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Reclaim, Re-Read, Refresh & Regress

BY ED SIKOV | From Medium.com, a handy place for writers to reach readers without having to go through such pesky, interfering people as editors (pace, Mr. Schindler, sir): “ACTIVISTS FROM RECLAIM PRIDE COALITION DELIVER DEMANDS REGARDING THE NYC PRIDE MARCH TO CITY OFFICIALS, HERITAGE OF PRIDE.”

You know you’re in for it when writers push the caps lock key. (Hey, I’ve done it myself!) You also know trouble’s ahead when the word “demands” pops up; it sounds so authoritative, doesn’t it? So much more powerful than the polite but weak “requests.” The article appears to have been written collectively.

So what’s their beef? (Where’s their beef?, one might also ask.) Well… “RPC seeks to forge a community response to the historic and ongoing problems with Heritage of Pride (HOP) and the Manhattan Pride March, which have spanned decades, and include corporate saturation, unnecessary restrictions, and excessive police presence, as well as new and unacceptable changes to the March made by HOP since last year.”

PERSPECTIVE: Media Circus

The parade — which began as a march of angry protest to commemorate the Stonewall Riots but rather quickly turned into a festive gala with sponsored floats — is, in the eyes and hearts of Reclaim Pride, too corporate. Too police-y. The parade route has changed. Blah blah blah.

If you had told the Stonewall rioters that by 2018, fewer than 50 years after they clobbered the cops, the police would have turned from adversaries to friends (sorry, radical wannabes, but they are), that stores on Fifth Avenue would have special Pride merchandizing in their windows, and that the whole thing would become saturated with corporate cash, they’d have been shocked and probably appalled.

But to state the obvious, being out is no longer a radical statement. Sure, it still takes guts to come out to grandma. Trans folks still have it rough, to the point of being murdered. And the LGBTQ communities still face hostility from benighted evangelicals, some key members of the Trump administration, the ascendant far right wing of the Republican Party (see below), and crackpots everywhere. And yet, in a country that is currently ripping migrant children away from their parents, getting all twisted about the Heritage of Pride Parade route is, in a word, pointless.

Quotes without comment; a selection of headlines from this week’s media:

“Melania Trump weighs in on her husband’s cruel policy. Where are you, Ivanka?” (The Washington Post).

“Trump and the Baby Snatchers” (The New York Times).

“Trump administration could be holding 30,000 border kids by August, officials say” (The Washington Examiner).

“Trump migrant separation policy: Children ‘in cages’ in Texas” (BBC News).

“DHS Secretary Nielsen slams ‘irresponsible’ media, says no ‘policy of separating families at the border’” (Fox News).

Special Pride Segment: NBC has the hottest newscasters and commentators! A quick survey of the best-looking men on broadcast news reveals that NBC and its sister channel MSNBC win the coveted Media Circus’ Sexiest Men on the News Award. With Richard Engel and Ari Melber leading the pack (Melber has his own show on MSNBC, while Engel travels the globe for NBC), I cannot tear my eyes away from frequent MSNBC guest Jeremy Peters, a reporter for the New York Times. I’ve always been a sucker — yes, I mean it that way, too — for skinny, brainy guys like Peters. His Pulitzer Prize (for Breaking News Reporting) is just icing on the vealcake.

Andrew Kaczynski reports on CNN.com that two Republican Senate candidates sought and received the support of an extreme anti-LGBTQ hate group laughably called Public Advocate of the United States. According to Kaczynski, “Two Republican Senate nominees sought and received the support of an anti-LGBT group that links homosexuality to pedophilia and defends conversion therapy. North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer and Virginia’s Corey Stewart, who both won the Republican nomination in their respective states on Tuesday, filled out a ‘Senate Candidate Survey’ for the group Public Advocate of the United States. The survey asks eight questions about a candidate’s positions on LGBT issues, including whether a candidate would ‘oppose all efforts to make public restrooms and changing-rooms unsafe through so-called “Transgender Bathrooms” legislation and regulations — which have the effect of encouraging and protecting pedophiles.’ Another question asks if the candidate agrees that public schools should be ‘prevented from brainwashing elementary school children with the Homosexual Agenda — such as California’s current policy speculating widely about the sexual activity of past presidents and figures?’”

If you guessed that both Cramer and Stewart answered “Yes” to both of these bizarre and hateful questions, you would be correct.

Kaczynski goes on to note, “The group’s founder and chief executive, Eugene Delgaudio, said in February he believes that former President Barack Obama was a ‘child molester’ and that ‘adult homosexuals want to recruit and brainwash children.’” Lovely.


Follow @EdSikov on Facebook and Twitter.

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