Wow, so this is my first post. I wanted to let you all know about the Ask.Tell.Act Coalition, which has been formed in opposition to Pride's theme: "Ask. Tell. Proud to Serve Our Community, Our Country, Our World." The theme's description further states, "We are proud of our service and we are happy to share our lives with you. Just ask, and we'll tell!". Below is a letter from the coalition detailing why we oppose this theme.
"Dear Boston Queer/LGBTQPI… Community Members and Allies,
The Boston Pride Committee has chosen a divisive theme (and imagery) for Boston Pride that glorifies militarism and shows a misplaced sense of priorities. In response, concerned organizations and individuals have formed the Ask. Tell. Act. Coalition to encourage our community to think about the issues of militarism, corporitization, transphobia, sexism, and racism that are presented by the theme. We are asking for your support and solidarity in ignoring the Boston Pride Committee’s theme by including the messages below on your floats, signs, and other Pride materials, and by wearing something hot pink on the day of Boston Pride.
ASK: Why celebrate militarism?
We believe that it is wrong to echo militaristic culture for our queer pride celebration when thousands of lives are being lost due to the bloody and increasingly senseless occupation of Iraq. We believe that it is wrong that billions of dollars are spent funding war and occupation around the world while the needs of our veterans and our society’s countless other human needs are left unattended. Furthermore, we stand against the trend of prioritizing the fight against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at a time when the youth of our community are facing an epidemic of homelessness, and the transgender people of our community are facing violence and discrimination at every level of our society. There is no pride in war and occupation.
TELL the truth about injustice!
We believe that the language that the Boston Pride Committee has chosen creates the impression that Pride is a day for LGBT people to put our lives on display for the straight, dominant culture. Not all of us are willing or safely able to answer any question asked of us, as the theme suggests. While, this theme celebrates “our service to society”, we believe that Pride should not be a day in which we celebrate our “service” to the dominant culture, but a day for ourselves to celebrate our pride in being who we are. We reject this language because many of us are not willing or able to proclaim our pride in what we do for an occupation, to make money, or to “serve.” We live in a society in which queer immigrants are enduring violent, terrifying raids at work and home. We live in a society in which many transgender people cannot find jobs due to discrimination. We believe it is unfair, offensive, and in some cases dangerous to encourage the most discriminated against members of our community to march in pride of our “service.”
ACT to transform our community, country, and the world!
We owe it to ourselves and to the many brave queer people who came before us to continue the legacy of proud resistance that accompanies queer pride celebrations. We must embrace a spirit of liberation. We believe that there are countless ways to express pride in our identities without allowing ourselves to become owned by Big Pharma, Airlines, Credit Cards, Liquor Companies, and Banks. Major corporations have no right to exploit and profit off of our community. Our sexualities and genders are shaped by all the identities we carry. We believe that in order to truly celebrate our queerness we must make the choice to stand up against racism, sexism, classism, militarism, assimilation, and all systems of oppression.
Please join us in making a visual impact at Boston Pride by including these messages of resistance and social justice in your signs, floats, and materials. Instead of camo, wear something hot pink on Boston Pride day!
In Solidarity, Happy Queer Pride!
The Ask. Tell. Act. Coalition
P.S. Our Alliance meetings are every Sunday at 5PM at Community Church in Copley Square. All are welcome to attend."
There has been a lot of discussion surrounding this response from the greater queer community, and a space has been created for that dialogue on the website http://asktellact.org. There have also been multiple articles by In Newsweekly and QueerToday.com. I'd love to hear feedback from you and, if your interested, see you in hot pink at Pride.