Organizers Want This Year's Gay Pride Parade to Be Nudity-Free, Angering LGBT Activists

Categories: Events

PrideWeekTwerk.jpg
Jay Barker
The Dallas Pride Parade, 2012.
In years past, the organizers of Dallas Pride have accepted the idea that the outpouring of joy and solidarity that fuels the annual gay pride parade also occasionally leads to the revealing of a bit more skin than might technically allowed under state law. This year, they won't be so accommodating.

Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, which organizes the event, says that organizers and police will patrol the staging area to make sure all parade participants are properly clothed. If they aren't, they could be removed from the parade, or their group may be blacklisted from next year's celebration.

"Just because it's a day of celebration for our community doesn't mean we are exempt from the law," he told Unfair Park on Tuesday.

Some local LGBT activists view the crackdown on nudity as a betrayal of what the event is supposed to be about.

Daniel Cates, an organizer with GetEqual, recently sounded the alarm on Facebook that the Tavern Guild was watering down the parade to make it more family friendly and please corporate sponsors.

"No bare asses, no breasts (even with pasties) no tight underwear on dancers, nothing too political at all," he wrote. "The 'queer' is effectively being erased from our pride celebration in favor of the most polished, heteronormative representation of our community as possible."

Hardy Haberman, a fixture of Dallas' leather scene and a columnist for the Dallas Voice raised similar concerns.

"I ... am disgusted with the idea that LGBT people must conform to the 'heteronormative' model. In other words, the man-woman-kids-dog thing," he writes. "I know many of my friends fit that category, and I am happy for them, but I resent people, and specifically the parade organizers trying to tone down the parade so as not to offend the imagined families who attend."

The problem, he continues, "is the organizers who are so ashamed of who they are and what our community does that they feel we must 'fit in.'"

Doughman quibbles with the notion that the parade has undergone some fundamental philosophical shift. Nudity has always been technically prohibited, he says, but participants have continued to "press the envelope" in recent years, making it necessary to issue a reminder.

"We did this as a courtesy to everyone in the parade," Doughman says.

He likens it to the annual reminder that all floats must have fire extinguishers, which has been given since the fire marshal showed up a few years ago and wrote more than a dozen tickets.

But no amount of rationalization on the part of the Tavern Guild is likely to appease -- or keep clothed -- its critics. Cates has already coined a rallying cry/hashtag: #Prideoutwithyourhideout!

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125 comments
thomprentice1
thomprentice1

Everybody wants to be a fascist -- Gestapo wannabes everywhere:  "says that organizers and police will patrol the staging area".  GAY INCORPORATED.  WHen did GAY LIBERATION mutate into GAY INCORPORATED or MIDDLE CLASS INCORPORATED?

fir3walker
fir3walker

We are an openly gay couple with a 17 year old daughter living with us. 
"GAY does not equal TRASHY," is one of the guiding principles we are trying to instill in our girl, should she realize she's gay.
One of her best friends is an openly gay young man who has graduated high school last year.
We've let him know that just because he's gay doesn't mean he'll end up some disease addled, meth-head, book store queen who'll probably end up on some protease inhibitor and cubicin IV for the rest of his life.
It's unfortunate that so many in the gay community have decided THAT's the image they'd rather project at Gay Pride parades... and then, ironically, call those of us who object to that charaterization as "self-loathing".
If it weren't so sad, it would be funny.

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

I am from Louisiana and New Orleans has Bourbon Street which has many Gay themed events during the year. Plenty of families visit Bourbon Street, but any wise parent would know to be aware of the bizarre and obscene. I'm straight and lived in Dallas for 20 years without visiting the parade, especially with my child because I knew what to expect, bizarre and obscene behavior. Let the parade participants act crazy and expose certain body parts like usual, any adult with children should know what to expect and stay away.  

Jai Bird
Jai Bird

No "tight underwear" on dancers is definitely a bit much. Women can wear bikinis in parades, at pools, etc. This parade in particular does not need to limit men's ability to do the same.

Jason Simms
Jason Simms

might as well give em special parking places.like handicap.when you ok this you ok immorality

Jai Bird
Jai Bird

Really? Getting pissy about not being able to naked in public, are we? Right, because somehow your pride is threatened if you can't let it flop around. That makes sense. *SMH Personally, the nudity doesn't bother me in certain settings. I pretty much expect assless chaps at the parade or block party. It's not as though I'm just walking around in the mall and seeing naked body parts being flopped out. But getting in a huff because someone is asking that you wear clothes as you PARADE DOWN THE STREET is a bit much guys. Certainly there can be some sort of compromise. Asking them to go from NC-17 to a G rating is entirely too much. Keep in mind that they do this for them, not for your kids. There are some things that kids just have to wait until they are older for. No offense parents, but we need to stop watering down every single public event just so that tots can come. They can appreciate equality without attending the parade until they're a bit older. Maybe PG-13 would be a decent compromise. Not quite flopping around, but not quite Disney approved.

aliberaltexan
aliberaltexan

Seriously, Dallas.  Really?  Houston's mardi gras-esque Gay Pride rocks.  Dallas has just always been too uptight about everything.  Sorry.

John1073
John1073

If the Dallas Police Department doesn't care, why should parade organizers?

Frederick Szczepanski
Frederick Szczepanski

This is why people hate gay people. Why do they have to publicly act like little slutty whores like this? What's the point of displaying sexuality so arrogantly, not even in an artistic/classy way? Makes me sad to even be part of this orientation group.

Angela Byrne-Sweeney
Angela Byrne-Sweeney

Im gay & I've never understood why nudity was necessary. I was in parades with the universities and we kept it clean. Many of our parents attended. They don't need to see nudity on parade. And if I decided to take my niece & nephew, they certainly don't need to

Danni McCarthy
Danni McCarthy

I stopped going to these along time ago due to this very thing.......have some damn respect for yourself and quit making a mockery of yourselves by acting like heathens!

Jonathan Jonathan Jonathan
Jonathan Jonathan Jonathan

I don't wanna have to explain to my kid why a bunch of naked dudes are flopping their shit around. Ifwe had a straight pride parade, I think we would be clothed and the last thought on our minds would be nudity.

kbowmanphoto
kbowmanphoto

I know I am going to get some backlash from this, but I don't care! As a gay person, I have always been disgusted and embarrassed by these ridiculous gay pride "parades" (spectacles). I truly believe they do far more to set us back than move us forward. We claim we want equality and then we go act like perverts and idiots, dressed up like fools...or hardly dressed at all in this case...and just segregate ourselves even further! I have no issues with being gay, but don't feel any more "proud" of it than my best friend feels "proud" of being straight. My life does not revolve around me being gay. The truth is, the world is filled with gay people and although we have plenty of "normal", respectable gay citizens, all the mainstream (sadly) sees are the ones who behave like fools. Sorry, these people do NOT represent the normal gay culture anymore than the straight fools at Mardi Gras represent all straights!

Cynthia Wolf
Cynthia Wolf

Well, if they opted for decent exposure, they'd get a lot more respect. Public streets are not the place for nudity, I don't care who you are.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Is there not a nude bicycle parade every year in Dallas? I've yet to see a minor on Cedar Springs between Oak Lawn and Douglas, except for the rare sightings at the Kroger. I think the spectators can handle tits and ass.

jamessavik
jamessavik

If you're going to have a freak show, start a club. Don't do it in my name.

If respect is what you want, this isn't how to go about it.

Kendel R. Powers
Kendel R. Powers

Gay pride parades make me embarrassed to be gay! Showing one's penis or one's ass doesn't show one's "pride" it shows one's STUPIDITY. How has honoring the victims of Stonewall turned into a full on SEXESCAPADE?? These "parades" don't honor or reflect the best of our communities but demean the efforts to create an equal playing field in American society; and push back our efforts for gay marriage/civil unions and same sex adoption. If I had a child I wouldn't want to subject them to the pornographic behavior of the masses at these "pride" parades. PRIDE, why should I have any?!

Americano
Americano

This "celebration" is just an attempt to put a thumb in the eye of Conservative Christians.  The more they are ignored, the better off everyone will be.  They should do the same to groups they don't identify with.

iqtush76
iqtush76

The parade is not to advance any agenda. It is for OUR community to get together and do what we have always done; be loud, outlandish and fabulous. People who support "our" cause will still support it whether there are half-naked people or not and those that do not support us are not going to change their minds about "us" just because we decide to put on some pants. I think it is ridiculous to change anything that OUR parades are about to make THEM feel better. Screw "them".

This link below is an article that speaks VOLUMES as to why we should keep our pride parades true to ourselves. We don;t put them on to get people to like us; we put them on so we can like ourselves, in whatever form or fashion we choose to live, at least for that one day. So read it. You'll see.

Watching The Defectives by JoeMyGod.com -  http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/2012/06/watching-defectives.html

Alex Alexander
Alex Alexander

Osvaldo Garcia I'm not straight. I'm gay and want to be able to take my family so they can see all the support for my family but it just is too much for the kids and some other family and personally I don't like it either. Save it for the block party and the clubs.

Winston Churchill Edwards
Winston Churchill Edwards

Good. No straight person wants to go to (support the LGBT community at) a parade with a bunch of dicks flopping around.

Lisa Hardaway
Lisa Hardaway

I know I'll get hate for this, but maybe more people would open their minds about LGBT issues if LGBTs wouldn't hang their hat so much on nudity? Being nude isn't a solely gay thing and not being cool w nudity isn't solely an anti gay thing.

Osvaldo Garcia
Osvaldo Garcia

Why everyone mad its their constitutional right to do as they please if you hetero or don't like the environment then th he fuck are you doing there especially wit kids....careful don't go to war over this.

Jen Hicks
Jen Hicks

As Jermaine Stewart sang in the 80s, "We don't have to take our clothes off... to have a good time.. oh no... we can dance and party, all night.... and have a good time...." LOL

beccarockswilcox
beccarockswilcox

Speaking as a gay woman and as a mothe rof six, I am glad the organizers have tried to make the parade more family friendly for people like me. Gay culture isnt just for young single people, its also for people like me, a mother who wants to teach my kids about gay pride without having boobs and asses shoved in their faces. But that's just me.

We have to be mainstream because we ARE mainstream. We are normal people.

casiepierce
casiepierce

I love all this talk of sexual freedom as I scroll down to yesterday's article about the HIV+ man who had unprotected sex with 600+ male partners.....

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

So is the parade about Equality? That is the point I am missing here. As a straight man, I can not have a parade of straight people showing their privates off without fear of them being arrested for breaking the law right? So how should it be any different for any other parade. Nudist can't have a parade and be nude because there is a law against it. The man commented that they wanted to make the parade normal, like 'man-wife-kids' normal when all I can see happening here is that they want it's participants to be legal. If you want an R-Rated event, don't have it in a public place. If you want to express your sexuality, don't do it in a public place. These things are and still will be illegal to do. But far be it for anyone to suggest you show a little decorum in a public place, right?

kirbsartadventures
kirbsartadventures

A) I wonder if they are going to enforce more of these restrictions come next years St Patty's day parade...

B ) The way I figure, as long as bits are covered per state law... let them hang out as naked as they wanna get. Something to keep in mind that this is a celebration of a group of people who have a repressed form a sexuality and these pride events are supposed to celebrate that freedom of sexuality from the oppression. To the general media, or corporate sponsors, this might be a lot to take in, but this is our time to say, "I am not afraid to let it all hang out" so to speak. I don't discount having separate events for more "family oriented" individuals, but to put it down sharply, this is MY (as a gay man) celebration of my ability to not be discriminated because of my sexuality. that fight is still not over, but i will continue to celebrate the battles that have been won. This event is not designed for the local heterosexual community to bring their kids to grab a hand full of free beads and some candy.

I love and respect out LBGTQ allies and want them to celebrate the event with us, but I also request that you use good parenting judgement and leave your kids at home if you feel that this event is going to impact them in a negative way. Pride always has, and should remain, a Rated-R event, and should stay that way.

celebratemybuttsex
celebratemybuttsex

''heteronormative'

Gawd forbid that anyone point out that a group that makes up only about 3% of the country's adult population isn't exactly the "norm".

Maddshillz
Maddshillz

@aliberaltexan Houston Pride sucks, this coming from an ex-resident.  Dallas is too uptight?  Why do we have close to double the number of LGBT residents, per capita, than your lovely, smelly city?

Brian Nesbitt
Brian Nesbitt

@kbowmanphoto but shaming gays for the same behavior that is seen by straights at mardi gras is not the answer.  and, by all means, congrats on being one of the normal gays...

Brian Nesbitt
Brian Nesbitt

@Cynthia Wolf so by all means, please go out and protest mardi gras.  i mean, really?  who will think of the childrens?

John1073
John1073

There are plenty of kids at the parade

celebratemybuttsex
celebratemybuttsex

"Is there not a nude bicycle parade every year in Dallas?"

No there is not. You are confusing Dallas with Seattle.

ruddski
ruddski

Yeah, but that's assault.

downtownworker
downtownworker

@Shelley Darling Me neither. I'm wondering if we're even talking about the same city

ruddski
ruddski

Prideful pricks parade, prudes push pants, pasties per permit, police pack paddywagon...

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I am sure there are other events to support your child rearing inclinations. So do you want to clean up the shop windows and bars, too?

MadeMan
MadeMan

@kirbsartadventures Laws against public indecency/nudity are not discriminatory or repressive, and have nothing whatever to do with "freedom of sexuality." No matter who the paraders, the parade attendees, the intended audience, public nudity contravenes municipal law. As to the poster above who suggests that public nudity is a constitutional right, his comment is a perfect example of why the vote should be restricted to those persons sufficiently literate to properly exercise it without endangering the continued survival our our Republic.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I'm wrong about Dallas but Houston participates in this event.

Brian Nesbitt
Brian Nesbitt

@downtownworker of course we are talking about the same city.  we are talking about the city that celebrates a bigoted pastor putting signs up downtown saying that "gay is not ok".  we are talking about a city where mayor after mayor courts the lgbt vote then stabs us in the back as soon as they are elected.  we are talking about a city that prides itself on being so family friendly yet ignores anyone that isn't white, married with 2.5 kids and makes at least $250,000 a year.  yup, that about sums it up.

celebratemybuttsex
celebratemybuttsex

OK let's fuck. Fuck me. In the asshole. I also command you to celebrate my buttsex!

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