Gay journalist Chris Crain‘s blog observed last month that in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the world’s gay pride parade has been ruined by an annual onslaught of some 2 million people, among them foreign tourists and violent heterosexual carousers and gangs, that have scared away the resident gay population.
Overwhelmed by enormous crowds, police were unable to stop an antigay murder at the Parada last year and a drug-related death this year.
The author of the post concludes that the Parada’s failure to articulate a clear message has turned the event into a meaningless party for people with no commitment to equality:
It was big and utterly pointless. It was a tragic search for pleasure in vain, and a moment which made a beautiful sense of life and purpose appear worthless in the end. It left nothing behind but questions. It made none of us feel prouder, or more secure. It taught us nothing, and betrayed a sense that we have learned nothing.
I get emails from American gays fairly often which tell me of a rising level of disgust at gay politics in the United States. To many of them, it is run by a group of hacks who lack vision and courage, who cater to politicians of both parties that have no qualms about throwing us overboard. And these critics are not outraged so much as ready to turn their backs on something that was once an inspiring movement full of hope and joy. One of them, an activist who started in the 1980s, wrote me that she felt like she was watching “my baby, all grown up, just laying there dying and I can’t do anything about it.
The writer’s leap of logic from Brazilian carnival to U.S. activists is a stretch; he seems to ignore the growth of gay religious organizations, pro-marriage groups, anti-violence groups, and gay employee groups, and gay sports and fitness groups.
But Exodus International’s “ex-gay” executive vice president Randy Thomas — who opposes hate-crime laws, pro-equality political messages, and sexual health education — makes a far greater leap in logic:
Seems like nothing has changed since I went to these types of events back in the day… well except our events didn’t have millions of people. His article goes on to describe robbery, murder and what appears to be a tragic accidental death of a young man partying at a local hotel. For those who don’t know, June is a big gay “pride” month. These parades happen around this time of year.
Thomas’ assertion that the world’s other gay-pride marches and protests are no different than Sao Paulo — and no different from his own sorry life in 1988 — is recklessly and transparently bigoted.
Thomas seems to be getting increasingly desperate as he rationalizes the unhappiness, emptiness, and spiritual shallowness in his personal life.
The shallowness of Sao Paulo’s messageless Parada should remind Thomas of Exodus’ own superficial existence. Beyond the empty, misleading, and ultimately false mantra that “change is possible,” Exodus offers no substance: No heterosexuality, no true faith, and no intimate human companionship. Membership in the Exodus echo chamber requires celibacy, a tolerance for antigay violence and discrimination, selfish obsessions with “identity,” and a never-ending blame game against others for one’s own failure to change.
Exodus Global Alliance’s contacts in South America have refused to condemn antigay violence, harassment, and discrimination. For that, Thomas should feel ashamed.