Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dublin's Gay Pride Parade teaches blogger a lesson

Watching the Gay Pride Parade in Dublin yesterday I learned something about myself and something about gay people.

I had gone into town to get my Mont Blanc fountain pen repaired when I was stopped in my tracks by Gay Pride. The last time I went into town to get something repaired was Last year when I was stopped in my tracks by the aftermath of a Republican riot. Like most Irish people I will pick Gay Pride over those green gobshites any day.

Anyway, the Gay Pride parade had its usual quota of the flamboyant, the colourful and the outrageous. But 90 per cent of the participants looked like such ordinary, rainy-day people that I found myself thinking "They're not gay - they're only here for a laugh."

So I learned I had a prejudice whereby I expected gay people to be startlingly camp and that some part of my mind thinks that if you are "ordinary" you can't be gay.

What I learned about gay people is that 90 per cent of them are as far removed from the camp scene as are heterosexuals.

Does the camp scene suit heterosexual society by portraying gay people as odd and marginalised? Is it we straights who are most entertained by camp-ness? And how many gay people grind their teeth in frustration when they see the feather boas, the fake tans and the blonde wigs on the television news?


Enda P said...

Gosh, Padraig, it sounds like you've been oblivious to the hundreds of gay people you've undoubtedly met all through your life. But hooray on the epiphany all the same.

Padraig O'Morain said...

Well, I guess I've met gay people I knew were gay because they told me and gay people I didn't know were gay because they didn't tell me. What interested me about Saturday was that part of my mind expected feathers and flamboyance as part of the standard deal!

louisevb said...

That's an interesting perception. Now I'm a TS ( Transexual ) You have probably by the law of averages met fewer of those, so I wonder, would you as a thinking man, feel the same about me?
You can see some photos on

Robert Williams said...

Hi Padraig,

I wasn't looking for your blog but found it, through the wonders of Google, when looking for something else.

Unfortunately a lot of people, gay and straight, expect a lot of things with the deal. I am a gay man and I am sometimes horrified when I see what my "colleagues" consider part of the package. Some of us don't consider ourselves truly gay unless we are camp and flamboyant, spending our days in the shops and our nights in clubs dressed (or not) in all sorts of strange gear.

Most of us *are* normal and are only gay because we are men who like men or women who like women.

Some of us don't even like going to Pride events!

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