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Is it appropriate for me to attend a Pride parade?

June 6, 2022

My dolls would like to celebrate LGBTQ Pride month during June, and they can, they are puppets and with my help they can do what they do best, in extraordinary clothes they dance and bring joy to any celebration. 

I am on the other hand, cautious to join and appear to ‘get on the band wagon’.  LGBTQ+ is a movement alongside BLM and ME Too where I do not necessarily fit.  I can only look in and possibly be an interested bystander. 

I am a privileged white heterosexual lady while I am not entirely comfortable with word ‘privileged’ it is true. While I have seen racism from both sides among my family and friends and on two occasions the harm was fatal. I have seen and heard about homophobia. I have experienced misogyny and sexual abuse but afraid to put my hand up and say ‘me to’

I am protected by the colour of my skin and the topography of my home in other words ‘I fit it’.

Me and my generation are protected and have used the protection or safety unwisely.  We were exposed to a media that was misshapen and harmful.  Television in particular was complicit in misinformation.  We watched and enjoyed the Black and White Minstrel show, a variety show where white singers and actors performed with blackened faces. This was aired every Saturday night for twenty years. This horrible impersonation was offensive and caused much distress to the black community. We continued to watch uncomplaining. We missed the irony of Warren Mitchell’s characterisation of Alf Garnet, a right-wing moron in ‘‘Til death us do part’ a situation comedy. Garnet become our voice and it was funny to call our wives and mothers a ‘silly mo’ or our black neighbours some unrepeatable names.

We become complacent about racism, sexism and the fight against homophobia, we allow it to be humorous or another person’s problem because it isn’t in our neighbourhood. We attach ourselves to a friendly black or a gay person who keeps ‘themself to themself’ or overlook the misogynistic comedian. 

I am aware of my short comings, they have nothing to do with lack of education, where I live or the BBC. The world is so much smaller, information is clear and available. It is no longer shrouded in comedy and irony and ‘I am alright Jack’ attitude. There are no excuses.

The LGBTQ+ (BLM and MeToo) is my community and I want to be a part of it.  The dolls and I are going to celebrate that and support their on going protest. 

I hope this makes sense and I don’t cause offense, my support is genuine and don’t intend to capitalise on the gay culture.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzanne Elvidge permalink
    June 7, 2022 9:16 am

    As the B and LGBTQ, I would love you and your dolls as my ally

    • June 7, 2022 10:16 am

      thank you xxx i will represent those who are begiining to understand xxx

  2. June 7, 2022 10:38 am

    A great piece Helen. Really heartfelt and honest. I think capitalising on LGBTQ + movements purely for monetary gain is wrong, but that doesn’t mean your business can’t focus on the LGBTQ + community or celebrate its achievements, even if you are, in your words, a privileged white heterosexual lady.

    And, as for attending a Pride parade, yes, you and your coathanger dolls should definitely attend…

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