Major cities around the world were yesterday regaled with exuberant homo- trans-sexual festivities going by the name of Gay Pride Day.
New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto all witnessed joyful processions of LGBT persons rightly proud of their unorthodox take on human sexuality. And far be it from me to deny that practising various forms of penile or extra-penile gratification is a legitimate source of pride.
LGBT, in case you’re wondering, isn’t a telephone service splitting away from British Telecom, but an abbreviation for a valuable, some will say defining, social trend of our time. So of course its trailblazers have much to be proud about.
Just think of the T part of the acronym.
Ponder the courage it takes for a man to have a significant portion of his anatomy surgically removed and another part fashioned in its place out of the now useless folds of skin. Add to this debilitating hormone treatments, electrolysis, voice coaching, necessary sartorial modifications, and you’ll realise that it takes a well-nigh inhuman power of one’s convictions to go through with such an upheaval.
Yet even that pales in comparison with the ordeal of a woman undergoing a similar process in reverse. After all, she too has to suffer amputation, in this instance of her bust and, possibly if partly, buttocks. But then she also has to have something sewn on, which is always harder and more fraught with discomfort than snipping it off.
I don’t know whether male and female T’s have a reciprocal agreement, with one half swapping their breasts for the other half’s penises, but that sounds like a logical transaction, and one preventing unnecessary waste. In any case, if the determination to suffer for one’s innermost convictions isn’t something to be proud of, I don’t know what is.
I’m assuming that my friend, the New York journalist Vladimir Kozlovsky, is wrong in suggesting that the word ‘pride’ is here used in the same sense in which it describes a pack of large feline predators.
One detects a tinge of underhand sarcasm in this suggestion, which betokens latent homophobia so prevalent among persons of Russian extraction. Though Vladimir and I grew up at the same time and but a few Moscow streets apart, I’m happy that I don’t harbour any such latent hostilities.
Nor do I object to turning one’s sexuality into a political statement. After all, modern politics have become so voluminous that they can accommodate practically any novel form of self-expression.
For example, by proclaiming a preference for nut patties over beef burgers, a person sends an important message: he/she/it refuses to squeeze his/her/its individuality into the yoke of convention. The message certainly has a political aspect, but it transcends it by insisting on upholding a more stringent morality than that prescribed by the Abrahamic religions.
Vegetarianism also strikes a blow for freedom of individual choice and against any attempt by… well, anybody to impose any arbitrary diktats. LGBT lands the same blow with an even more resounding thud.
It’s a matter of individual choice to decide how or by whom/what one’s orifices are penetrated, fondled or otherwise stimulated, and to what use plastic straws or root vegetables can be put. And when the right to any individual choice is forcefully upheld, this also promotes personal freedom in general.
Just think of all the intrepid freedom fighters throughout history, think of all those heroes who died for their rights – and vicariously ours. They had to rush chest first into machinegun fire, walk to the pyre, ram an enemy plane with their own.
What, you object that LGBT heroes fight for their cause without taking similar risks to life and limb? How wrong you are! Think of all those complicated surgical procedures that can go wrong with fatal consequences. Above all, think of Aids, that man-made blight undoubtedly synthesised by the conservative establishment to exterminate those courageous LGBT fighters for human dignity and good taste.
Have you thought about it? Well, then you must have realised that any such person has as much right to be proud of his/her/its erotic achievements as any RAF pilot flying his Lancaster into a cloud of flak.
My only concern is the slight unfairness of it. After all, if we accept – as we must! – that one’s sexuality, especially if it’s at odds with Judaeo-Christian morality, can be a source of pride, why limit it to LGBT?
This is nothing short of discriminatory, and we all know that discrimination of any kind – sex, race, age, aesthetic – has replaced the seven outdated sins as the ultimate, nay only, unpardonable transgression. Certainly all LGBT persons regard it as such, which is why I’m sure they’ll bend over backwards to support the initiative I’m hereby putting forth.
Why not have Adultery Pride Day? Bestiality Pride Day? Necrophilia Pride Day? Masturbation Pride Day? Incest Pride Day? And so forth? Assuming that there are enough days in the year to cover every known deviation from what’s criminally described as the norm, wouldn’t this be a natural extension of amorous self-respect into true universality?
If these milestones were enshrined in our calendar, I’d proudly march in all ensuing parades, even though I’m not admitting any natural or existential entitlement to march in any of them.
It’s just that every person who cares about his/her/its freedom must fight for the freedom of others. Discriminating against any person or his/her/its sexuality diminishes me, to paraphrase John Donne ever so slightly. No man is an island, Lesbos or any other.