Last Saturday on the streets of his city, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard chose his defining moment. In an awkwardly fitting teal shirt, Ballard waved to the crowds while a short distance away nearly naked men performed pelvic thrusts and simulated sex acts. A refined choice indeed, Mr. Mayor.
Not that Ballard’s participation as the grand marshal over the display of hedonism known as the “Cadillac Barbie Indy Pride Parade” came as a surprise to anyone. Like most politicians these days, Ballard is simply riding the waves of pop culture and whatever seems likely to garner him good press.
Ballard often speaks of lofty sounding ideals like “tolerance,” “acceptance” and “Hoosier Hospitality.” Yes, because nothing welcomes families to Downtown like subjecting them to city-sanctioned close encounters with men in dog collars and leather G-strings.
No one else seems willing to say it, so I will. It’s gross. And it in no way represents all people with same-sex attraction any more than a parade of pornographers would represent all with opposite-sex attraction. This isn’t about homosexuality, although that is the over-arching theme of the parade and larger festival.
Not long ago, lesbian feminist activist Julie Bindel expressed this very frustration, shared by others in the homosexual movement. “(Pride parades) became about sexual hedonism,” she scolded, insisting that the only message sent by these spectacles of self-indulgence is, “this is just one great party all about sexual access to as many other men as we can secure.”
But for some reason, acknowledging that reality has become taboo and insensitive in our society. Just look at how the news media covered the festival. Local TV coverage made the parade appear as benign as the Tournament of Roses. Print media was worse, contrasting the “discriminatory” religious freedom supporters with the familial love that flooded the streets on Saturday.
Selectively displaying pleasant images of children with rainbow face paint along the parade route, these journalists omitted the truth. There was no footage showing barely clothed men sexually thrusting themselves against poles on their parade float in full view of children; no expression of concern at gender-bending drag queens in fishnets who in years past have walked through the crowd handing out condoms and lube.
Forget familial love. The point of this parade is to provide adults an opportunity to regress into immaturity and immorality. It’s an excuse to lose themselves in their lusts. And we applaud this as behavior to take “pride” in?
Not that Ballard was alone. The man who wants to take his place, Democrat Joe Hogsett, was there, putting his stamp of approval on the depravity. And newly announced gubernatorial candidate and current State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz was there smiling amid the revelry as well. Yes, the woman who oversees the education of Hoosier children was prancing around with men in tutus and pixie dust, with great “pride” no doubt.It is not that parts of the Pride festivities aren't family-friendly. It is just that so many parts are about nothing more than hedonism and debauchery. While those activities are fine behind closed doors between consenting adults, why does the City's children have to be exposed to those activities? We need to demand better of Pride organizers and participants.