London’s Pride parade shows us for who we really are – cheap, self-centred and a tad bit racist.
We have sold the front of our parade to Barclays. They are hoping that we will ignore their rate fixing, tax evasion and the fact that they are still putting aside £2 billion for bonuses. They’re right, we will.
Ignoring unpleasant behaviour from companies that are willing to support us is nothing new. Stonewall were quite happy to work with Paddy Power on ‘Right Behind Gay Footballers’. They didn’t mind that Paddy Power deliberately positions its shops to syphon the maximum amount of money out of the most vulnerable communities.
In both of these cases, companies are willing to support us for the chance to ‘rainbow wash’ their unsavoury behaviour and we trot right along with them. As a community, it seems, we couldn’t care less about anything so long as we further our own aims.
The latest bid for our support was from Ukip (see below for an explanation of Ukip). Despite blaming us for storms, accusing us of grooming when we tried to challenge homophobia in schools and actively campaigning against our equality, Ukip wanted to march in our parade.What they wanted was a rainbow wash on their xenophobia and racism. And we so nearly gave it to them.
When we withdrew permission for Ukip to march in Pride, we didn’t even have the guts to say that it was because of their racism or their homophobia, we claimed that it was for ‘safety reasons’. Heaven forbid that we should suddenly sprout a moral backbone.
Even in the backlash against including Ukip, we were all busy rehashing their homophobia, thinking about their contribution or otherwise to our cause. It seems we are all just fine with their racism and xenophobia and the fact that they have managed to bring the politics of hate back into the mainstream debate. Of course we are fine with it, because it doesn’t affect us.
More worryingly, a recent poll in GMFA (http://www.gmfa.org.uk/Sites/fsmagazine/pages/fs148-racism-and-the-gay-scene) suggests that we were fine with Ukip’s racism because we agree with it.
It seems that the gay community, having achieved the majority of its aims, is perfectly happy to screw over those who are still fighting.
The UK Independence Party was founded as a protest against Europe. They are anti-immigration (except for the leader’s wife, who happens to be German) and claim they aren’t racist, they just think that black people should “go back to Bongobongoland or wherever they came from”. Their campaigns are designed to appeal to the “I’m not racist but …” group. In the run up to the latest UK election, they did so well in the opinion polls that the major political parties started to indicate that they would adopt some similar policies. It was sickening to watch, nearly as sickening at the 16% of the vote that they won in the end.