Over the Rainbow?

Straight Guy,

We're wrapping up June, which means we're wrapping up Pride celebrations across the U.S. Two biggies, San Francisco and NYC, are this weekend. Pride is especially important this year --it's the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, the beginning of the modern gay civil rights era.

Gay pride means being drowned by the inescapable rainbow flag, I fear.

I confess: I hate the rainbow flag.

The symbol of gay pride and gay identifier is part of the daily visual grind of a gay's life. Rainbow flag bumper sticker -- homo behind the wheel. Rainbow flag a store door -- gay money accepted here. Call an organization rainbow anything, yep, it's gay.

Like all codes it has its purposes, but, oh, say can you see that there's no hiding from the rainbow flag during pride. Every fucking picture frame, coffee mug, beer chubby, t-shirt, condom key chain. . . .

What's my rainbow flag disconnection? Why do I so dislike the rainbow flag? Rainbows are chipper and cheerful. Who doesn't love rainbows?

There's just something about having a rainbow forced on me that makes me feel like a child. No self aware adult wears rainbow anything. Is it the bright colors? Maybe if we just toned it down a bit?

Here's a good clip from Studio 360 about bringing the rainbow flag into the 21st century. Finding it made me feel less alone. Maybe still one in ten, but not alone. One in ten out of one in ten, but not alone.

Anybody else over the rainbow?
--Gay Guy


Straight in Upstate said...

I know at least 2 straight women who love rainbows, purple, and triangles...and were totally clueless that y'all "owned" them. "Why do people think I'm gay??" Some self-aware adults do wear rainbows and they'd like them back, thank you very much. sounds like you're more than happy to sign the rights over, should they call you?

You say you don't like having a rainbow forced on you...is "rainbow" or "forced" the operative word? I'm guessing you may just not like uniforms (okay, except for the shoes): "Hi, welcome to being gay. here's your rainbow coffee mug, keychain, and garden flag. Do not lose your uniform, do not disgrace your uniform, display your uniform at all time. New member brunch at 11, don't be late." That's how I would feel anyway - let me know if I'm just projecting.

Gay Guy said...

Not really sure where my resistance to the rainbow comes from.

It's all about cheerful?

It's a symbol for diversity, one from many. How gays are part of the big family. And, how as gays we are made up lots of folk: races, sexes, interest. As to respecting diversity, gays have a long way to go. It's an unfulfilled promise. Should I find the rainbow symbol to be an inspiration?

Plus, don't forget rainbow "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Judy Garland-loving, why dontcha wanna come over to watch the Wizard of Oz connection.

Kathryn said...

I'm probably WAY off here, but could it be any kind of a "different" issue? Or, maybe not so much "different", but a "label" issue? My eldest son has autism. It's represented by brightly-colored puzzle pieces interlocking. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, window decals..the whole nine yards. I have the obligatory magnet on my car...I bought a set of 5 to cover each time it comes off in the car wash. But autism isn't about who he IS. For me, it's a label, I guess....and I resent the hell out of it. I'm probably way off, but now you have (yet another) perspective.
(PS: Am I the token gal here? THAT label I don't mind.)

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