‘Promiscuous’ Controversy in Hali Pride

Posted on July 12, 2011 by

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[Guest Editorial by Jane Kansas, Nova Scotia.]

Recent remarks by Ed Savage leave me pissed and sad. Savage is the co-chair of the Halifax Pride Committee; at the launch for this year’s festival he said, “That’s what we strive for: to be less promiscuous than other Prides across the country.” He said some other surprising stuff, but that there is what has shocked the holiest hell out of me.

We strive to be less promiscuous?

Who is the we? Is it members of the Halifax Pride Committee? Local LGBT people? All the solid pirate people of the Maritimes?

It feels like Ed Savage want us all to be tame and tolerable, white bread laced with vanilla: harmless, sexless, good gay neighbour characters like Jim and Jim in American Beauty. It feels like Savage thinks we are all rogue elephant sex addicts, liable to go off at any time. As if we should all keep our dicks in our pants and our tits in our shirts.

The history of repressing queer sexuality is long and terrible. At one end of that continuum, there is the horrific ways queers have died because others don’t want us to live and love and make love. There are the names we know: Brandon Teena, the transsexual who was raped and murdered; Rebecca Wright, murdered on the Appalachian Trail; Matthew Shepard, tortured, tied to a fence, abandoned. Then there are the names we don’t know.

Further along the continuum are those of us who because of intimidation or fear or inculcation, never, ever, not for a single moment, get to touch a single square inch of the flesh we desperately want to touch. It is ineffably sad to think about the untold, unsung lives of millions of men and women who never had or will never have the chance to act on their attractions, to fuck passionately who they wish to, to float in the grace and warmth of love and body. How many people have ended up living their lives as straight or as celibate, after being prodded towards being less promiscuous?

And finally, those of us, lucky enough to be living gay, maybe with partners, maybe alone, and not able to ask for what we want sexually because we got the message that what we want to do isn’t nice, or worse than not nice: not to be tolerated.

It’s a very very very ugly continuum. At one end there’s torture. Death. At the other there’s sly soft suggestion: Be less promiscuous. Be a good gay. Don’t fuck so much.

You have the right to fuck. The rest of nature fucks and sweats and oozes all the time. Look at dogs humping. Think of dragonflies locked in flight above a cool lake. Even the tulip and iris open and open, spread themselves, wait for the fuck. Look at the fingers of a high hard rocky coast, fucking the froth of the sea. Look how the sea pounds heself into the rock. Or how warm soft swelling salt water laps at the beach, and the sea and the beach rock with each other in the slowest longest gentlest fuck. You too were made to spill and ooze and fuck, to cry and whimper and laugh right out loud, as loud as any rutting animal, as sofly as the cunt of a tulip.

Don’t let anyone tell you different.

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Posted in: Pride