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  • Writer's pictureRosie Forster

Why the Vibes for Pride Are Off This Year

If you're a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I guarantee you have been targeted by companies this year screaming for you to buy their products/come to their events/sell them your data. I, for one, can't scroll through Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok without being flooded with images of rainbows, parades, and a lot of gay men in mesh tops.

I'm not immune to rainbow-washing; as someone who went to an Anglican school for ten years, I used to delight in seeing reminders of my community everywhere I turned. My alma mater changes their logo to feature a rainbow every year, and it made me feel less alone! That's the point of the Pride flag, right? To showcase that we are a community, and that our community is allowed to be open and happy.

Last night, I went to the Dodger's Pride Night game, hosted by LA Pride, and realized just what corporate Pride has evolved into. We were shepherded to the very depths of the stadium, as far away from our seats as humanly possible, to pick up our cheaply made Pride jerseys. Once we were in, we traversed the lengths of the stadium to avoid having to spend an extra fifteen dollars to buy beer in a rainbow cup.

Our seats were in the designated Pride section, but there was a distinct solemnity to the proceedings. There were fewer groups, fewer interactions between people, and a general air of...foreboding. I turned to my girlfriend and said, "Is it just me, or do you feel like we're sitting ducks here?"

They replied, "Yep. I wonder if anyone's going to get hate-crimed."

Before the game kicked off, we were introduced to a bunch of special guests, including Board President of LA Pride Sharon Franklin-Brown, and human brand Jojo Siwa. The national anthem was sung by Wils, a member of the community, and then the baseball started. After that, the only reference we got to Pride was Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" playing while the jumbotron leapt around various spectators. We ended up leaving around the 5th inning.

I wasn't even angry that the Pride portion of the evening felt like pandering. I was angry that it cost my girlfriend and I over $130 for the ticket package alone, to be given a cheap jersey and sent on our way, ideally to consume hundreds of dollars more worth of food and drinks. Our community, historically, is not the most fiscally successful, and 22% of us live in poverty. LA Pride has splintered from the city of West Hollywood, where it has put on Pride events in the past, and now both factions are offering pricey tickets for a couple of days of gay revelry. And again, they are missing the point.

Pride started as a riot, and is now a place for LGBTQ+ people to come together and celebrate themselves, as well as to think about ways to make the world a better place for everyone. It's about building community between people who have historically been so isolated.

I don't know if I'll ever go to Pride in the future. If it's going to cost me hundreds of dollars to celebrate my identity and the love my girlfriend and I have for each other in public, I don't know if it's worth it.



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