In an opinion piece titled “Where did the ‘Gay’ in ‘Gay Pride’ go?” published in The Advocate, Amin Ghaziani says that 45 years after the Stonewall Riots in New York — demonstrations in response police raids at a gay bars that are regarded as a catalyst for the LGBTQ movement — the term “gay pride” has been dropped in favour of just “pride.”
“We have said goodbye to ‘gay,’” he writes.
In an interview Tuesday, Ghaziani said the goal of the article is “to encourage people to think about how often we use just the word ‘pride’ as a placeholder for something more specific, and what does it mean when we do that.
“Doing so detaches, it removes any specific community from that event. Inadvertently those communities become silenced and that’s potentially dangerous. What we want to prevent is a re-closeting of individuals that have worked so hard to be visible.”
Ghaziani posits that there are two reasons why the word “gay” has disappeared when talking about pride. One is that it helps some straight people feel less discomfort about being in gay spaces. The other is that it’s used by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, 2 Spirited and Allies communities in an effort to be inclusive rather inadvertently exclusive.
Caryl Dolinko, communications co-ordinator for the Vancouver Pride Society, which organizes the city’s Pride celebrations, believes “gay” does not encompass the vast community that now exists.
“(Pride) is an all-encompassing term that invites all members of the rainbow to join,” Dolinko said. “There are different communities that have different needs and by calling pride ‘gay pride’ it does not address that.”
Dolinko said that so far there’s no term that takes in the interests of all of the communities involved. Even the term “queer,” which is generally accepted by the younger generation, is fraught because of its negative association.
“There’s not one word for everybody because the community is so diverse,” said Dolinko, who identifies as a lesbian.
“At least we’ve got an alphabet that is OK for us to label ourselves here. Thank God we live in a city and a country where I can be an L, a G, a B, a T, a Q, whatever.”..."Whatever"--you took the word right out of my mouth.