image as is the name of the lgbt faith-sharing group in South Plainfield.
It is also important, I believe, to look at the major setbacks of all peoples' rights by President Trump. Many of his policies and damned tweets make it clear that one man acts capable of threatening our progress, our rights, our lives... And it's not just the lgbt people.
One day a year when some lgbt brothers and sisters express themselves with joy and actions which get the attention of the people and the press show a liberation and cause for celebration themselves--spirit, mind and body.
Uncle RJ will answer a few more questions during the next few days.
Until then, stay cool in all ways!