“I just dislike the nudity and loudness.” These are the kind of disapproving statements we’ve heard from people trying to mask homophobia in political correctness. These statements are shared as if so-called “appropriate” behavior would automatically evoke respect and understanding. “Just stay calm and act normal!”they groan in complaint. What they really want to say is they want sexual minorities to stay in the closet. These kinds of remarks and these kinds of people are exactly the reason we need to support the Queer Culture Festival Parade.
While the event does aim to gain public understanding, the greater purpose of the parade is for those within. For many of us sexual minorities in the community, it is a chance to declare who we are and show we are not afraid. The naked dancing is not about who’s watching. This is who we are and that’s all.
These judgmental attitudes can be found within the LGBT community as well. “I’m gay, too but the queer parade is disgusting. It grosses normal people out. I hope they tone it down.” I see these kinds of comments following the Queer Parade on Gaysbook and Ivancity every year. And not without support, too. I think to myself, “Yes, you can feel that way, but you shouldn’t!” I, personally, don’t have the courage to go out on the streets but I still support everyone who is part of the queer parade. They are champions just for the fact they can face themselves as they are. There are still so many sexual minorities living in pain because of the existing standard of “normal.” There are still so many living in deception, living in self-hatred.
We are not hosting a queer parade to satisfy the desires of the majority or for those sexual minorities that are standing with the majority. The event exists to support those deemed “abnormal,” those seen as monsters. The parade is a rare opportunity to tell sexual minorities, "You are valuable, just as you are."
But hey, let’s try not to be so uptight or serious because it is a parade, after all. There are many types of festivals all over the world and many far more radical than the queer parade in Korea. So, think twice before you speak. Words have power. They can slice through those already in pain. Fortunately, speaking up can also lift up. Therefore, I am an enthusiastic defender of the Queer Parade. —Judy