Monday, May 21, 2007

Youth Pride vs. Parents

Do these young girls' parents know they're parading with this dangerous looking man? (We were told by an organizer of the event he was there as a "performer".) Well, Gov. Deval Patrick evidently thought it was fine -- whether their parents knew or not -- since he decided to honor the event, if not with his presence, with a PROCLAMATION calling on all of us to celebrate all "gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth." Are we also supposed to celebrate the participation by "transgender adults" like the man in the black dress?

Bay Windows & EdgeBoston report:
Kathleen Henry, interim president of the Friends of the Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, the nonprofit that funds and organizes Youth Pride, read an official proclamation from Gov. Patrick in honor of Youth Pride. While previous governors, including Romney himself, have issued similar proclamations, Henry said Patrick is the first to include a specific mention of bisexual and transgender youth in his proclamation, rather than referring simply to gay and lesbian youth. Reading from Patrick’s proclamation, Henry announced to the crowd, "Whereas today’s Youth Pride Day celebrates the lives and diversity of GLBT youth and their friends, now therefore I, Deval L. Patrick, governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim May 12, 2007 to be Massachusetts Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Pride Day," prompting cheers from the crowd... The parade was a sea of rainbow flags, and the youth filled the air with familiar cheers like, "One, two, three, four, open up your closet door! Five, six, seven, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight!".

We were told by one of the organizers at Youth Pride that it would be wrong to publish photographs of teens at the event, because that might "out" some of the kids to their parents. In May 2004, the Boston Globe reported on this chant at Youth Pride:

By midday yesterday, Copley Square was filled with balloons, confetti, and teenagers chanting: "I'm here. I'm queer. And my parents think I'm studying!" ...