In the Calendar section of today’s Los Angeles Times, we find this item:
When asked to be co-grand marshal of the Los Angeles Gay Pride celebrations this Sunday in West Hollywood, celebutante Paris Hilton answered with her trademark, “That’s hot.”
But some gay activists are offended that the 24-year-old heiress and her mother, Kathy Hilton, have been chosen as figureheads for an event themed “How Do You Wear Your Pride?”
“The first thing that pops into my mind is, are there no gay people that could possibly grand marshal our own parade?” columnist Charles Karel Bouley II wrote on Advocate.com, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender news website.
I’ve never liked the concept of “gay pride” and a “gay pride day” or week or month or whatever. Deconstruct the phrase “Happy Gay Pride!”and you have a very silly string of words. I’m all for taking pride in who we are, especially in a society as filled with self-esteem issues as America today. But all the emphasis on “gay” and “pride” is just a reminder of a time when those two words were oxymoronic. Gaydom needs new branding – something a little less 1972.
So I never attended the annual Los Angeles area gay pride parade parade until five years ago when we bought a condo in West Hollywood about 50 feet from the route. Last year, my mother and my sister went with Page and me. This year, our friends Kim and David are motoring in from Sherman Oaks.
None of us thinks the choice of the Hiltons as grand marshals is controversial. And if I have any objections, it’s not because they are hets, it’s because they’re, well, celebutantes.
Fact is, Paris lives in West Hollywood. She may even be our most famous resident. (Sorry Sally Kirkland!) And with what she spends on fashion, hair and makeup, she’s probably done as much for gay people as anyone else.
So I say, “Happy Gay Pride, Paris & Kathy!!” See you at the parade.