I just don't understand this Gay Pride lark.
They're holding the annual Gay Pride Parade in Dublin today, where presumably, if I wanted to, I could go and see loads of oiled up torsos wearing scanty briefs, or blokes wearing dresses and wigs. But I don't want to. Even if I were gay [which I’m not, in case you hadn’t guessed] I doubt I would want to see such a spectacle.
Just what is this Pride thing? Pride is something that may or may not come after some achievement. I would be proud if I had conquered Everest or reached the South Pole on foot. I might take some pride in discovering some wonderful new invention or in writing a best seller. So where does Gay Pride come in? Is being gay some kind of an achievement?
Some people by now would probably label me homophobic [which surely means fear of men?] but I'm not. The point is that I don't give a damn. I know a few people of "the other persuasion" and it doesn't bother me. They are just like me, except that they prefer the company of their own gender and that is absolutely fine in my book. When I meet someone I don't care about their sexuality, or their religion or their philosophies on life. Those are maybe interesting topics over a pint or two but that's it.
I would class myself as being Irish, male, heterosexual and with no religion to speak of. I don't take pride in any of those simply because they are what I am. If some God Botherers try to persuade me to change my religion, I'll tell 'em to fuck off. If some bureaucrat in Brussels tries to tell me I'm European not Irish, I will equally tell him to fuck off. My identity is something I am born with [except maybe religion and it has taken the best part of a lifetime to shrug off the brainwashing I got as a kid] and I take no pride nor shame in any of it. It's just me.
The only time I get really pissed off is when someone tries to change my identity to somehow conform with their view on life. Brussels is doing its damnedest to change my nationality by giving me a European passport and that really pisses me off. Others are trying their hardest to force me to give up my favourite foods, my pint and my pipe purely because of their ideologies [and their incomes] and that frankly drives me incandescent.
Actually, that has given me a thought……
Let's hold an Annual Smokers' Pride day!