Should Pride events be 'family friendly'? LGBTQ+ community split over 'kink' in marches

Pride aims at providing a place where LGBTQ people of any age, background, gender or orientation can celebrate who they are, safely, with the support of the rest of the community


                            Should Pride events be 'family friendly'? LGBTQ+ community split over 'kink' in marches
(Getty Images)

Pride Toronto is a celebratory event held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in June each year. It is a celebration of the diversity of the LGBTQ community and one of the largest organized gay pride festivals in the world. The event consists of a large Dyke March, a Trans March and the Pride Parade.

Pride 2021, which is all set to take place in June, has been in the news recently, as the Internet fought over the relevance and the extent of 'sexual explicitness' at Pride events.

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Pride Toronto (Twitter)

Pride aims at providing a place where LGBTQ people of any age, background, gender or orientation can celebrate who they are, safely, with the support of the rest of the community. In all its 'inclusiveness', a Pride march incorporates, amongst others, many representing various people inside the LGBTQ community. This is the side of the community which is generally not visibly accessible to an average cis person and some may find it 'sexually explicit'.

It could be a group of leather queens or some BDSM enthusiasts walking their puppy. While some totally get on board with the idea, some deem it as something unfit for the children to see.

Pride Toronto (Twitter)

“I can’t imagine a safer place for families to bring children,” Ren, a semi-retired sex therapist, told HuffPost Canada in 2019 while talking about Pride. “There is absolutely no reason not to take our kids to Pride — it’s a fun day, there are a lot of bubbles, rainbow streamers and enjoyable performances,” writer, educator, and publisher S Bear Bergman told HuffPost Canada. "It’s their right as queer spawn. And as a parent, I might want to take my kids to Pride, because they might be lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer or two-spirit, ” he added. Bergman also pointed out that many children don’t always interpret what they see in a Pride parade as sexual.

Ren emphasized that Pride, from kink to nakedness, could be an excellent opportunity for parents to engage their kids in unbiased sex education. Ren said, “children benefit from seeing people loving one another, from seeing diversity and inclusion. Children suffer from seeing violence and fear, hatred and divisiveness. We found and built our tribe at these gatherings.”

Internet is divided over what children shall see

Concerns have been raised on social media, over 'kink' having no place at a Pride event, because Pride should be open to 'families and children'. However, a number of counter-attack comments were also made, like, "anyone mad about the possibility of a kid witnessing sexual stuff at pride is gonna have their head explode when they learn about television, " "Pride cannot and never will be "family-friendly" as long as we exist in a society that considers queer lives to be an existential threat to the family unit, " and "Wearing leather isn't inherently sexual. Also, when you demand that Pride change from what it has always been to something else so that it caters to *your* demands then *you* are the one being selfish."



 



 

Many users also slammed the idea of Pride events not being family-friendly and posted tweets like, "no kink at pride" is exactly the same as "no porn on tumblr/ebay/telegram/etsy/twitter/patreon" and the same as SESTA/FOSTA and the same as banning trans people from existing in public. it all comes from the same place, and the sooner you see that the sooner we can break it. that place is "i don't care what you do in private, I just don't wanna see it and I don't want ThE cHiLdReN to see it". transphobes see trans people as guys with a kink for women clothing. banning kink is the same thing. ITS THE GODDAMN SAME, " and "Pride should be controversial, challenging, thought-provoking, celebratory, and affirming. If you feel your kids or anyone else shouldn't see certain things at Pride, don't bring them or don't come. Better yet: bring your kids and contextualize things for them. It's that simple."



 



 



 

However, a lot of people also deemed Pride events as 'PG-13' and condemned the event for not being 'children friendly'. Users posted tweets like, "Queer kids who are struggling with their identities or feel isolated need pride more than anyone else, and to deny them just so you can be sexual in public is selfish, " "Fuck it kink is now mandatory at pride. You may only attend wearing leather or rubber or some combination thereof, " and "we can be proud of our sexuality without being pornographic. i don’t think any parents (straight,wlw,mlm,etc) with common sense want their children seeing people grinding on each other next to naked. #pride #pride2021."